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Stephen Jones defends Cowboys' roster construction

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Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones is defending his team's approach to free agency.

The Cowboys are under fire for their conservative spending since the start of the new league year, which has coincided with several notable departures.

"We spend max, max money year in and year out," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. "All 32 can only spend the same amount of money over a five-year stretch. When we're all said and done, we max out our salary cap every year. We will have done that and what comes with having a good roster, which we do, we also are looking towards signing our own guys."

Dallas has $6.5 million available ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft, according to Over the Cap. The Cowboys haven't splurged on signings this offseason, spending less than $6 million to bring in linebacker Eric Kendricks and re-sign cornerback Jourdan Lewis.

The franchise has made a few additions to its roster, but there are holes at key positions following the departures of Tyron Smith, Tony Pollard, and Tyler Biadasz.

One of the main reasons for a cautious approach to free agency is the desire to re-sign a few stars. Dak Prescott is entering the final year of his contract, and the team is unable to place the franchise tag on him after the 2024 season. He's currently set to account for $55.1 million against the salary cap.

Meanwhile, star wideout CeeDee Lamb is set to account for $17.9 million in 2024. The three-time Pro Bowler posted career highs last season, recording 135 catches, 1,749 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Dallas could opt to place the franchise tag on Lamb if it's unable to negotiate a new deal.

Dallas is also likely to pick up the fifth-year option for the 2025 season for pass-rusher Micah Parsons.

While the Cowboys have expressed a desire to sign long-term extensions for all three players, there have been little to no discussions with the players' representatives, per Archer.

"It doesn't mean it happens overnight. But when you're wanting to sign players like Dak, and Micah and CeeDee, then certainly you have to hold money back if you want to have a realistic chance of signing those guys," Jones said.

The Cowboys hold the No. 24 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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