Jerry: CBA uncertainty gives Cowboys 'bigger angst'
Jerry Jones has a lot on his plate. Not only does the Dallas Cowboys owner have big decisions to make regarding tagging and/or re-signing Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones and other players, Jerry Jones is also involved in collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
The two predicaments, Jones told reporters Thursday night on his bus, are related.
The Cowboys owner noted, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, that if the CBA proposal is ratified by the players, "it removes a very strategic thing for us. That is, we lose the transition (tag)."
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The window to place the franchise and transition tags on impending free agents opened on Thursday and runs through March 12. Because a new CBA has yet to be ratified, the league and all teams are operating under the rules of the most recent CBA, which allows, in the agreement’s final year, for teams to use both the franchise and transition tags, instead of just one.
As things stand, Dallas can tag both Prescott and Cooper, but that could all change if the CBA is ratified.
"It’s what it is. We’ll just have to figure out a way to (get it done)," Jones told Gehlken. "There’s no question it’s going to put on a bigger angst."
Regarding Prescott, Jones downplayed the Cowboys’ meeting with the QB’s agent, Todd France, on Wednesday for the first time in around five months. The Cowboys owner didn’t, however, downplay his affection for Prescott, who is an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins on March 18.
Jones told reporters he feels the same about Prescott as he does about his son and team executive vice president Stephen Jones.
"There’s no going forward without Stephen or one of your family members," Jerry Jones said, per Gehlken. "So you’ve got to get it figured out."
The Cowboys are expected to place the franchise tag on Prescott if they cannot strike a long-term deal by March 12, meaning the likes of Cooper and Byron Jones could find themselves in a different uniform in 2020.
With or without their star receiver and cornerback, Jerry Jones is confident the Cowboys can bounce back after their 8-8 campaign in 2019 and play for a Super Bowl title this season.
"I think the time is now," Jones said, per Gehlken. "Our chance to compete at a very high level in the NFL is right now."
Here are other notes from Jones’ chat with reporters:
— The Cowboys owner said he was among the owners who voted to approve the CBA proposal last week, adding "the positives outweigh the negatives."
— Jones said he was "hopeful" to retain defensive end Robert Quinn, whose contract will expire on March 18.
— On the topic of former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who has been working toward a return to football, returning to the team, Jones said, "I’ve thought a lot about it in the shower." So there’s that.
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