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Cowboys will let Byron Jones hit free agency

The Cowboys and Dak Prescott spoke about a new deal for the first time since September as Dallas tries to avoid using the franchise tag on its quarterback this offseason.

The Cowboys met with Byron Jones’ agent Friday, and it ended as expected.

Dallas discovered what it already knew.

The Cowboys won’t be able to afford the cornerback and are expected to let him hit free agency without an offer, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

Owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones both conceded earlier in the week that it would be a challenge to keep Byron Jones.

The Cowboys have three of the top 13 free agents in PFT’s top-100 free agents, with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper the biggest priorities. They have 22 other free agents scheduled to hit the market next month.

The Cowboys drafted Byron Jones in the first round of 2015, and he spent most of his first three seasons at safety before switching to cornerback full time.

He has two interceptions in 79 career NFL games and none in the past 40 starts, but Jones still is going to get somewhere in the $15 million per year range.