Jerry Jones: Cowboys ‘unlikely’ to sign free-agent WR DeAndre Hopkins
As soon as DeAndre Hopkins hit the free-agent market, the Cowboys were instantly added to the list of teams with whom Hopkins could sign.
It’s Dallas, home to a team that never shies from kicking the tires on another weapon, especially on the heels of a season in which a lack of pass-catchers prompted them to court Odell Beckham Jr. and eventually acquire Brandin Cooks.
But Hopkins might not be as much of a guaranteed addition. Owner Jerry Jones told reporters Monday that while the Cowboys “don’t dismiss any possibility,” it is “unlikely” Dallas will sign Hopkins.
Jones did, however, say there’s still a chance running back Ezekiel Elliott could return. Dallas released Elliott in mid-March, designating him as a post-June 1 cut in order to create cap space.
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In the weeks and months that followed, Jones did not hide the emotional toll of releasing Elliott, a player Dallas selected fourth overall in 2016 and rode to plenty of success in his seven seasons spent wearing the Cowboys’ famous star. Both the Cowboys and Elliott are evaluating their respective futures, Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken.
Dallas did address the position after releasing Elliott, adding Kansas State star Deuce Vaughn to a room headlined by franchise tag recipient Tony Pollard. There’s room to bring Elliott back, but it will have to be at the right price.
Running back isn’t the only position the Cowboys might address. Dak Prescott is entering the penultimate year of his four-year, $160 million deal in 2023, and there haven’t been significant signs Dallas is interested in moving in a different direction under center. Logically, that would mean the Cowboys would have to work out an extension with Prescott at some point.
Jones, however, isn’t feeling pressed to get a deal done with Prescott or Pollard, telling reporters “it is not imperative” the Cowboys work out an extension with either party prior to training camp.
“Not necessarily,” Jones said, per The Dallas Morning News. … “Pollard has nothing to do with Dak.”
Tackle Terence Steele is another player approaching 2023 with just one year remaining on his existing contract. Steele has served an important purpose in recent seasons, filling a swing tackle role that has been vital as changes — due to injury or free-agency departure — have affected both the left and right sides of the line.
There’s no update on Steele’s future with the Cowboys, but Jones did have positive remarks regarding the lineman, who could even see time on the interior if needed.
“I’m liking his flex that we’re mentally thinking about,” he said. “I think the fact that those tall guys with that kind of length, arm length especially — I like the fact that they haven’t been ruled out inside. I see how that can work.”
June is typically a sleepy month in the NFL, but as Jones indicated on Monday, the Cowboys aren’t simply leaving out-of-office messages on their emails and heading for the beach. There’s work left to be done; We’ll see if and when Dallas decides to attend to it.
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