Jerry Jones talkin' Dallas Cowboys on 105.3 The Fan with 'Shan and RJ'? It's a must-listen. So, we do ...
On asking Romo to do less: I think in crunch time, you could see him doing more. But that's what you've got. We have a quarterback who has the experience. He has the ability to, not only execute the game plan -- he's right out there underneath. He's got a viewpoint no coach, no fan has, and that's under center. By the way, that's how the plays are made from there. They're not made 100 feet up in the air looking down on it and getting to see the whole thing. You've got to see it from his viewpoint, and he's excellent at it. He's got great, great sight. So, I think you'll see him at times take it on his shoulders and make it happen. That's why we've got a chance, plus, if we're executing the other parts of the run game, blocking, protection. And then we can get going pretty sound on defense, we have a chance to have a good team.
On Romo's health increasing expectations: Well, we were downplaying expectations for the reasons -- look at what we were trying to do to build that defense. And we really hadn't seen Martin, our draft pick, in the summer, even into training camp. We really hadn't see what he could do, how he's evolving. We'd seen everybody else on the offensive line. We'd seen what Tyron was. We know what [Travis Frederick] was, but there were some parts we hadn't seen. I think that's the play down. What you're seeing is that offensive line has gelled. And parts of the offensive line that we don't call "the offensive line" -- blocking of the receivers, the backs as they take their blocking responsibility. That's gelling for us. So, we're ahead of my expectations last summer offensively.
On the backup RB's: We've really got a good situation at running back. And Randle given the number of carries that Murray's got would be impressive with his production. And you see that. He's an outstanding back. Now, he's not as fast around the corner as Murray, but I'll tell you right now: he's a top back certainly between the tackles. He'd get a lot of yards. Of course, Dunbar gives us a dimension I know everybody is saying, "Boy, you got to him in more. Get him some more plays there so he can make those plays." So, the answer is yes. It's probably smart to try to get, in your standard type situations, smart to ease Randle in there more and probably smart from a production standpoint of winning to get Dunbar some more touches.
On Claiborne: I know that last week when Claiborne was certainly being critiqued that I had four or five calls -- literally that many -- from around the league, other coaches, GM types that said, "Hey, be careful down there with giving him a little -- being verbally negative about him. He is an outstanding player. He has outstanding skills. He's in the top, elite group." But he's got to get his confidence and continue to see the relationship between work and repetition. He does need a lot of repetition. There's nothing wrong with that. But he's just not had as much as we'd like for him to have because of these injuries. Then, of course, here comes the injury. The thing is that I see his future and I see a good one for him here with the Cowboys."
On Bruce Carter's quad injury: This is one of those week-to-week [injuries]. We couldn't get a thumb from our trainers. It is one of those proverbial let's-see-how-he's-doing. But it's not -- these injuries, quad stains, are not long term injuries. Well, you say, missing a game is getting pretty long term when you only have 16 of them. But still, we'll have to see with him if he's moving pretty good. I think Carter is a good healer. And it's just some people heal faster than others. And so we'll want to keep a close eye on him. Boy, we've found his spot out there. That strong side linebacker, that SAM linebacker, especially when you got Durant on the field at the weak side, and #55 in the middle. He's had his best game, by the way, Carter did with the Cowboys.
On facing the Texans this Sunday: I've teared up three times in my 25 years with the Cowboys: the NFC [Championship Game] loss, had we won it, Deion Sanders played for the 49ers -- that loss right there -- that if we would have won would have gone to the Super Bowl and maybe won three in a row. I teared up -- I forgot the other time. But the third time was the Opening Day loss [in 2002] to the Houston Texans, their first game ever down in Houston. And it was because we had such a base of fans. We would go down there when they were the Oilers and we actually played and half the stands would be Cowboys fans. So, we knew we had a big base, but we were big supporters, huge supporters, of Houston getting that franchise back. But that loss killed us. That will always be there for me.
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