Things are expected to heat up just a little bit this week for the Dallas Cowboys with mandatory minicamp beginning on Tuesday, but that obviously leaves Monday before we get there. Thankfully for all of us, team EVP Stephen Jones was behind the microphone as the Cowboys announced that the East-West Shrine game will be played at the Ford Center next February.
While Jones discussed the immediate matter at hand, he also touched on other topics related to the current team.
It seems the Cowboys are not exactly in on DeAndre Hopkins
Over a week has gone by since the Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and while he does not have a new NFL home quite yet, there are some Cowboys fans holding out hope that he will join America’s Team.
Stephen Jones did not outright say that this would not happen, but he just about did. He noted that the team is very happy with where they are at and mentioned the acquisition of Brandin Cooks almost in a “this is what we did instead” sort of way.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones on if there is any interest in free agent WR DeAndre Hopkins: “He’s not on this team right now. We went down the road with (Brandin) Cooks. We’re very comfortable with Cooks. We’re really pleased with our receiving group.” pic.twitter.com/yxTKRgLa7S— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) June 5, 2023
While the prospect of Hopkins joining the offense is a fun one to talk about, there is legitimate logic to the Cowboys passing, presuming Hopkins wants a sizable contract wherever he winds up. The salary cap can certainly be manipulated but it is a real thing that has to be accounted for (no pun intended).
And the Cowboys have a handful of contractually-related things to address as well.
The Cowboys are hopeful to figure things out with CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and Terence Steele
As we are now in June the Cowboys have received their post-June 1st salary cap relief from the release of Ezekiel Elliott. While some may want to see that devoted to a player like Hopkins, the stronger likelihood is that the Cowboys invest it in players currently on the team.
It is no secret that new deals are going to be necessary for CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and Terence Steele soon. Lamb had his fifth-year option exercised by the team this offseason so there is more time on the clock there, but as it stands both Diggs and Steele (RFA) are entering contract years with the team. It seems the Cowboys want to hopefully take care of things on that end, too.
Stephen Jones said the Cowboys have “touched base,” with the agents for CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs and Terence Steele in hopes of getting deals done. While hopeful, he also acknowledged players have been generally more willing to wait recently since the price seems to go up.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) June 5, 2023
Over the weekend, ESPN reported that the Cowboys and Diggs have had contact on a contract in a very preliminary sense.
While Lamb, Diggs and Steele are mentioned here, it is slightly noteworthy that center Tyler Biadasz is not. This is not to say that the Cowboys are not potentially just as interested in working out a long-term deal with Biadasz, but like Diggs and Steele, he too is entering a contract year with the team. Getting things done before the sand in the hourglass is up is never a bad thing.
A potential trade out is not off the table
While we have spent a lot of time talking about players we want to see the Cowboys bring in it is always possible that they send players on their way, too.
Stephen Jones noted that the Cowboys could possibly move a player before training camp.
Clarification on a Stephen Jones quote:— Nick Harris (@NickHarrisDC) June 5, 2023
“Trading guys out” is more of a bottom-of-the-roster change rather than the trade market.
“There’s a chance we may trade some guys out that we don’t want to take to camp, and we’ll replace that guy with another at the same position.”
The Cowboys have some depth at defensive end and depending on what kind of mood you are in at other positions on their roster. Whether or not they decided to ship one out remains to be seen, but obviously nothing is ever off the table.
The Cowboys worked out a few players
While Stephen Jones did his fair share of talking there was another opportunity for Jerry Jones to hold court which he certainly did.
Interesting Jerry noted that the Cowboys worked out a handful of players. He also (shocker here) did not rule out a return for Ezekiel Elliott.
Cowboys had several players visit The Star today for a free agent workout. Wide receiver, QB and corner. At least one signing is expected. Ninety-man roster been at 88 players.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 5, 2023
Jerry Jones said the Cowboys worked out 5-6 free agent players today.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) June 5, 2023
Jones said he won’t close the door on a potential Ezekiel Elliott return.
Jones on DeAndre Hopkins: “We don’t dismiss any possibility, but it’s unlikely.”
Jerry also threw some cool water on the Hopkins front so it stands to reason that he was not one of the players present for said workout.
Jourdan Lewis could start the season on PUP
The Cowboys are going to see Jourdan Lewis coming back from an injury this season and it appears that he may need some extra time. Stephen Jones noted that Lewis may begin on PUP.
Stephen Jones says in addition to kicker, the Cowboys could be looking at depth at cornerback ahead of training camp.— Nick Harris (@NickHarrisDC) June 5, 2023
“With [Jourdan] Lewis looking more and more…that he’ll go on PUP, we could use a little depth at corner just for numbers.”
Perhaps the Cowboys want to hedge their bet a little bit at corner. We will see.
Update: 2:05pm ET
One last note from Monday... Jerry Jones was asked if there would be any additions to the Ring of Honor this year and, well, you can guess how that went.
Jerry Jones said there will be no new members added to the Cowboys Ring of Honor this year.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) June 5, 2023
The wait continues for Jimmy Johnson. pic.twitter.com/qBQiZ6ooWA
It remains incredibly frustrating for Dallas Cowboys fans that Jimmy Johnson, a literal Pro Football Hall of Fame member, is still being excluded from the Ring of Honor. It is an annual thing now to lament this every June.
Don’t believe me? Consider last June when Jerry shot down the idea less than a full year after vowing that Jimmy would be put in the Ring during Jimmy’s HOF weekend of all things.
Jerry Jones on August 5th, 2021: Jimmy Johnson will be in the Ring of Honor— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) June 17, 2022
Jerry Jones on June 16th, 2022: Nothing determined out there at all. That’s something that I’ve never really decided upon almost until a week or two before I do it. pic.twitter.com/IsevT8jBNh
We all continue to wait.