Stephen Jones shares why Cowboys didn’t pursue Derrick Henry

When explaining why the Dallas Cowboys didn’t pursue four-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry in free agency, team executive vice president Stephen Jones blamed their shallow pockets.

“Our situation is just, you know, and no one ever wants to say it, but it’s salary cap,” Jones told Adam Schein of SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio on Monday. “And we just didn’t have the money to allocate to that position in terms of where we were from a cap standpoint, knowing what we’re looking at with quarterback Dak [Prescott] and certainly linebacker Micah [Parsons] and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.”

Earlier this offseason, Dallas exercised Parsons’ fifth-year option, but it has yet to extend Lamb and Prescott, who are entering the final year of their contracts.

Spotrac estimates the Cowboys have $4.49M in cap room, 30th in the NFL. However, giving Prescott or Lamb a new contract would clear more room, which they could’ve used to court Henry. (He has since signed a two-year $16M deal with the Baltimore Ravens.) Per Over the Cap, a Prescott extension would save $23.22M, while a Lamb extension would save $13.49M.

Henry recently told Schein he would’ve considered joining the Cowboys if they showed more interest. Dallas may regret delaying new deals for its star players since it missed out on someone who could’ve increased its Super Bowl chances.

To make matters worse for the Cowboys, their backfield is in a state of flux.

Former Pro Bowl RB Tony Pollard — who rushed for 1,005 yards in 17 games last season — signed a three-year, $21.75M deal with the Tennessee Titans in free agency. As a result, Dallas must rely on RBs Rico Dowdle and Ezekiel Elliott in 2024.

Adding Henry certainly could’ve helped Dallas improve its ground attack, which finished 14th in the league in rushing yards (112.9) last season.

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