IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones turned down a trade offer for one of his young players before Tuesday's trade deadline.
Jones, who didn't name any team or player involved, spoke directly to a club regarding a potential transaction.
"We had a significant offer for a key player that we turned down, and turned down in getting in more extended dialogue for," Jones said before Wednesday's practice. "So we did have that kind of activity . . . but I shouldn't name the player or the team. It was a very firm, significant offer for one of our young players that we had a chance for a lot of consideration if we had wanted to take it, and we didn't."
A league source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the deal in question was the Bengals attempting to acquire tight end Martellus Bennett, who was a second-round pick of the Cowboys in 2008. The source offered no other details of the proposed trade, which was ultimately turned down by Dallas.
Bennett responded to the report Thursday via Twitter. "Ha the bengals tried to trade for me?ochocinco Marty b woulda been a ruckus. I love being a cowboy tho this is home I love this team."
Multiple sources said several young Cowboys players -- including Orlando Scandrick, Miles Austin, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice, Mike Jenkins and Bennett -- are deemed too valuable to let go for any possible blockbuster deal. None of those players is older than 25 or has more than two years full-time playing experience.
Jones said the team was offered at least one premium draft pick for a player.
"We could have probably made a 'now' impact and just bolstered a position, and significantly, and obviously we would have had a takeaway since it's a young player for the future," Jones said. "By the same token, and I'm talking about the type of consideration, first- or second-round type consideration, but the bottom line is this: Had I not thought that we needed that player right now as opposed to pushing forward in consideration for picks in the future, then I would have taken the pick option on it rather than the player."
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.