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DeAndre Hopkins 'unlikely' to be pursued by Cowboys in free agency, prioritize receiving corps upgrade

In a recent statement, both Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones, the prominent figures behind the Dallas Cowboys, reached an agreement: the team is not actively seeking free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, although there is a slight possibility.

During a press conference on Monday, Jerry expressed that it is "unlikely" for the Cowboys to pursue Hopkins, a five-time All-Pro player who was released by the Arizona Cardinals last month. Stephen, the team's chief operating officer, echoed his father's sentiment and assured reporters that the Cowboys are content with their current group of receivers following their acquisition of Brandin Cooks.

Stephen clarified, "He's not on this team right now. We went down the road with Cooks.We're very comfortable with Cooks. We're pleased with our receiving group."

Ever since Hopkins became available after his release by the Cardinals on May 26, there has been speculation linking him to several teams, including the Cowboys. Last season, the Cowboys faced difficulties in finding a secondary downfield threat alongside CeeDee Lamb after trading Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns. Furthermore, the Cowboys are known for their willingness to make significant moves during free agency.

Lamb emerged as one of the most productive receivers in football in 2022, accumulating an impressive 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns. Noah Brown ranked as the team's second-most productive player in that position, with 555 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The addition of Cooks, who has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in six out of his nine NFL seasons, is expected to provide an immediate upgrade. Nonetheless, the potential of adding Hopkins remains enticing.

Hopkins, at his best, is considered one of the most formidable weapons in football. He showcased his prowess in 2020, recording 1,407 yards and six touchdowns while playing for the Cardinals. However, he has been limited to just 19 games over the past two seasons, averaging 644.5 yards and 5.5 touchdowns per campaign.

There are skeptics who doubt Hopkins' ability to return to his peak form, especially considering he will turn 31 on Tuesday. According to one anonymous executive who communicated with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, Hopkins may not have much left to offer. The executive wrote via text, "Not much. He can't run anymore."

On the other hand, another executive acknowledged that Hopkins is still a good player and remains a physical target capable of making plays in the air.

Regardless of where Hopkins ultimately signs, it is expected that he will do so for a considerably lower salary than the $27.25 million he was set to earn annually in the final two years of his contract before his release from Arizona.

Ezekel Elliot's potential return to the Dallas Cowboys?

While it appears unlikely that the Cowboys will pursue Hopkins, they have not ruled out the possibility of adding another aging, high-profile free agent. Jerry mentioned Ezekiel Elliott's name when discussing potential roster additions during the press conference.

"I never shut the door, never relative to the potential to smartly add to our team for this year," Jerry stated. He further emphasized that no talks have taken place with Elliott since his release in March, making the running back's return seem unlikely. However, it remains a better possibility than seeing Hopkins don the silver and blue colors this upcoming season.

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