Good evening Cowboys' Fans!
I received a phone call yesterday from Brad Sham (Recorded message) informing me that as a season ticket holder I would be automatically called and connected to owner Jerry Jones at noon CST for an interactive conference call between JJ and the season ticket holders and others who choose to call in. We would have an opportunity to ask him questions and have them answered in real time.
I was returning from a field exercise and got cut off after 58 minutes due to dead spots in the near west Texas countryside and the approaching thunderstorms but took a few notes (NO I was not driving, but a passenger) and have relayed a synopsis of the call and my musings below.
I am very interested to get more viewpoints as the Front Page Writers have pointed out that through all the Jerry speak there usually runs a thread of unwavering truth, so here goes the state of the union per Jerry Jones.
[I am not going to make all this official quotes as I have no recording to refer to, only my notes. I am surprised the conf call is not on BTB or the mothership yet, I have block quoted some interesting items however]
JJ started by talking about the draft and of course the trade down, he sounded defensive and started by giving a lot of the same answers we heard post draft.
JJ - We invented the chart, I have always used a chart for trading and I would not be here today if I had not been a good trader, I had my guy (top engineering student from his year at OU) chart all the draft trades for the previous 20 years and assigned a value to each trade so we had an idea what the difference was between the 5th pick in the 3rd round and the 3rd pick in the 5th round for example. We had exclusive access to this chart until we had some coaches leave,
"namely Jimmy Johnson"
and uh, other coaches that left and took the chart with them. But times have changed and the trade values have changed with them, so that chart the media and others are using may or may not be outdated, we have seen and sometimes use up to 5 or 6 value charts. But then again sometimes you just have to go against the numbers to get what you want if you believe in the value.
Example is that my attorneys and accountants advised me against buying the Dallas Cowboys, the numbers just did not add up but MR Bright wanted an answer and told me to go home and sleep on it but he needed an answer the next day. Well the next day I walked right past my accountants and attorneys, shook his hand and said I am the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys! Boy I sure did get taken. So if you want something and believe it is the right choice you have to go against the numbers.
~~~~~~~ A question came in about Gavin Escobar; Jerry said he was the continuation of the search they have had for a specific 3rd Tight End. he said Martellus Bennett was close and they think Escobar may be the answer.
JJ: If he had not been there we may not have drafted a TE at all, we were not set on taking one but Gavin is a special player. Escobar has great instincts about getting open and again we would not, maybe, have taken a TE at all if he was not there.
Next came what Brad Sham called the inevitable question, what about Tim Tebow? JJ did not really address Tebow at all, but said we really like what we have in Romo and Orton and the status of the 3rd QB remains to be seen. The caller commented that that sounded mysterious and Jerry said there was a lot going on with any player during a contract and that for now the 3rd QB just remains to be seen.
JJ used that as a segue to launch into how he knows "everybody on this call is frustrated with back to back 8-8 seasons". Another caller also touched on what we are doing to improve from 8-8 and Jerry first brought up the coaching changes at Special Teams and Defensive Coordinator. He said the Special Teams should be better and that and the Offense being better due to upgrades should be worth 2-3 games this season. He also said the NFL is structured for everyone to go 8-8 and you really got to put in some work to get better than that and stay there. Next he talked about how Romo will be sitting with the coaches everyday and will have input like never before.
Next he talked about how the entire Offensive line will be better with Travis Frederick at Center, he said he was the state champion in squats [thought he said powerlifting as well but not clear] and will not need help on the double teams and will allow the middle to be better because of that. He also said
"Frederick will not miss assignments"
JJ: We had Frederick at the same 40 time as that player from Alabama, uh (Sham interjected Warmack) yea Warmack and Frederick has a faster shuttle time, I don't think the 40 means much for him.
When asked about his realistic expectations for the upcoming season;
JJ : Well the defense is a strength of this team and especially the defensive line, and with Sean Lee and Bruce Carter behind them we have a real strength there as well, the defensive backs are looking good. On Offense Tyron Smith is just amazing and we have a fellow by the name of Parnell that Mike Woicik says has the strongest punch of anyone he has ever coached! Mike has a way of grading that using speed of the punch and power and Parnell has the best punch Mike has ever coached.
A question came in about safety;
JJ: Well our coaches are higher on Matt Johnson than they have ever been on any player they have not seen in an actual game. boy they sure like him alot. He is the best they have ever seen not play a game for us. ~~~ME~~~ What???
Now JJ Wilcox is a physical player, when describing him the word physical comes up over and over. He was the best player on his team (College) and that is why they played him at 4 positions. Now the coaches have told me not to worry about range for safeties, that seemed off to me but they said Jerry we got the angles due to our scheme, do not bring in veteran Safeties but get the young guys and the scheme will take care of the angles for them. And on draft day we had Frederick higher on our board than Eric Reid.
A question came in asking about how important it was to beat the Giants on opening night.
JJ: We sure are frustrated about not being able to beat the Giants in our house, in fact the cry in the war room on draft day was how does this guy match up against the giants.
Last question I heard was about Johnny Manziel and how interested was Jerry; quotes from DMN / HERE
Jerry basically said league rules prohibit discussing players who are not draft eligible and then he went into another conversation about Romo.
I gave all that money to Romo for NOW!
We talked about him being here and looking to the next 60 months but make no mistake I want now, this is why we made the ST and DEF coaching moves and drafted the way we did, we got guys who should be able to contribute now.
OK BTB do you see Jerry telling us the same thing, or is he calling out some players (cough cough ROMO) and signalling intention by not even mentioning Doug Free's name but praising Parnell. And is he calling out Phil Costa with the remarks about Frederick not needing double team help and NOT missing assignments? I see our Rookie as starting Center if this holds true.