What does ‘all in’ mean to Jerry Jones? Why is he not fed up with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott?

Before owner Jerry Jones began his annual state of the Dallas Cowboys press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine in on Friday, he addressed the recent ruling by a Dallas County judge requiring him to take a paternity test in a case allegedly involving him as the biological father of Alexandra Davis, a 27-year-old woman who initially sued him in 2022.

“Those are legal matters and I can’t talk about them right now,” Jones said. “That’ll work through and I expect much perceived, better, news in the future.”

Jones put on the fresh face of similar optimism as he talked about the future of the Cowboys despite the franchise finishing the season with the most painful playoff loss of his career, an upsetting playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Jones said he’s more resolved than ever to put a winner on the field and end the 28-year drought since the team’s last Super Bowl title. He reiterated his “all-in” mantra for 2024 in what is a make-or-break season for coach Mike McCarthy heading into the final year of his contract.

How it manifests itself in terms the Cowboys approach to the upcoming NFL Draft, free agency and the probable signing of quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term contract extension is up for interpretation.

Jones emphasized the positives during the media session. He began with mentioning Prescott’s career-best season when the quarterback led the NFL in touchdown passes one year after leading league in interceptions with McCarthy calling plays for the first time.

“Dak had one of the best years,” Jones said. “We all think that had a lot to do with the fact that Mike McCarthy was right there involved in Dak’s play more directly involved in the offense. We think that that really showed real results in a positive way last year and think that there’s a lot more to come. We think there’s a big positive as to what we can do to even improve how Dak played last year. And so all of that gives me a lot of promise for what we’re doing, the direction that we’re going, and so that’s a big positive.”

Jones said the Cowboys are going to address Prescott’s contract. He has a $59.4 million cap hit for 2024. He refused to whether it was going to be with an extension or an adjustment to clear cap room.

“The main thing is he’s going to be our quarterback,” Jones said. “I’ve got my mind all-in as far as we’re going to do everything that we can do to have this year be as successful as it can be and one of the reasons I feel good about it is because of Dak is for sure our quarterback.”

The phrase “all in” continued to pop up.

So what does “all in” mean?

Although they have won just five playoff games since their last Super Bowl title following the 1995 season, the Cowboys have long said they were trying to do everything to win.

“I will assure that there will be some things done differently because we’re going to be working on different players and drafting different people and so just the very nature of it is different. Different people. You got different coaches. But I think the attention that our, the nuances of where we are with the cap, the nuances of where we are with our position in the draft, the nuances of where we are with our free agents that we get that involved in the definition of ‘We’re all in.’

“We’re going to be doing every solution or working toward the solution being to win this year. Every solution. And that’s what I mean all in.”

Jones said his definition of “all in” could be how the Cowboys address the upcoming draft with their 24th pick in terms of aggressively trading up or trading down and how their approach free agency with their own players or players from the outside.

But that doesn’t mean the Cowboys will be big spenders in free agency.

It does mean that Cowboys won’t draft Prescott’s replacement in the first round.

“I’ve drafted quarterbacks for the future,” Jones said. “I would be reluctant to do that this year. That’s an example. That’s called ‘all in’ this year.”

“All in” remains a Jones mindset.

“Your definition of what is all in and mine might not be the same thing but I’m trying to win the games this year with my decisions,” Jones said. “So I’m all in to this year. When we do get a chance to make a decision that’s not dumb and it’s for performance opening day. You’ll see that it way.”

Jones refused to include the Cowboys decision to have the majority of the coaching staff, including new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, also one-year deals set to expire in following the 2024 season along with McCarthy’s as part of the all-in philosophy.

He said that was just business and he said he doesn’t believe it will impact how they coach this season.

“Is that all in because we got you on a short leash and you got to work harder? You got to win more games or something like that” No I’m not doing that,” Jones said. ”That’s not what I’m doing. That’s the financial part of it. And that was the prudent thing to do as we were going through through some of the staff changes we’re making because of [defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn’s departure. And because of where we were with Mike [McCarthy].”

Jones understands the perception that the one-year coaching contracts could have. if the Cowboys don’t advance further in the playoffs.

He remains frustrated by the disappointing loss to the Packers.

“What I would say is that I’m resolved,” Jones said. “We had a very disappointing finish. We had a very really, in my mind, top year before we lost the last football game. We had some great coaching and we had some great playing. We stunk it up in the last football game. You don’t throw all of the stuff out because of what we did in the last football game. I’m really selectively picking the good things we’ve done and being energized about those. And I’m taking the things we didn’t do good and fed up with that. Maybe the swings are more between what you’re frustrated with and what you’re happy with.”

Jones made it clear that Prescott is a positive, not a negative, as far the Cowboys approach the 2024 season.

“I’m very pleased with how Dak progressed. I am not to the stage of saying ‘Well, I’ve had it’,” Jones said. “I’m not fed up in any way with Dak. What I’m encouraged by is that all by all accounts and everybody around him and including him believe that he’s going to be better and is getting better. And that’s that’s really a positive thing when you consider he’s a eight-year veteran. “

Jones said re-energized and more resolved.

He is also “all in.”