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Jerry Jones: Cowboys not interested in signing a veteran tight end “at this time”

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Dak Prescott #4 throws to Geoff Swaim #87 of the Dallas Cowboys during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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The Saints cut Coby Fleener, while Marcedes Lewis and Antonio Gates are among the tight ends still available as free agents. The Cowboys aren’t interested despite losing Jason Witten.

Owner Jerry Jones insists the Cowboys are prepared to go with the young tight ends on their roster.

“I like the group that we have and don’t see at this time [adding a veteran], but I reserve the right to change my mind,” Jones said. “At this time, I don’t see adding an additional veteran player to our group. I like the opportunity, the freshness of the group. I like the opportunity of the competition. We’re familiar. We’ve got new guys as far as our group is concerned in there. The makeup of that creates an atmosphere that I think could enhance how we play tight end.”

Geoff Swaim has made nine catches for 94 yards and no touchdowns in 28 career games. Blake Jarwin didn’t catch a pass in his only career game, and Rico Gathers has never played a down in two years spent converting from basketball. The Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in the fourth round, and they signed San Diego State’s David Wells as an undrafted rookie free agent.

“We’re excited about the group,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “You know, we feel good about those young guys. Obviously, Wit has been such a big part of what we’ve done here for a long time. As we all know, he played so much. He played every game [except one in his career]. He played virtually every play in all different situations. A guy like Geoff Swaim has gotten some opportunities to play. Blake Jarwin, who we’re excited about, really hasn’t had a chance to play in games yet. Rico was still learning the game. So each of those guys, they’re new and there’s a lot of learning for them over the course of this spring and through training camp to get them ready. Excited about the tight end we drafted. Looking forward to getting him in here and seeing what he has to offer our team. But this gives a lot of young guys an opportunity. In a lot of ways, that can help them grow that much more quickly. They’re not standing there watching, learning that way. They’re in there. They’re in the fire, and I think that’ll help them develop.”