It’s officially training camp season which means the Dallas Cowboys are in Oxnard, CA. We made it.
Part of the annual tradition this time of year is for the “State of the Cowboys” address from Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Garrett. It’s during this address that we typically learn things that we didn’t previously know and get perspectives on things that were held back over the offseason.
The Cowboys braintrust spoke from Oxnard and did indeed give us plenty to chew on. Here is a breakdown.
Jerry Jones is very excited about the Cowboys coaching staff
In his opening remarks Jerry Jones gave a lot of props to Jason Garrett and his staff. He noted that there were a lot of young players ready for Dallas to mold, but he went particularly far in terms of praise for this staff.
Jerry went so far in fact that he said the coaching staff was the number one reason that he’s excited about what the Cowboys have in store for them in 2018. Alrighty then.
The Cowboys are proud of Randy Gregory
When asked about Randy Gregory’s return, Jerry Jones noted that the Cowboys are extremely proud of him. He also discussed briefly how due to the NFL’s rules on how you can communicate with players suspended like Randy that he hasn’t communicated with him a lot recently. He did note that Randy Gregory is a “person” that the Cowboys want.
“I don’t expect to see him at camp” -Jerry on David Irving
David Irving was the second name brought up with regards to issues that have occurred off of the field. Jerry Jones gave some insight as to Irving’s situation.
“David Irving is dealing with off-the-field issues and he’s, by agreement and design, he’s not here. He’s really in special areas of addressing his issues. They will be ongoing.”
Jerry even went as far as to say that he didn’t expect to see David Irving at training camp. This is obviously a big statement so he offered some clarification that he didn’t expect to see him out in Oxnard and that this didn’t imply that Irving is “necessarily expected” when the Cowboys get back.
Randy Gregory weighs 242 pounds
Jason Garrett spoke somewhat glowingly about Ezekiel Elliott
Garrett was asked about Zeke’s offseason, and he gave him a ton of credit. Both Jason and Stephen Jones noted that Zeke has ascended to more of a leadership role on the Cowboys, doing so in his own ways. It’s definitely great to see a different sort of offseason for Elliott.
All seems well regarding Terrance Williams and his foot
You’ll remember that receiver Terrance Williams broke his foot over the offseason (he also had some other stuff happen). Jason Garrett noted that Terrance participated in the conditioning run on Wednesday morning and that he didn’t have any issues. He will not be placed on the PUP list. Garrett noted they’d monitor it moving forward.
Maliek Collins is the only player starting on the PUP list
He, Randy Gregory, and David Irving were the only players who didn’t take the conditioning test.
The Cowboys danced around the Earl Thomas situation quite well
Obviously the Cowboys aren’t going to discuss Earl Thomas by name, but voice of the Cowboys Brad Sham cleverly asked about a “hypothetical” so they discussed situations.
Stephen Jones had a particularly interesting response. He noted that the Cowboys aren’t naive and that they miss guys like Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. He said reiterated that the last time Dallas had Thomas discussions with Seattle was “around the draft” but he also dropped this gem.
“You’re always aware of what’s going on. Whether players are reporting or unhappy, sometimes those do lead to opportunities.”
The Cowboys feel good about what’s around Dak Prescott
Everybody knows how much change the Cowboys offense has undergone, training camp is the time where that’s going to be put to the test. Jason Garrett expressed confidence in the players surrounding Dak Prescott, shocker, and noted that the Cowboys have one of the best runners in the league.
Jason Garrett seems aware that there is demand on him this season
Many have speculated that this could be a season where Jason Garrett is on the proverbial hot seat. He talked about cleaning things up as the head coach and when he was asked what specifically needed to be cleaned up he noted that “every area” does.
Garrett also discussed his views on himself a bit. Self-reflection is important in any avenue of life and it seems like Jason has done some.
“I would think that every aspect of what my responsibilities are as a head coach, hopefully I’ve gotten better at those things.”
It doesn’t look like Terrance Williams will face punishment for his offseason arrest
On top of the broken foot that he suffered this offseason, as referenced, Terrance Williams had some off-the-field issues over the last few months. Stephen Jones noted that as of now there’s no indication that he will face any punishment from the NFL for this.
Jerry Jones says Terrell Owens is making a mistake regarding the Hall of Fame
Jerry said that T.O. didn’t ask for his advice regarding how to handle being inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he noted that had he been asked he would have let Owens know that he (Owens) is making a mistake.
The Cowboys are aware that Todd Gurley changed the running back market
Stephen Jones noted that Todd Gurley’s new contract with the Los Angeles Rams is one that resets the market as far as running backs are concerned. He expanded that he believed the Cowboys have the best running back in the NFL in Zeke, and that he expects him to perform well this season.
Jerry Jones said this isn’t a “playoff or bust” year for Jason Garrett
As noted, many have suggested that Jason Garrett’s seat is warm. Many have thrown out hypothetical benchmarks that he must reach and that if he doesn’t it could lead to his firing.
Jerry Jones was asked outright if this is a “playoff or bust” year for his head coach. He answered quickly and firmly with a resounding “no.”