Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips had a quick press conference covering the first round draft selections. I paraphrased as best as I could. This is not by any means a word for word transcript.
The fact that Marion Barber is on the team played heavily into the decision to draft Felix Jones. Jerry said that with Felix Jones and Marion Barber the Cowboys would have more versatility than Barber and Rashard Mendenhall. The team doesn’t see Felix as a 20-25 carry back, and with Barber on the team it gave them opportunity to take Felix Jones, who has been exceptional in a two back system. Jones is also a great special teams playmaker which heavily into their decisions.
Jerry admitted that Felix Jones does not have the size of Mendenhall, but they were planning all along on drafting a player for a two back system and Mendenhall is more of a three down back. They loved the big play ability that Jones brought to the table. They wanted to bring someone in that could truly be a change of pace back to Barber and allow Barber to come into the game and allow him to flourish when he is fresh.
When asked about if the Cowboys tried to make a trade for a vet WR, Jerry said that he is not allowed to speak about any players nor is he able to talk about any trade talks with teams either. The Cowboys were more interested in taking calls for trades than placing them.
The Cowboys figured that Barber/Mendenhall vs Barber/Jones would have pretty much the same overall numbers, but the Cowboys wanted someone with true big play ability. The Cowboys are committed to signing Barber long term, and that Jones and Barber will really compliment each other well, not only on the field but also off of it in work ethic and desire to win.
Jerry said that the Cowboys drafting a cornerback was going to happen no matter what happened with the Pacman trade. Wade repeats the saying that a team can never have too many corners and how a 4th corner plays a lot in the league today and mentioned Nate Jones as an example from last year. Said that the Cowboys did not focus so much on the players’ special teams abilities but looked at each package as a whole and how the Cowboys’ big play potential has risen significantly with the addition of Jenkins and Jones. Jerry makes the note that the Cowboys now have a corner that can not only knock a pass down but has the ability to intercept it and return it which was a major factor when the Cowboys looked at corners. The Cowboys are convinced that Jenkins has the best ball skills of any other corner in the draft.
On the subject of Pacman’s character: Jerry said that his upside and risk/reward was worth the trade and cites how he has had success with problem players before. Jerry said that a lot of times he would prefer someone who has been knocked down and picked themselves up to prove themselves over someone who has never been knocked down at all. Jerry says how he and Parcells got some players with character issues and it worked out ok. Jerry acknowledged that there is a lot of risk involved with his decision to bring in Pacman but says that there never is a lack of risk when running the Cowboys.
Wade says that Anthony Henry’s job is not in danger. Jerry states that the trade for Pacman is a very complicated one and the Cowboys are still working to get it completed, and says its tough when there are multiple entities involved and says that for all practical purposes the trade is complete. Jerry says that the Cowboys are committed to Pacman Jones being a positive addition this year for the Cowboys, both on and off the field. Wade says that both first round picks has the ability to make a difference as a rookie this year. Jerry acknowledges that Cowboys most likely will add another RB either later in the draft or through FA. Says Jones can get involved not only in the running game but also in other aspects of the game, such as splitting out as a WR. Drafting Jones was not a matter of getting a backup to Barber but to get a second back to play with Barber. Jerry would be very disappointed if Felix does not get significant playing time this year.
Jerry says that the Cowboys really didn’t have a chance to move into the top 10. A lot of teams looking to trade down wanted a higher pick than the cowboys had in return. Jerry mentioned he was lightly working on a three team deal but nothing remotely close to a final deal. Jerry was also was never interested in giving up both 1st rounders to move up because there wasn’t a player worth the value of the two players the Cowboys got.
This is an open thread to discuss the remainder of the second round, leading up to the Cowboys' pick.