The Cowboys losing Amari Cooper, Byron Jones would be a disaster

Dallas Cowboys, NFL Free Agency

The Dallas Cowboys have tough decisions to make in free agency, but they can’t lose Amari Cooper and Byron Jones this offseason. That would be a disaster.

There is no team better to watch in 2020 NFL free agency than the Dallas Cowboys.

“America’s Team” has roughly $74 million to work with up against the salary cap. That’s the fifth-largest amount entering the new league year. Everything is bigger in Texas, but so are the potential problems the Cowboys are up against this free-agency cycle.

Dallas has several marquee names hitting the market this spring. Of course, we’re talking about starting quarterback Dak Prescott, No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper and shutdown cornerback Byron Jones. Truthfully, they’re not going to be able to keep all three of them. However, Dallas can’t mess this up with only Prescott returning in 2020.

Though he is the type of player the franchise tag was intended for, Prescott has been grossly underpaid as a former fourth-round pick. Owner Jerry Jones should have given Prescott a new deal and everybody knows it. Now, he’s paying for it dearly this spring.

By not taking care of business with Prescott, Jones will be paying his starting quarterback $10 million more annually than what he’s really worth. Because of this, Jones and the Cowboys will have to say goodbye to either Cooper or Jones, possibly both.

The reason Dallas can’t let Cooper walk is because it traded a first-round pick for him with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2018. No smart NFL team trades for 1.5 years worth of service out of a former top-10 pick still in his prime and not extend him. That’s throwing money away. It’s a salary cap-driven league and you can’t be this inherently reckless with your cash.

As for Jones, he is a former first-round pick by the Cowboys out of UConn. Other than not leading the league in interceptions, Jones has been a great Cowboy over the last few years. He’s the type of player you never let hit free agency still in his prime, but here we are. Unfortunately for him, he’s third on the Cowboys’ pecking order to get new deals this offseason after Prescott and Cooper.

This is what happens when you enable a star player like Ezekiel Elliott to skip his turn in line. He got two bites at the apple before his draft classmate Prescott even got one. That’s all on ownership.

Ultimately, all three won’t return to the Cowboys next year. If it’s Prescott, Cooper and/or Jones, we can live with it. The Cowboys should be ridiculed if they only bring Prescott back.

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