A lot of the Dallas Cowboys news on Sunday was devoted to a marathon interview several writers had with Jerry Jones aboard the Cowboys Uberbus while he was at the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis. The always loquacious owner/GM of the team had many things to say, and as usually happens when he waxes eloquent, you may come away feeling a bit befuddled.
Jerry Jones: Not Planned, But Garrett Was Coordinator - Rowan Kavner, DallasCowboys.com
For those of you who felt that Jason Garrett took over the offense at some point in the season, Jones confirmed it.
Jones said it's a fact that Garrett was really the offensive coordinator last year, despite Bill Callahan having that title. The Cowboys entered the year with a plan to lighten Garrett's offensive load, but that didn't come to fruition the way they'd planned.
"That was one of the issues," Jones said. "It was unfair to Bill, but it was the offense that we'd had since we got there and it was very difficult. That's why we had such a hard time articulating it early. That's why we made some of the switches we made during the middle of the season. All of it was just manifested by the fact that it was just very difficult for Jason to get out of that role."
One other thing that he says did happen the way the team had planned was the increased role Tony Romo had in calling things on the field.
"More importantly than anything, the guy that's ultimately calling the plays is on the football field, the quarterback, Romo," Jones said. "He's the one that's got the check outs, he's the one that's got the ability to decide the run, pass, a lot of options and not just in the red zone and not just in hurry-up, two-minute. Not just there, although he was really predominant in the red zone and really dominant in no-back, that type thing."
Jerry Jones clarifies roles for Dallas Cowboys' offensive coaches - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The role for Garrett is supposed to change this season - at least that seems to be the plan.
New passing game coordinator Scott Linehan will be the brains behind the operation with Bill Callahan back in a running game role and coach Jason Garrett out of the offensive mix altogether.
"Linehan gives us a complete real change of our offense with our terminology," Jones said. "It's different. Although [Garrett and Linehan] have been together coaching, you can't see a lot of what we've been and what they did up in Detroit. He's got a track record of really zeroing in and building the offense around the talent, the specific talent and the qualities of the players."
Jerry Jones of Dallas Cowboys says he regrets firing Tom Landry - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Hindsight is, as they say, more in focus than foresight.
With hindsight, Jones said on Sunday from the NFL scouting combine that he should not have jettisoned Landry at the time. The move proved correct with Jimmy Johnson coaching the Cowboys to Super Bowl wins in 1992 and '93, but Jones felt like he acted too impatiently.
"If I had a chance to do it over again I would've waited a year and just got my feet on the ground a little bit more and probably just gone with the staff that we had and then later made the ultimate change that I made," Jones said.
Jerry Jones: Decision needs to be made on DeMarcus Ware's future because of high salary and health - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
No decision has been made on what is going to be done about the high cap cost contract of All Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware, and the team is apparently not going to make a hasty move.
"I don't want to get into what we want to do there, or what we are likely to do there," Jones said. "But we have been counting on DeMarcus Ware to be the best player we got on defense. It is tough for him to practice. He hasn't been able to practice. It's not that he doesn't want to practice, it's just that he hasn't been able to practice. DeMarcus is paid like the best player on defense. You got to look at a lot of things here."
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones updates Kyle Orton’s status | Rainer Sabin, Dallas Morning News
The owner responded to recent rumors about Orton retiring, and thinks the money is too good for what is asked of Orton for him to walk.
"I can logically look at it and think that he would want to play," Jones said. "But I don't know that any more. Let me put it like this: I haven't talked to him and we haven't talked to him directly about him not playing. I'm assuming he's going to play."
Jones: Cowboys can compete for title - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Jones has one goal in mind, to get back to the Super Bowl. And, as he thinks every year at this time, he believes the team has a chance. When a rather skeptical Todd Archer asked how he can say that, he went a bit folksy.
He spoke about a story with 60 Minutes a few years ago and how he rolled through some stop signs on a trip through Little Rock. It's not that he did not see the signs, but he knew the roads so well that he did not need to come to a complete stop.
"You could probably say that if not seeing the stop signs means denial, then I'm in denial," Jones said. "The facts are that I see them, but I don't see them. I know why they are there. I'm talking about the 8-8, but I don't see them."
Jones says he developed medical condition while buying Cowboys 25 years ago - Tom Orsborn, Express-News
The move to purchase the Cowboys 25 years ago was a big one for Jones. He felt he was stepping away from a secure position and taking a big financial risk, and it affected him deeply.
"It was a pretty significant reach risk-wise and I didn't know how it was going to turn out, so it was a nervous time for me. I developed arrhythmia, and I had never had an unhealthy day in my life. Arrhythmia is called by a lot of people and a lot of med students get it. It was from not resting and never sleeping and then getting up just after you lay your head down. So that kind of describes for me that period of time. It was a time that I felt very off balanced."
Broaddus: Best Group Of Combine WR's I’ve Ever Seen - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Oh, yeah, there were also a bunch of prospective NFL players running around in underwear. For those who are thinking the Cowboys should draft a replacement for Miles Austin, this may be a very good year for you.
Physically, this was one of the best groups of wide receivers that I had ever seen in all my years of coming to the Combine. It was a combination of outstanding height and speed that was on display on Sunday here in Indianapolis.
He has Sammy Watkins as the best of the group, with Odell Beckham and Mike Evans close on his heels. And he also had some encouraging words for those (like me) who think a quarterback should also be on the draft wish list somewhere after the first round.
I had my doubts coming into this Combine about Jimmy Garoppolo and A.J. McCarron but I thought that both carried themselves well. Neither player might be the most athletic but when it came to throwing the ball, rep after rep, there was no doubt that they had their "A" games working. Each player was able to make all the throws that were asked of them. I am one of those guys that really likes Aaron Murray and his overall game, but after seeing Garoppolo and McCarron live, I will need to go back and revisit their work.
Combine News & Notes: Sunday - DraftInsider.net
The lead news in this article, about tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, is not of meant to imply that the Cowboys should be looking for another TE. (I don't know if I would survive the comments thread if I did.) It is more an indication of just how important the physicals at the Combine really are.
It was an injury medical examiners at the combine accidentally found. Doctors x-rayed Seferian-Jenkins left foot with the sole intention of examining the ankle which he sprained a year ago and kept him on the sidelines during a small portion of the 2012 season. In reviewing the x-rays doctors noticed what seemed to be a potential small fracture in the foot and ordered more tests. I'm told Seferian-Jenkins was getting ready to take the field for his workout when he was pulled from the line and told additional tests were needed.
Also in that news update, this was interesting (to me, at least).
Last night at dinner with a few scouts I learned that an FBI profiler was brought in to review the interview tapes of Aaron Hernandez from the 2010 combine. The profiler pointed out a number of signs during the interview which would've raised red flags had he seen it in 2010; body language, the way Hernandez answered questions, his body language answering questions. Bottom line is more teams will bring in profilers to review these interview tapes.
Mike Mayock Press Conference Transcript - NFL Network
Jerry Jones was not the only one giving interviews. Draft guru Mike Mayock of the NFL Network contributed some of his observations, including this look at some prominent safeties in the draft.
On the safety class: "I don't think the safety class is as deep as some of these other classes. For instance, Calvin Pryor, if I had one of my 10 favorite players just because of watching them on tape, Calvin Pryor is one of them. He's like a bigger Bob Sanders. I think he's better in the box. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is better back off; he has more range and ball skills back there. Lamarcus Joyner is a corner at Florida State that I think is a safety similar to Tyrann Mathieu. Another one of my real favorites in this draft is Jimmie Ward from Northern Illinois who is more of a free safety. I think after those four it drops off a little bit and then you have to take your pick at guys like Terrence Brooks at Florida State. Ed Reynolds from Stanford is generating a lot of conversation; he's a true free safety, he might run a little better than people think. I was surprised he came out this year because he had six picks a year ago, came back and didn't play as well this year, so he's a guy that has a big question mark. He has some ability. Tre Boston from North Carolina is a guy you can get in the middle rounds who is a little more in the box kind of guy."
Cowboys won't tender Phillip Tanner - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
A late story brings news of the first decision of the offseason that impacts the cap situation and team roster. The team will no tender an offer to Phillip Tanner. He is now an unrestricted free agent, and it appears he may not be part of the team's plans going forward.
Tanner was the Cowboys' only restricted free agent, which meant they would have had to tender him a deal worth at least $1.389 million. It is possible, if unlikely, that Tanner could be re-signed for the veteran minimum for a fourth-year player.