It has been difficult for owner Jerry Jones to sit on his hands in the off-season with a Dallas Cowboys team coming off a 4-12 season while watching his counterparts in the NFC East spend millions of dollars trying to improve their teams.
The Washington Redskins acquired a shutdown cornerback in Josh Norman for $75 million. The New York Giants signed defensive end Olivier Vernon to an $85 million contract, cornerback Janoris Jenkins to a $62.5 million contract, and nose tackle Damon Harrison to a $46 million contract.
The Philadelphia Eagles traded heaven and earth to move to the second pick in the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, to acquire the quarterback of the future.
I’ve had some wow and I’ve had some lesser times. The time I want is holding that trophy up.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Meanwhile, the Cowboys spent free agency shopping on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart, while putting the majority of their hopes of improvement on the return to health of quarterback Tony Romo, wide receiver Dez Bryant and cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
Vice president Stephen Jones has ushered in an era of fiscal responsibility and the elder Jones has been forced to acquiesce.
“I’ve had some wow and I’ve had some lesser times and the time I want is holding that trophy up,” Jerry Jones said. “Sometimes you have to wait and be a little patient. I’m very pleased with the job that frankly Stephen and his personnel department and where we are managing-wise. We may not have the huge amounts available under the cap but if we see anything we want, we can get it and not be paying too big of a price in the future for it.
“That’s a great place to be. I wish I could tell you that there was a magic formula on how to gauge just how much you should or shouldn’t have. There is not. I feel real good about the veteran players we got. I feel good about the mix of young players we’ve got. I feel good that we’ve left our options open.”
Jones said he believes the Cowboys are closer to the 12-4 team of 2014 rather than the 4-12 team of 2015. So a bunch of splash moves weren’t necessary, assuming Romo, Bryant and Scandrick return to health and return to form.
$193 million The total value of free agent contracts the New York Giants gave to three players this off-season: defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and nose tackle Damon Harrison.
Besides, Jones said the Cowboys have a chance to add plenty of wow with the fourth overall pick in the draft on Thursday.
“We need help from this draft, in my mind, to be really what we’ve got a chance to be, Jones said. “But when you’re sitting at the fourth pick, you’ve got a chance to get some help, you can get some real help. I feel real good about all of it.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. People know we’ll shoot and people know we have some bullets to shoot with if we want to, so I don’t feel like you got to prove anything about making a statement here in the off-season. We want to get up there and win more games.”