Jerry Jones on tanking: You can play young players, but the effort has to be there

Michael David Smith
·2 min read

The Cowboys’ fortunes have fallen so far since Dak Prescott‘s injury that there’s now talk that the Cowboys might be better off giving up on this season and prioritizing a higher pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Jerry Jones doesn’t quite see it that way.

Jones said he could see prioritizing younger players with an eye toward the future, but those young players have to be playing to win, not to improve next year’s draft pick.

“Tanking has nothing to do with the performance of a player, the performance of a coach, the performance of getting better, the performance of the things you do to try to win the ballgame in my mind,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “Could you make a decision to play a younger player more or a player that you’re going to be pretty firm that you’re going to be going forward with in contract wise than a different situation? And the answer is I can see that. Yeah. I can see that you make sure that you get these guys those reps. The only way to have and get better in the NFL is for reps, and game reps are precious, hard to come by.”

Jones said part of wisely building a franchise is always going to be making sure your young players are getting experience.

“I think it makes you see more young players — maybe should be doing it anyway, candidly in regard to that definition of tanking. You maybe should be playing in football, you maybe should be playing those players out there anyway,” Jones said.

With two wins already, the Cowboys are unlikely to end up with the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, even if they actively try for it. But they may find themselves in a position over the second half of the season where they’re prioritizing younger players and thinking more about the future than the present.

Jerry Jones on tanking: You can play young players, but the effort has to be there originally appeared on Pro Football Talk