Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t believe the NFL will look into any potential tampering issues after an ESPN The Magazine story said Jones and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a phone conversation following the George Strait concert in June.
The story reportedly says Peterson told Jones he wanted to end his career with the Cowboys, although Peterson disputed that in a statement released by the Vikings. Jones also defended his actions.
“I understand the tampering thing, and you have to be an initiator,” Jones said. “It was good talking to [Peterson]. I’m a big admirer of him. We were talking about Texas. I really love his story, especially as to how it relates to his father. That’s mostly what we talked about. Certainly, that was about it.”
The story also mentions that Jones would have preferred to draft Johnny Manziel instead of Zack Martin in the first round of the draft, but was convinced by his son Stephen to take Martin.
It would have had the Cowboys “guarantee our relevance for 10 years,” in Jones’ mind. Said Jones: “That was a little tongue in cheek with it, but I’m still mad at [Stephen]. I think I’m proud of that decision right now and I’m proud I was a good listener.”
Dez, Jerry talk again
Jerry Jones met with Dez Bryant for an hour Wednesday, a second meeting between the two this week as the Cowboys attempt to get a long-term deal done with their star receiver.
“I don’t know that I would want to evaluate our progress,” Jones said. “We’ve visited a couple of days. …We have had good visits. It’s a little different to be talking directly, for me to be talking directly with the player.
“ … But Dez and I have been visiting for years, ever since he’s been a Cowboy regarding things and so it is a fairly unique situation that we’ve talked as much as we’ve talked, made it pretty easy and maybe propitious to be able to talk to him about his contract.”
Bryant said earlier this week that he plans to end talks until the off-season if the sides can’t reach an agreement by the start of the season. The sides remain at an impasse regarding structure, bonus and guaranteed money, according to a source.
The Dallas Cowboys’ beleaguered defense suffered another blow Thursday as safety Jakar Hamilton was suspended without pay for the first four games of the season by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy.
Hamilton declined to get into specifics about why he was in the substance-abuse program and said the suspension came because he missed a scheduled drug test during OTAs. Hamilton was apologetic for the incident, calling it “a big mistake.”
“I just owned up to it,” Hamilton said. “It’s not heart-breaking for me, but a learning experience. It’s a great opportunity for me to be humbled and to take this as a lesson learned.”
Hamilton will be eligible to return Sept. 29 after the game against the New Orleans Saints, according to an NFL spokesman.