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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones 'all in' on 2024 season: 'Let's don't discount hanging around the rim'

Disappointment shrouded Dallas after an early exit in the 2023 NFL playoffs following its third consecutive 12-win season.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy owns a 1-3 playoff record in that span, a glaring mark that had his proverbial hot seat up to a near boil in Big D. Jerry Jones ultimately decided to retain McCarthy for his fifth season, and the Cowboys owner expressed his comfortability with the current state of his team on Tuesday by using a basketball analogy.

"What I would say is, I hope it's not different going into the first playoff game where we've got the second seed. I hope it's not different at all, to that point, where we got the second seed," Jones told reporters at the Reese's Senior Bowl, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. "Now, let's talk about how we might make it different when we play in that game and get a win, OK? We need to stop the run better, we need to be more physical, and we need to run better, to be specific. We need to do those kinds of things.

"And so, my point is, I look at that and I thought we made a pretty good move four years ago when we hired Mike McCarthy, and he's had some great in-season success. Now he's come up short three times and advanced us in the playoff. But I like that fact that's he's hanging around the rim, and I like what the team has done to hang around the rim. So, I think, what the answer that I would have is, that I'm aware that we're hanging around the rim. We're not getting the ball in but when you hang around the rim – let's don't discount hanging around the rim – where we are right now with the players we've got, and I'm thinking about it from the whole look.

The Cowboys have certainly been a perennial contender the past three seasons under McCarthy, who owns a 42-25 regular-season record in four seasons at the helm. But Dallas has little to show for it, and for a franchise that hasn't gotten past the Divisional Round since 1995, the pressure is higher than most places.

McCarthy's Cowboys seemed poised to end the trend in 2023 with the league's top-scoring offense (29.9 PPG) and a top-five defense (18.5 PPG) that together secured the No. 2 seed in the NFC. Dallas also owned an undefeated home record (8-0) entering the playoffs, but that standard only made their blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Super Wild Card Round all that more disheartening.

Maintaining the squad might require some work this offseason. The final year of Dak Prescott's contract will carry a $59.455 million salary-cap hit in 2024, which may make it more difficult to retain key free agents like running back Tony Pollard, tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Coming off a career year, wideout CeeDee Lamb will also be looking at an extension this offseason.

Jones wouldn't commit to getting Prescott a contract extension that would alleviate such a cap hit, adding that the team is positioned well enough to put all their chips in the 2024 basket.

"I would anticipate -- with looking ahead at our key contracts that we'd like to address -- we will be all in," Jones said, via team reporter Nick Harris. "I would anticipate we will be all in at the end of this year.

"... It will be going all in on different people than you've done in the past. We will be going all in. We've seen some things out of some of the players that we want to be all in on. Yes, I would say that you will see us this coming year not build it for the future. It's the best way I've ever said. And that ought to answer a lot of questions."

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