Cowboys’ Jerry Jones reluctant to trade stars: ‘Got a lot of tread on the tire’

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The week has seen far more turnover than anyone expected for the 2020 Dallas Cowboys after just seven games. One of the popular summer picks to be atop the NFC standings come season’s end, the team has crash-landed to the bottom tier of squads in nearly every outlet’s power rankings.” data-reactid=”6″>The week has seen far more turnover than anyone expected for the 2020 Dallas Cowboys after just seven games. One of the popular summer picks to be atop the NFC standings come season’s end, the team has crash-landed to the bottom tier of squads in nearly every outlet’s power rankings.

The 2-5 record, the crippling injuries to so many key starters, the soft and porous defensive play, the questions about scheme complexity, the chronically slow starts to games, the accusations of coaching cluelessness, the perceived lack of heart from players, the jettisoning of three veteran free agents… it all hints at surprisingly desperate times in Dallas.

And that has led many to wonder if it will spur Jerry Jones to ramp up his wheeling and dealing, perhaps shopping a marquee player in return for future draft picks that might help build a winning roster for 2021 and beyond.

Not ready to call the current season a lost cause, though, Jones maintained his high hopes for the Cowboys currently wearing the star during a radio interview Friday.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I’m going to give you the canned answer: We’re always looking to improve,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan when asked about any potential midseason trades. “On the other hand, I feel very strongly that we’ve got a core of really outstanding players [with]in the NFL, And it hasn’t been a month ago, or six weeks ago, that that was getting unanimous thought around the NFL. We’ve got some outstanding players. We’ve got a lot of tread on the tire left on most of those key players.”” data-reactid=”14″>“I’m going to give you the canned answer: We’re always looking to improve,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan when asked about any potential midseason trades. “On the other hand, I feel very strongly that we’ve got a core of really outstanding players [with]in the NFL, And it hasn’t been a month ago, or six weeks ago, that that was getting unanimous thought around the NFL. We’ve got some outstanding players. We’ve got a lot of tread on the tire left on most of those key players.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Outside analysts and pundits have been playing fantasy-GM all week, putting together what-if trade packages for Cowboys players who would arguably draw interest and very attractive offers from other teams. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and even Ezekiel Elliott have been put on the media’s hypothetical trading block in recent days.” data-reactid=”15″>Outside analysts and pundits have been playing fantasy-GM all week, putting together what-if trade packages for Cowboys players who would arguably draw interest and very attractive offers from other teams. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and even Ezekiel Elliott have been put on the media’s hypothetical trading block in recent days.

But Jones is unwavering in his allegiance to his high-profile players, most of whom he has rewarded with lucrative deals to keep them in Dallas.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Ten percent of the players get two-thirds of the money,” he reminded the radio audience. “So my point is, you’d better have good players getting that money in terms of just that aspect of it- just financial- apart from what’s inside them. And boy, I love what’s inside [DeMarcus] Lawrence. I love what’s inside our linebacker Jaylon Smith. And man, do I like what’s inside [La’el] Collins and Tyron Smith and [Zack] Martin. And so when you put where we’re expending our dollars, talent-wise, or what’s inside them, and the tread they’ve got left on the tire, I love our core base.”” data-reactid=”17″>“Ten percent of the players get two-thirds of the money,” he reminded the radio audience. “So my point is, you’d better have good players getting that money in terms of just that aspect of it- just financial- apart from what’s inside them. And boy, I love what’s inside [DeMarcus] Lawrence. I love what’s inside our linebacker Jaylon Smith. And man, do I like what’s inside [La’el] Collins and Tyron Smith and [Zack] Martin. And so when you put where we’re expending our dollars, talent-wise, or what’s inside them, and the tread they’ve got left on the tire, I love our core base.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But as Cowboys fans have seen play out on the field this season, it can all change on any given snap of the ball. If Dallas loses to the Eagles on Sunday and drops to 2-6 (with the undefeated Steelers on deck), being mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration is suddenly not that far off. Then it unquestionably becomes about next year.” data-reactid=”18″>But as Cowboys fans have seen play out on the field this season, it can all change on any given snap of the ball. If Dallas loses to the Eagles on Sunday and drops to 2-6 (with the undefeated Steelers on deck), being mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration is suddenly not that far off. Then it unquestionably becomes about next year.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And with the league trade deadline looming on Tuesday, it’s do-or-die time if Jones were to try to parlay a current player into a future draft choice.” data-reactid=”19″>And with the league trade deadline looming on Tuesday, it’s do-or-die time if Jones were to try to parlay a current player into a future draft choice.

So what if a dominant player has a lights-out game that sends his trade stock soaring? What if a guy who’s struggling puts just enough highlights together to increase his value for some in-the-market contender? What if the Cowboys lose another playmaker to injury and further sink the club’s season?

In other words, will the outcome of Sunday’s meeting with Philadelphia stamp the ticket out of town for any current Cowboys players?

“I just haven’t given that a thought. If you’re talking about a phone call during the game,” Jones speculated, “or you’re talking about something that I see evaluating a player, no, I don’t see that game doing that. I don’t see injury circumstance there dictating that.”

But, still. Not actively looking to deal a player doesn’t mean Jones wouldn’t listen to an offer. To that end, the owner notes that he’s already fulfilled his civic duty of voting in Tuesday’s election, in part so he can give his undivided attention to another owner should his phone ring on the trade deadline.

Making a change to the coaching staff- as has also been theorized in print and over the airwaves this week- is apparently off the table. Jones went on to double down on his choice of Mike McCarthy, saying that the challenges of the 2020 season have made him even more sure of the staff he has in place.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Had I known that we were going to be having the season we’re having,” Jones offered, “had I known that we were really going to take this dip that we’re having relative to where we planned to be, then I really would have been excited about hiring Mike McCarthy and putting this group of coaches together. I’ve got my man and I’ve got the way to handle through these tough times.”” data-reactid=”29″>“Had I known that we were going to be having the season we’re having,” Jones offered, “had I known that we were really going to take this dip that we’re having relative to where we planned to be, then I really would have been excited about hiring Mike McCarthy and putting this group of coaches together. I’ve got my man and I’ve got the way to handle through these tough times.”

Jones says he’s going to play the cards the Cowboys have. Whether that’s just a bluff… or leads to folding early and looking ahead to anteing up for a new hand next year remains to be seen.

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