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DALLAS, Texas (105.3 THE FAN) – Imagine you are Jerry Jones. You are leaning against a bar rail, flanked by trusted lieutenants Stephen Jones and Will McClay. Stephen is in one of your ears, applauding you on your endorsement of a financially responsible plan at the running-back position. Will is in the other ear, congratulating you on your recognition that this is the deepest running-back draft in forever.

And you, as the star-lovin’ owner of the Dallas Cowboys, finally gently put your glass of Johnny Walker Blue atop the bar and exclaim: “But tell me why I SHOULDN’T call the Vikings about Adrian Peterson?!’’

That’s what this is at this point, a fun barroom-brawl of a discussion among Cowboys Nation: The greatest running back of his generation has more than hinted that he’d like to escape Minnesota (where he feels they “kicked him while he was down’’) to instead plan in his home state.

Cowboys sources have explained to 105.3 The Fan why this is almost certainly not going to happen in the form of a trade. No, it’s not the legal and moral stuff; it’s a matter of football and finance.

That part of our “three-guys-in-a-bar’’ story is real.

Peterson, who 30 just this weekend, would seem to be on the downside of a brilliant career … but is also recognized as an athletic freak of nature. His current deal calls for base compensation amounts of $13 mil, $15 mil and $17 mil over the next three seasons. Minnesota doesn’t want to pay that. The interested Cardinals don’t, either.

And Dallas wants no part of a $45-million running back. But …Why shouldn’t Dallas at least call?

As of 24 hours ago, that exploratory call had not been made. Stephen really does want to march forward with a well-managed cap. Will really does want to march forward with a runner-rich draft. And the Vikings are insisting that they want to keep him, want him to finish his career in Minnesota and to represent them, someday, in the Hall of Fame.

Maybe it would be wise. Maybe it would be unwise. But it certainly would be Jerry’s M.O. to throw the cautions of his aides to the wind, to see AD as the second coming of Deion Sanders from two decades ago … which led to a Super Bowl … an insane amount of turmoil … and a financial marketing bonanza for the Cowboys.

This barroom game can include questions about the possibility that AD will come cheaper than anyone knows, that the Vikings might just give him away in trade, or that they might cut him altogether. And when you think of it that way? If you are Jerry Jones, leaning against that bar rail, no matter who is in your ear, how can you resist at least putting a phone up to one of those same ears and not making the “just-in-case’’ phone call?

There are reasons to not pay running backs. They include Stephen’s cap and they include Will’s draft.

But is there a reason for the owner of the Dallas Cowboys to not make the call?

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