While most of the attention around the slumping Cowboys had focused on the future of head coach Jason Garrett, the likelihood of big roster changes for Dallas in 2020 continues to grow as well. Sources said there has been no progress on new deals for a trio of star free agents -- quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver Amari Cooper and corner Byron Jones -- and no talks are anticipated until after the season.
Retaining Prescott remains the primary objective of owner Jerry Jones, but with Prescott's agents playing this out until after the season, and the quarterback compiling career numbers (albeit largely against inferior teams), he is building a case to become the highest-paid quarterback in the game. The scope and magnitude of this deal continues to grow, and the Cowboys will place the franchise tag on him if need be, which is lost on no one involved in any of these negotiations, sources said.
Sources said the only way that Cooper will not hit the market is if the tag is placed on him, but there is obviously only one tag to go around per team. With the receiver market limited by so many top players already signing extensions, and with Prescott set to go from earning less than $5 million in four years to over $33 million a year, the odds of keeping him and Cooper -- without Cooper on the tag -- are slim. The Cowboys and Cooper made no headway the entire offseason, and there is no inclination on his side to do a deal now with free agency so close.
Similarly, there has been no communication between the Cowboys and Jones either, sources said, and no talks are expected. With years of starting experience at safety and corner, Jones, a former first-round pick, is positioned well on the open market and sources said it looks increasingly likely he will be elsewhere in 2020.