Dallas Cowboys

Stephen Jones optimistic after Cowboys ‘exceed’ preseason expectations

Jerry Jones, and Stephen Jones will be working the Dallas Cowboys roster for the final cuts.
Jerry Jones, and Stephen Jones will be working the Dallas Cowboys roster for the final cuts. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Losing starting quarterback Tony Romo for the early part of the season is certainly a blow to the Dallas Cowboys.

But executive vice president Stephen Jones still has a good feeling about the team after training camp and the preseason, and is looking forward to getting the regular season underway Sept. 11 against the New York Giants.

The final roster cuts to the mandatory 53 players is Saturday.

“I really like our football team,” Jones said. “Obviously, no one is naïve when you lose your starting quarterback for some time, which it’s obviously going to be some time. That certainly wasn’t in our plans, you certainly hope something like that doesn’t to happen.

“Obviously, (rookie) Dak’s (Prescott) emergence makes you feel better about having that happen to you because there is a lot of optimism with Dak. Other than that, our team has exceeded our expectations in training camp and guys have performed well and done a really nice job for us. We really feel good about our team.”

Outside of the quarterback situation and starting Prescott, Jones believes the Cowboys have good depth throughout their roster.

The running back corps is loaded with rookie Ezekiel Elliott to go along with Alfred Morris and change-of-pace back Lance Dunbar returning. And let’s not forget Darren McFadden, who ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing yards a season ago.

The same can be said about the receiving corps with a healthy Dez Bryant.

The defensive side is where questions abound, though. The top priority throughout the off-season was improving the pass rush, and the Cowboys are counting on no-name players to fill the void.

They will certainly be scouring the waiver wires to see if there is an upgrade at defensive end, or any other position.

“I will say this – we’ve seen some things in camp that we like from our defensive linemen,” Jones said. “I think we’re athletic and I think they’re going to play hard and [defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has coached them up and I think we’ll do some good things.”

But Jones acknowledged the Cowboys could be active to add players who might get cut from other teams, although don’t expect any massive roster changes over the weekend.

“It’s always a busy time,” Jones said. “We’ll get in there and make decisions on the current team and find out about who 50 through 53 and see if we can do better than who those guys are.”

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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