No one will ever accuse Stephen Jones of not being a shrewd businessman.
In his eyes, there wasn’t anyone who landed elsewhere that the team felt they could have not done without. While this is far from a slight towards the players from Jones, it is the mindset of a talented businessman who has a plan and will stick to it despite the climate.
Yes, there were a few Jones would have liked to retain, but he’s not exactly losing sleep seeing them head out of town.
“Players we want to keep, we keep them,” Jones said from the NFL Owner’s Meetings in Phoenix, AZ, via The Dallas Morning News. “Most of these players, I’m not going to single out guys, but most of them we were ready to let move on. Now, there were a few if they would have been for the right price, we would have done it.
“But we certainly didn’t want to get into overpaying for anybody.”
Refusing to force the financial issue to keep or gain talent is something the Cowboys have been perfecting over the past few seasons, opting to instead look for value talent in free agency while building heavily through the NFL Draft and developing those players.
It’s a formula that’s worked out masterfully as of late, culminating in an exceptionally talented youth-driven core led by jackpot players like quarterback Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott — to name only two of many.
None of this is meant to discount the importance of talented veterans with high football IQ, however, and Jones wants to be clear on that point.
He’s just not content to make it rain based on emotion, and panic is an emotion.
“At the end of the day, we value our players,” Jones said. “At certain numbers, it’s efficient for us to sign them. At other numbers, it’s not.”