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Why Dallas Cowboys’ explanation for lack of activity in NFL free agency is absurd

The Dallas Cowboys have signed one outside free agent since the legal tampering period opened on Monday. That came in the form of former All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks after he initially agreed to sign with the conference-rival San Francisco 49ers.

This is not exactly what fans in Big D had in mind when owner Jerry Jones said they were going all in following an embarrassing loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs.

“We will be going all in. I would say that you will see us this coming year not build it for the future,” Jones said back in late January.

About that?

Dallas has fallen behind its NFC East rivals during the early stages of NFL free agency. The Philadelphia Eagles added star running back Saquon Barkley from the New York Giants. Meanwhile, new Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters has completely remade that roster.

Winning the Super Bowl in March is not a thing. Overpaying for free agents can set an organization back. Dallas is rarely involved in the first wave. All three can be true while acknowledging that comments Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones made on Thursday just don’t make any sense.

Related: Dallas Cowboys grade in NFL free agency

Dallas Cowboys say Dak Prescott’s contract has not impacted free agency

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

“I feel like we are able to cut and shoot. Dak’s been willing to work with us. We’ve had good discussions about him and his contract. He’s all in (in) working with us and we’ve had personal discussions with Dak as well,” Jones said. “Other than that, that’s all we’ll say about that, our negotiations with him. We want to keep that private. Won’t get into timelines but certainly a priority of ours.”

Uh. Prescott currently has an NFL-high $59.6 million cap hit for the 2024 NFL season. How that has not impacted the Cowboys in free agency. Well, it makes absolutely no sense.

Rumors about a potential Prescott contract extension have come up over the past several months. He’s expected to become the highest-paid player in NFL history. With that would come a significant lowering of his 2024 NFL salary cap figure with Dallas pushing back the huge hits to later years when TV revenue continues to increase the cap itself.

Why not work out something with Prescott before the start of free agency? Now, most of the top free agents are off the board with the ‘Boys looking to fill in the margins via signings like the one we saw with Kendricks on Wednesday.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2024

Dallas Cowboys “understand” the frutration of their fans

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s frustrating for us as well. Whether it be Jerry. Whether it be myself. Whether it be the organization,” Jones said. “I mean, no one wants it more than we want it. And I know our fans want it.”

Again, why not clear the cap room to make a splash or two in free agency? If the team is indeed all in, doing nothing of real substance doesn’t make much sense.

Dallas could pull off a blockbuster trade. It could add players who have not yet been released for salary cap purposes. The offseason just got started.

But these explanations from one of the powers that be in Big D just don’t make any sense.

Remember, Dallas lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Playoffs in the two seasons leading up to 2023. It then put up an embarrassing performance against Green Bay in taking a step back this past season.

There are holes on this roster. The Eagles have gotten better. The Commanders have improved. Dallas has taken a step back. That’s the brutal truth.

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