New England Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) celebrates his 6-yard touchdown run.

Jerry Jones, Cowboys ‘keenly interested’ in Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed interest in the team welcoming back Ezekiel Elliott.

Jones addressed reporters on Friday after the completion of the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The Cowboys did not select a running back in the first two days of the three-day event.

“First of all, the draft’s not over and that’s a thought,” Jones said, after being asked if the team’s decision against selecting a running back thus far was about how the draft has progressed or if the team is comfortable with its ground attack.

“And it was a long time before a running back was taken in today’s draft. But we also are keenly interested in seeing what the future might look like with Zeke.”

Elliott played for Dallas from 2016-22 after the team selected him with the No. 4 overall section of the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent last season with the New England Patriots.

While no public agreement is in place, the Cowboys met with Elliott and his agent earlier this week. Jones also said that Elliott’s days as a starter are not behind him.

“I know this, I saw as recent as the end of the year, I saw Zeke play,” Jones said. “And I will tell you he’s good enough to be a starter.”

The Cowboys appear to be in need of help in the backfield after letting running back Tony Pollard leave in free agency.

Dallas’ current running back room consists of Rico Dowdle, Royce Freeman, Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis and Snoop Conner.

Elliott, who turns 29 on July 22, stepped up last season after Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson was sidelined with a high-ankle sprain. Elliott finished with a team-best 642 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 51 catches for 313 yards and two scores in 17 games (five starts) last season.

Elliott led the NFL in rushing in 2016 and 2018 and posted four 1,000-yard seasons with Dallas. He ranks third in Cowboys history in rushing yards (8,262) and rushing touchdowns (68) behind Hall of Fame members Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Dallas Cowboys former head coach Jimmy Johnson celebrates with former players Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith after being inducted into the ring of honor at halftime of the game against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Emmitt Smith on Cowboys: ‘No one wants to fight hard anymore’

Emmitt Smith played a significant role in helping the Dallas Cowboys win their last three Super Bowl titles but that doesn’t mean the Hall of Fame running back won’t criticize his former team — and notably owner Jerry Jones.

Smith, in fact, didn’t hold back on Friday during his interview with Pro Football Talk Live.

Smith, 54, was asked if he was surprised Jones didn’t fire head coach Mike McCarthy after the Cowboys’ 48-32 loss to the visiting Green Bay Packers on Jan. 14 in the NFC wild-card round.

“I was completely surprised,” Emmitt said. “I know how disappointed I was as a player to see that product put on the football field. It is not becoming of the Dallas Cowboys’ mystique, respect, the brand. It is not the appropriate representation of the brand itself.

“Now, Jerry understands these kind of words. The brand, right? The star. Everything has to be pristine, but this was not that. That right there was so disappointing not only to me, but to many of our fans and including people that was like, ‘What is that?’ It wasn’t a good look.”

Smith kept his foot on the gas when asked what he felt was missing from the team.

“Nobody wants to fight no more,” Smith said. “No one wants to fight hard anymore. They wanna (say), ‘Oh, we are the Cowboys. Tell me how good I am. Check out my Instagram posts. See me on my podcast? I’m doing all this stuff. I’m everything.’ Without doing anything.

“And everybody’s patting them on the back without doing anything. People wanna give them so much without doing nothing. And what they’re living off of is what happened in the past, not what’s going down right now. They’re not establishing their own legacy, let alone building off of the legacy that was established.”

McCarthy, 60, owns a 167-102-2 coaching record with the Green Bay Packers (2006-2018) and Cowboys, including a 42-25 mark during his four seasons in Dallas. He helped the former win the Super Bowl during the 2010 season but has yet to do the same for the Cowboys.

–Field Level Media

Dallas Cowboys Mike McCarthy against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of their wild card playoff game Sunday, January 14, 2024 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Report: Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy will coach 2024 with no extension

The Dallas Cowboys’ wild-card round home loss to the Green Bay Packers didn’t cost Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy his job — but it didn’t land him a contract extension, either.

McCarthy, 60, is not likely to receive an extension prior to the 2024 season, according to ESPN.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took the same route with McCarthy’s predecessor, Jason Garrett, who twice worked into the final year of his contract without an extension in place.

The first time, Dallas went 12-4 in 2014 and Jones extended Garrett’s deal. The second time, Garrett could not deliver a playoff season, going 8-8, and was replaced in January 2020 by McCarthy.

The Cowboys, under McCarthy, have gone 12-5 in every season since but are only 1-3 in playoff games.

Following the loss to Green Bay, McCarthy expressed optimism.

“I came here to win a championship,” he said. “I didn’t come here to get another contract or anything other than that.”

McCarthy led the Packers to a Super Bowl title in 2011; Dallas has not made the Super Bowl since 1995.

Jones made McCarthy’s continuing tenure official a few days after the loss to the Packers, saying in part: “There is great benefit to continuing the team’s progress under Mike’s leadership as our head coach. … Mike’s career has demonstrated postseason success at a high level, and we have great confidence that can continue.”

– Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walks off the field after warmups prior to the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones ‘floored’ by loss, declines comment on McCarthy’s future

What once seemed like a potentially promising playoff run came to a screeching halt for the Cowboys on Sunday, as Dallas was blasted 48-32 by the visiting Green Bay Packers in an NFC wild-card game.

The Cowboys had won seven of their final nine games of the regular season to finish the campaign 12-5 before suffering Sunday’s setback, which Dallas owner Jerry Jones considered “one of the biggest surprises” he’d ever seen on a football field.

“This seems like the most painful (loss) because we all had such great expectations and we had hopes for this team and thought that we were aligned and in great shape,” Jones told reporters following the game.

Jones, 81, was “floored” by the Cowboys’ performance, but he didn’t dive into individual critiques or comment on the job status of coach Mike McCarthy.

“I don’t have any thoughts about the reasons why, or anything to do with the coaching, or the players,” Jones said.

Last week, McCarthy told the Fort Worth Star Telegram that Dallas had “a lot of football left.” Now, the once-second-seeded Cowboys are focused on the offseason after failing to rally from a 27-0 deficit against the No. 7 Packers.

Dallas has gone 42-25 in the regular season under McCarthy, who has been at the helm since 2020. The Cowboys are 1-3 in the postseason in that span.

Green Bay will face the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; (L to R) Former Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin, Jimmy Johnson and Emmitt Smith react during the Ring of Honor ceremony at the half time of the game against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Johnson finally enters Cowboys’ Ring of Honor

Just shy of 30 years after he coached the Dallas Cowboys to a second consecutive Super Bowl title in his finale with the club, Jimmy Johnson was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor on Saturday.

The ceremony came about after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones finally ended his longtime feud with Johnson.

“Jimmy Johnson’s going to be right here with Tom Landry, going to be here with some of the greatest names in the history (of the Cowboys), rightfully so,” Jones told the crowd at halftime of Dallas’ game against the Detroit Lions in Arlington, Texas. “Welcome to the Ring of Honor.”

Johnson said on the field, “People have asked what this means to me. I’m so very, very proud of what we accomplished. When I say we, it’s a lot of people. But more than anybody else, thank you Jerry Jones for bringing me to the Dallas Cowboys.”

Johnson concluded with: “And I just got one more thing to say. How ’bout them Cowboys!”

He was then hugged by the stars of his Dallas teams, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman.

In a pregame press conference, Johnson said, “I don’t think anybody can ever imagine what this means to me. (Coaching the Cowboys) was a special time in my life. …

“It’s something that I’m extremely proud of. We took over the worst football team in the NFL. … Three straight losing seasons and a 3-13 record and not only did we win Super Bowls, we were able to put together the team of ’90s. So obviously, I’m very proud of that and I’m proud to have my name up in the stadium.”

Jones added of Johnson, “Obviously, (he was) a great coach and a great manager of the team. So, all of that, I think, is reflected in a lot of ways with the NFL Hall Of Fame. But it is also is a different statement when we say Jimmy you now forevermore, rightfully so, are in the Cowboys Ring Of Honor.”

Johnson posted a 44-36 regular-season record as Dallas’ head coach from 1989-93. He led the team to a 9-4 mark in the postseason, winning championships after the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

–Field Level Media

October 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch out for season

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will miss the remainder of the season due to his neck injury, team owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday.

“We had just completely left it up to how he was evolving but of course it’s such a very significant loss for us,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

“He’s an integral part of that defense out there. We just wish him well and just the nature of his potential injury here causes me to really think longer term and beyond what it means for next week or beyond what it means for next month. It has everything to do with what’s best in his interest.”

Jones, however, stopped short of addressing whether the injury will end the career of Vander Esch, who missed time while in college at Boise State in 2016 due to his neck. He sat out the final month of the 2019 season with the Cowboys when he underwent neck surgery.

A neck stinger cost Vander Esch the final three-plus games of last season, too.

The Cowboys selected Vander Esch in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Vander Esch, 27, was injured during the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 8 in Santa Clara, Calif. The injury occurred when Vander Esch collided with teammate Micah Parsons.

In five games this season, Vander Esch totaled 30 tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown against the New England Patriots on Oct. 1.

In 71 career NFL games (65 starts), Vander Esch has 469 tackles (13 for loss), plus 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the ESPN Monday Night Football Countdown set at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Defamation suit against Cowboys owner Jerry Jones dismissed

A defamation lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was dismissed by a federal judge in Texas on Tuesday, nearly eight months after it was initially filed.

Alexandra Davis, who said she is Jones’ daughter, filed the lawsuit back in March against the Dallas owner and two of his associates — lawyer Don Jack and communications consultant Jim Wilkinson.

The suit claimed that Jones, Jack and Wilkinson “initiated a deliberate plan” to paint her as “an ‘extortionist’ and a ‘shakedown artist.’” But on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Schroeder III threw it out, stating in a 36-page order that some of the statements Davis found to be defamatory either weren’t or were in fact true.

Schroeder, presiding in the Eastern District of Texas at Texarkana, also considered Davis a “limited public figure,” meaning that in order for her to win the case, the alleged defamatory statements would have had to of been made with actual malice.

The statements in question were published in two ESPN articles about a lawsuit that Davis had filed in March 2022. In that initial suit, Davis sought recognition as Jones’ daughter, and she also claimed that Jones paid her $375,000 in addition to setting up a pair of trust funds to hide the familial relationship between the two.

In the defamation case that was just dismissed, Davis believed Jones and his associates were attacking her character publicly “based knowingly on false statements and accusations.”

“This case was never about money — it was about a young woman searching for her dad,” Davis’ attorney Andrew Bergman previously said in a written statement. “Their response was to try to destroy her.”

Despite Tuesday’s dismissal of the most recent lawsuit, Schroeder is giving Davis and her lawyers the chance to submit another complaint that proves Jones, Jack and Wilkinson acted with actual malice when making their comments that were published by ESPN.

Bergman has 21 days to submit a revised complaint after only part of the plaintiff’s lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.

“We are amending our pleading and we are pleased that the case is moving forward,” Bergman said.

Wilkinson told ESPN in 2022 that Bergman told one of Jones’ lawyers that for the case to be settled, it would cost Jones “Zeke or Dak money,” referring to then-Cowboys stars Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott, but Bergman denies any allegations of asking for money in the case.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the ESPN Monday Night Football Countdown set at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ready to buy if right trade arrives

Nothing about the Halloween trade deadline in the NFL seems spooky to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“I’m by nature active. I’m by nature a risk taker. Don’t come by unless you want to be struck at. We will trade,” Jones said Thursday. “Make no mistake about it. We will make a deal, but it’s certainly got a high bar because I like our team.”

The Cowboys (4-2) are back home this week to play the Rams before the first of two games against NFC East rival Philadelphia. The Eagles (6-1) lead the division and acquired two-time All-Pro safety Kevin Byard from the Titans this week.

Jones showed a willingness to deal to build the current roster. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, wide receiver Brandin Cooks and backup quarterback Trey Lance all were acquired via trade.

On multiple occasions since training camp began, Jones mentioned depth at the offensive line and secondary spots as possible need areas. But more recently he said almost every NFL team is light on quality backups on the offensive line.

Would the season-ending injury to cornerback Trevon Diggs pushed him to make a deal before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday?

“I don’t see anything heated up to a level that would cause something to happen,” Jones said. “If we don’t do anything at this trade deadline, we’ve got a team that can get us where we want to go.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the ESPN Monday Night Football Countdown set at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Jones: Cowboys will listen to trade offers

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones isn’t seeking to make any trades before next week’s deadline but he will listen to any offers that might be made, he said Tuesday.

Speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Jones said he won’t be the one to instigate trade talks that could help his 4-2 club.

“It will have to come our way,” Jones said. “The initiation of an opportunity to make a trade that would help us principally has to start over on the other end. That’s not showing a lack of aggressiveness, it’s just how it starts.”

The trade deadline is Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. ET. Jones said he is content to sit back and wait for the right offer.

“I have areas of the team that we could, if certain circumstances happen, that you might improve. Your best chance to get it done is when it comes by you and you grab it,” he said.

He seemingly is happy where is team is now, in what he considers to be in the top tier of the NFC, despite a 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.

“I’m not going to say that we belong on the field with San Fran, and we haven’t played Philly, but I’m anticipating Philadelphia being what they look like,” he said. “So, I don’t want to go that far, but we’re in the upper echelon.”

The Cowboys will get their first crack at their division rival Eagles on Nov. 5 in Philadelphia. They’ll meet in a rematch on Dec. 10 in Arlington, Texas.

–Field Level Media

Feb 8, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter at press conference at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reporter Jim Trotter sues NFL, claims he was retaliated against

Longtime NFL journalist Jim Trotter filed a lawsuit against the league Tuesday, alleging his departure from NFL Media was retaliatory and racially motivated.

Trotter, who is Black, claimed his employment at NFL Media ended earlier this year after he “challenged Commissioner Roger Goodell … regarding the NFL’s record of race discrimination and lack of diversity” at Goodell’s pre-Super Bowl press conference. NFL Media is owned and operated by the league.

NFL Network also is named as a defendant in the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The league has claimed Trotter’s contract was not renewed due to economic decisions.

“We share Jim Trotter’s passion for quality journalism created in and supported by a diverse and inclusive environment,” the league said in a statement. “We take his concerns seriously, but strongly dispute his specific allegations, particularly those made against his dedicated colleagues at NFL Media.”

While not named as a defendant, Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula is alleged in the lawsuit to have made racist comments about Black NFL players.

Trotter relayed a conversation with a fellow NFL Media reporter, who was not identified. That reporter was speaking with Pegula in 2020 about the Black Lives Matter movement and the NFL’s social justice programs, and Pegula said, “If the Black players don’t like it here, they should go back to Africa and see how bad it is.”

Pegula denied making the comment in a statement Tuesday.

“The statement attributed to me in Mr. Trotter’s complaint is absolutely false,” Pegula said. “I am horrified that anyone would connect me to an allegation of this kind. Racism has no place in our society and I am personally disgusted that my name is associated with this complaint.”

Trotter’s lawsuit said that he took a complaint to NFL Media executives, who told him that the league office was investigating it.

Trotter also alleged that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told him in 2020 that, “If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire.” Neither Jones nor the Cowboys have commented.

Trotter, who now works for The Athletic, is seeking unspecified damages as well as an investigation into “discriminatory and/or retaliatory animus of all persons in position of power within the NFL,” per the lawsuit.

“The NFL has claimed it wants to be held accountable regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. I tried to do so and it cost me my job,” Trotter wrote on social media Tuesday. “I’m filing this lawsuit because I can’t complain about things that are wrong if I’m unwilling to fight for what is right.”

–Field Level Media