Jerry Jones Responds to Cowboys Trade Speculation for RB Jonathan Taylor

The Dallas Cowboys are being mentioned by some outlets as a potential destination for disgruntled Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. However, it doesn’t look like they’ll be making a move for the ex-Pro Bowl running back.

Team owner Jerry Jones addressed the potential idea of a trade for Taylor, who was permission to seek one earlier in the week. However, Jones stressed that while he’s always looking at every opportunity, he’s “comfortable” with the Cowboys’ running back situation.

Via Clarence Hill Jr. of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Jonathan Taylor trade: I look at every opportunity,” writes Hill. “But the way our young backs are playing, I am very comfortable where we are with our backs right now. I feel good about our running back position if we didn’t add anybody.”

According to ESPN’s Stephen Holder, the Colts are seeking either a first-round pick or a package of picks in a potential trade for Taylor.

Why the Cowboys Aren’t Interested in Tony Pollard

The Cowboys currently have Tony Pollard pegged as the starting running back with Rick Dowdle, rookie Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis as the backups (in order). Veteran Ronald Jones is also on the roster, but he’ll be suspended for the first two games to start out the regular season due to violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy.

While there are concerns over Pollard’s ability to carry the full-time starting running back role, the Cowboys have plenty of bodies to alleviate the pressure off of the Pro Bowl playmaker. That’ll be pivotal considering Pollard has never led Dallas in carries and due to the fact that he’s coming off of a broken leg suffered during the playoffs last season.

Why the Cowboys Should Be Interested in Jonathan Taylor

However, adding a player of Taylor’s caliber could lift the Cowboys from playoff contender into a Super Bowl favorite. The 24-year-old is not only arguably the NFL’s best pure runner — he averaged 5.5 yards per carry during the 2021 season and has averaged 5.1 yards per carry during his career — he’s an absolute bargain from a salary standpoint because he’s a former second-round draft pick. Taylor is due just $4.3 million in base salary as the 13th-highest paid running back in the NFL.

The Cowboys are one of the few teams in the NFL that have a plethora of cap space just prior to the start of the regular season. According to Spotrac, Dallas has the third-most salary cap space at $21.5 million.

As suggested by CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr, the Cowboys are a potential destination for Taylor due to their amount of salary cap space and Jones’ affinity for making big moves.

“Dallas has the second most salary cap space in the league with $21.5 million,” writes Kerr. “After parting ways with Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys are left with a void at the position. Tony Pollard has been an efficient weapon for the NFC contender but Taylor would give them a dynamic weapon that owner Jerry Jones so often covets.”

Taylor is also entering the final year of his rookie contract. In other words, if the Cowboys don’t want to pay Taylor big money due to their upcoming contract extensions with CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons and Dak Prescott, they could always just use him as a one-year rental. Spotrac projects Taylor’s market value to be $13 million per season across four years at a total of $52.3 million.

The Cowboys probably won’t make an attempt at trading for Taylor. However, his cheap contract combined with his pure running ability could make him a true difference maker for a contender looking to get over the hump.

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