ROOKIE MINI-CAMP UPDATE: Jerry Jones undergoes eye surgery | Doug Free contract discussion | More

Jerry Jones undergoes eye surgery - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

IRVING – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday he’s recovering nicely from recent surgery to repair his left retina.

Jones, 70, had the surgery Wednesday.

“It’s fine, it went very well,” Jones said while wearing dark glasses as he spoke with reporters at the team’s rookie camp (click HERE or on the photo above to watch video).

“I just had a little surgery and I got that done Wednesday so it’s going to work good. It’s more retina work. Actually don’t know when it was injured, but probably could have been as much as 10 to 15 years ago. It had me where I wasn’t hitting the curveball like I know I can.”

It’s the second time in three years Jones has said publicly he’s undergone surgery. In 2010, he underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness he said wasn’t life threatening.

Jerry Jones: I’d like to keep Doug Free (Duration – 11:45)

Jerry Jones talks about the teams situation with Doug Free, and also Tony Romo’s expanded role in the Dallas Cowboys offense.

RELATED TO ABOVE VIDEO: Jerry Jones would like to keep Doug Free

The Dallas Cowboys want right tackle Doug Free back, but it will have to be at the right price.

“I’d like to keep him,” Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday. “We think that Doug Free can be an important part of the team. He’s been here. We know him. We think that with what we’re doing in other parts of our offense, certainly in the offensive line, that this will bode well for him. So we think he can really be an asset to us.”

Free would not talk about the Cowboys’ request for a renegotiation at a team charity event Wednesday. But Jones confirmed the Cowboys have asked Free to take a pay cut from the $7 million salary he is scheduled to make. (Free currently is slated to count $10 million against the salary cap.)

“It’s no secret that we’re trying to renegotiate the contract,” Jones said. “But I think it’s a wrong assessment to say that anybody’s saying ‘take it or leave it’ or we’re at our wit’s end or those kinds of things. That’s just not the way I see it going.”

Though Jones said the sides still are talking, the ball is in Free’s court to decide his future.

Free had a team-leading 13 penalties, including five holds, and allowed seven sacks. He played better late in the season when he played in a rotation with Jermey Parnell.

Although the Cowboys likely would go after a veteran tackle — Eric Winston is the biggest name still on the free-agency market — if they move on from Free, Jones said Parnell is ready to take the next step.

“When you say the next step, if that implies is he getting better, yes,” Jones said. “I think he is getting better. I think his arrow so to speak is going up. I feel good about where he is and the ideal place for the Cowboys is on the right basis is have them both.”

RELATED TO ABOVE VIDEO: Jerry Jones clear about Travis Frederick

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not hiding his wishes for first-round pick Travis Frederick.

He wants him to start. He expects him to start.

“We want him to come in here and contribute immediately,” Jones said Friday as the Dallas Cowboys started a three-day rookie minicamp. “Jason says it right when he says there is competition, but certainly, there ought to be a spot for him on that offensive line. We think he has the combination of skill and mental to play immediately.”

It makes sense Jones wants Frederick to play immediately. The Cowboys were criticized for not getting enough in return in a swap of first-round picks with that eventually resulted in the selection of Frederick with the 31st pick.

And, Jones does not often burn first-round picks on linemen. But this is the second time in three years the Cowboys have done it – they selected tackle Tyron Smith in 2011, and he started from the first game.

“One of his No.1 traits and assets was his ability to mentally cover a lot of ground,” Jones said of Frederick. “We should get him ready to give us some position flex between guard and center.”

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