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Sunday, May 11, 2014
Stephen Jones says Cowboys are better

By Calvin Watkins

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said after the NFL draft that his team is better.

The Cowboys made upgrades to the offensive line, getting Zack Martin in the first round, the defensive line, selecting Demarcus Lawrence in second round, and adding depth to the linebacker corps with fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens and seventh-rounder Will Smith.

"No question, we are younger. We are better," Jones said. "We will have over 30 players between our draft picks and our free agents. That's one-third of our team drafted or signed over the last three days. We will end up cutting a lot of players when we are through signing everybody."

The younger part is the key. The Cowboys allowed two defensive linemen, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, to leave in free agency because of financial reasons and age. Both are age 31 and while the Cowboys re-signed Anthony Spencer, who is 30, there are no guarantees he'll recover from microfracture surgery in time to start the 2014 season.

The Cowboys replaced Hatcher with 27-year-old Henry Melton and then added Lawrence, 22, to replace Ware as the left defensive end.

Along the offensive line, the Cowboys' addition of Martin brings youth to the unit. On Saturday, while talking with reporters, Martin joked he was older, 24, than two current linemen in Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith, both 23.

"We feel like, hey, we need to get younger," Jones said. "We need to give some young guys a chance to show [what they can do]. We got better."