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Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones 'understands' the fans' frustrations with lack of moves

Jerry Jones promised after the Dallas Cowboys' blowout loss at home in the divisional round that the Cowboys would go "all-in" on ending their 28-year Super Bowl drought.

To kick off the new league year, Dallas reached a one-year agreement with linebacker Eric Kendricks on Wednesday.

It made the Cowboys the last team to sign an external player this free agency, and contradicted the vow made by Dallas' owner.

So when executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked about the team's reaction to the fans' frustrations, Jones said he knows where it comes from.

"Everybody certainly has that right," Jones said during the PBR World Finals press conference. "I know where the frustration is; it's the fact that we have not had a lot of success in the playoffs to their satisfaction. Until we do that, the criticism is certainly something that's going to be there."

FILE -Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president, looks on as head coach Mike McCarthy takes questions from the media at the start of NFL football training camp, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Oxnard, Calif. Offseason trades filled two needs for the Dallas Cowboys, who avoided new holes on defense by re-signing three starters. While the goal is always to enter the NFL draft without the burden of an overwhelming need, the Cowboys believe they're as well-positioned as at any point in a decade's worth of strong drafts. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File)
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he understands the criticism from fans surrounding the team. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In recent years, the Cowboys have taken their time during free agency and used a more prudent approach. It's been more than a decade since Dallas made a major free-agent splash — when the team signed Brandon Carr to a $50 million deal in 2012.

But heading into this offseason, even with the Cowboys' salary-cap restraints making it unreasonable to expect major moves from Dallas, owner Jerry Jones painted a different picture of the team's approach.

And ultimately, that's what riled up the fan base the most. Tack on its dissatisfaction with the Cowboys' inability to escape the divisional round, the 48-32 rout at the hands of the Green Bay Packers and watching their rivals move with more urgency, it reached a climax only days into the new league year.

Running back became an even more immediate need after the Cowboys lost their lead back for the second consecutive offseason. They allowed Ezekiel Elliott to walk in 2023 and this free agency, Tony Pollard left.

Dallas reportedly didn't get into conversations with the top running backs on the market in Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones or Derrick Henry. Henry, who lives in Dallas during the offseason, actually said during a radio hit Thursday that the Cowboys showed no interest in him.

Stephen Jones tried explaining that there's plenty of time for Dallas to get into the offseason games, and the Cowboys won't make missteps trying to keep up with other teams.

"We are going to stick with what we believe will ultimately get us a championship for our fans," Jones said. "We don't define all-in by what you spend in free agency. ...

"There's a lot to be played out between now and our first game next year. I don't think you win a Super Bowl championship on the first, second or third day of the league year."