Jerry Jones talks about 11 draft picks

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Late Monday afternoon, the Cowboys were awarded three compensatory draft picks, increasing their total to 11.

Jerry Jones, the team owner/general manager, who makes the final call on all selections, loves having picks and trading them.

Will he use them all?

“I've always wanted the draft picks,” Jones said. “I will never forget when we traded Herschel Walker (in 1989). I didn’t have one. I bet I had six NFL owners either call me or write me a note saying, ‘Do you realize how much you have increased your investment in this team? You are now paying two teams' drafts.’ At that time, that was very significant cause you didn’t have free agency. The big money was the draft.”

The Cowboys have signed three defensive players in free agency and agreed to a deal for a fullback but it wasn’t finalized.

Jones said the team could also draft a defensive player in the first round. But the free-agency signings, Jones said allows the team to pick the best player available regardless of position.

Jones likes to make trades; his most famous one is trading Walker to Minnesota in a blockbuster deal involving five players and eight draft picks.

“So we literally for three years doubled our investment in players at that time,” Jones said in talking about the Walker trade. “And, by the way, my pockets were pretty empty because I had just bought the club [for a then-NFL record $140 million]. It was a strain. It was always something I looked at. I looked at it then and look at now was an opportunity to win and be better.”