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Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones agree. The Dallas Cowboys are not in the market for free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins — probably.
Jerry told reporters Monday that the Cowboys are “unlikely” to pursue the five-time All-Pro, who was released last month by the Arizona Cardinals. His son and chief operating officer Stephen told reporters that the team is happy with the state of its receiving corps after trading for Brandin Cooks.
“He’s not on this team right now,” Stephen said of Hopkins. “We went down the road with Cooks. We’re very comfortable with Cooks. We’re pleased with our receiving group.”
Speculation has linked Hopkins to the Cowboys — among other teams — since his release by the Cardinals on May 26. The Cowboys struggled last season to find a secondary downfield threat behind CeeDee Lamb after trading Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns. And they’re rarely shy about making a big free-agency splash.
Lamb was one of football’s most productive receivers in 2022, with 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns. Noah Brown was the team’s second-most productive player at the position, with 555 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Cooks has exceeded 1,000 receiving yards in six of his nine NFL seasons and should provide an immediate upgrade. But that doesn’t mean the prospect of adding Hopkins isn’t an enticing one.
At his best, Hopkins is one of football’s most dangerous weapons. He last flashed that form in 2020, when he posted 1,407 yards and six touchdowns with the Cardinals. He has been limited to 19 games in the two seasons since while averaging 644.5 yards and 5.5 touchdowns per campaign.
Not everyone’s convinced that Hopkins can return to form. He turns 31 on Tuesday. One anonymous executive told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer that he doesn’t believe Hopkins has much left in the tank.
“Not much,” the executive wrote via text. “He can’t run anymore.”
Another executive told Breer that Hopkins is “still a good player” and a “physical target that can play a ball in the air.”
Wherever Hopkins signs, he’ll do so for considerably less than the $27.25 million he was slated to make annually over the last two years of his contract before his release in Arizona.
Zeke back in Dallas?
While it sounds like the Cowboys are out on the Hopkins sweepstakes, they’re not shutting the door on another aging, high-profile free agent. Jerry floated Ezekiel Elliott’s name while discussing potential roster additions Monday.
“I never shut the door, never relative to the potential to smartly add to our team for this year,” Jones said. “… So you name it, whether it be Zeke, whether it be where we are with, like, the guys we worked out here today. … So it’s all wide open for me.”
Jerry added that the Cowboys haven’t held any talks with Elliott since releasing the seven-year veteran running back in March. As such, Elliott’s return sounds like a long shot — just a better one than Hopkins wearing silver and blue this fall.