Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke to The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan on multiple hot topics, including Zack Martin, if he has closed the door on an Ezekiel Elliott return, and if he plans to add Jimmy Johnson to the Ring of Honor.
Jerry Jones Elaborates on Zack Martin Situation
Jones spoke on the Martin holdout and said it had nothing to do with the star lineman. With everything Jones said, the salary cap seems to be the issue.
He said that the Cowboys can’t reduce big contracts, especially if guys don’t play well, and that if you already have a contract, there has to be “adherence to that contract” because of the salary cap.
Jones said that the fact is that what one player gets, the others don’t.
“It’s up to me to basically allocate that, and when you got a contract in place, I don’t even look at this as Zack. Zack is too special of a person. But I also had to let DeMarcus Ware get out of here, and that killed me,” said Jones, who talked about his decision to let Ware go because he didn’t have enough money for other contracts that needed to get done at that point.
When Jones was asked if he expects Martin to return by Week 1 of the season, he said he didn’t want to discuss expectations for Martin.
“It’s not about Zack. We have to have our players adhere to the agreements, and most contracts are done where you would adjust the years, and you would extend years, and you would add value on there,” said Jones. He also mentioned Larry Allen and extending the years on his contract.
Potential Ezekiel Elliott?
Jones was asked about a possible Ezekiel Elliott return, especially with Ronald Jones’ suspension.
“We’re reading the tea leaves. The events of yesterday, the suspension that’s involved, you have injury of varying degrees, and then you have the thing that everybody thinks of, and that’s ‘How does it look?’” said Jones, mentioning adding Elliott with his protecting and blocking skills is that last factor.
“He’s not ruled out at all here,” said Jones.
This came after Elliott’s visit to New England.
Expectations of Mike McCarthy Calling Plays
When Jones was asked what he was most excited about with Mike McCarthy calling the plays, he quickly said the playbook is “Dak-friendly.”
“The offensive line is going to be able to protect him better; their spacing is narrower, which is conducive to protection,” said Jones, mentioning that Prescott will have less to do before the snap and less to read after the snap.
Jones also expects this new scheme to be more receiver-friendly, as he says they will be less dependent on reading the defensive backs and just need to be “at the spot they should be.”
All in all, he says that these are all just adjustments, not dramatic changes.
“When you combine it all, then I’m confident that we’re gonna be excited about how it protects Dak and how it actually helps efficiency for Dak,” said Jones.
He says he doesn’t make bold predictions for the team but that when he evaluates what other NFL teams have and what the Cowboys are, he can assess the opportunity for them.
“We keep Dak healthy, and we’re going to be a better team because we have, in my mind, a scheme that’s more friendly for him, and we have a defense better able to stop the run than it was last year. We’re a better team than last year,” said Jones, saying, “So be it” if other teams in the NFC East also got better in the offseason.
Will Jimmy Johnson Be Added to the Ring of Honor?
Adding Jimmy Johnson to the Ring of Honor was brought up when Jones talked to the media on Monday.
He responded, “We’re going to be making those announcements as we go. We’ll just let that go. I’ve eventually got a couple of coaches, in addition to Jimmy, that ought to be in that Ring of Honor.”
When he was asked what other coaches he was talking about, he said, “Again, I’m not going to talk about that, but the point is that the Ring of Honor should be very, very exclusive. And it’s good that whatever we do, we get to talk about it as much as we do. It gets more attention than it does if we loaded it up.”
This got the wheels turning for the discussion to be brought up again on whether Jones will eventually add Johnson to the Ring of Honor.
When asked about it on The Fan, he said, “Football is a soap opera,” and it’s important to have an edge to it.
“My experience has been, whether it really be the Hall of Fame or certainly our Ring of Honor, that there’s more talk before you go in and the debate of whether you should or not than there is after you get in,” said Jones.
Additionally, Jones said deciding who goes into the Ring of Honor involves input from the people already in it, players, and people around them, and he will know who will make it into the Ring of Honor about a week before the announcement is made.