A Jerry Jones Q-and-A with 105.3 The Fan in which he talks "signature wins'' and looks forward to a Sunday crowd against the Colts that, like QB Tony Romo notes, has been a positive factor of late for the 10-4 Cowboys ...
WHICH WIN WAS BIGGER: SEAHAWKS OR EAGLES? – I’d have to have a toss that was equal on that. The Seahawks game was to me, it showed me, that we were going to have a team could compete. And we had such respect for the Seahawks. This one, we just knew we had to have it or we were going to go down for the last time. I really felt that was do-or-die up there in Philadelphia. So, I’ll give them both a flip, a coin flip.
ROMO WAS SAYING THE PLAYOFFS HAVE ALREADY STARTED. WHAT DO YOU THINK? – I feel the very same way. I think we said right here last week: we’re not holding back anything. And we shouldn’t. And we ought to use every asset we’ve got to go out there and get every possession, win we can. And we need to turn third downs into moving the chains and play it like it’s the last minute in the Super Bowl.
IS THIS TEAM MORE CAPABLE OF PLAYING THROUGH INJURY THANKS TO ROMO’S EXAMPLE? – I think that we have key players that, in the past, when we had injury to those key players, the impact on our team was dramatic. DeMarcus Ware, for instance. Some of the injuries we had last year in the defensive line. And then we’ve had injuries in the past to, dare say it, Tony Romo. So, it’s according to where they are. If we’ve got a lot of really, really good players, but we have several of them, because we’re paying more players less money right now. And that’s the difference with this team in the last three years. We still have two or three players that are, if their injury should come and limit them, that’s hurts us. For instance, DeMarco Murray. We all know what we want him to be and what he’s meant to this team. But we actually have depth at running back.
HOW HEALTHY ARE FREE, MARTIN, AND MURRAY? – Well, what we did yesterday in practice – Murray and Martin, I’m pretty positive about having the ability to play them and to getting that decision. Both of those guys, you should be able to count on them. Free’s a little bit different matter. And I’m a little skeptical we’re going to have Free, but let’s see what the few days bring. We may get some of Free, and that may be worth giving him an active roster spot.
WHERE IS PARNELL COMPARED TO FREE? – Well, physically Jeremy Parnell has maybe the biggest punch on the team as far as his punch. He’s got those long arms, and being a basketball player and principally a basketball player in his young years, he’s might have some of the very best feet. He’s always had the issue of staying consistent, being consistent. And you need that badly obviously in the offensive line because it just takes one inconsistency at the wrong time and you can impact the game on that one play, that one mistake. But I like him. I don’t think anybody has a better swing, backup tackle, because he can play both tackles. I don’t think there’s a better backup situation in the NFL.
IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THE LINE PERFORMS BETTER WITH PARNELL THAN FREE? – Well, I think that’s too far, but certainly I think there’s times we’re on par. And there have been times. They’ve had a competition all year, and last year though, it was more pointed competition. Frankly, it wouldn’t have surprised anybody to have won out on that. It turns out he did not, but that’s another day. It doesn’t mean it’s not possible in the future. So, you could get better. Parnell is very capable of getting better because he’s at that stage. He hasn’t played a lot of football.
EVEN THOUGH MURRAY IS PRACTICING, WOULD YOU BE SURPRISED IF DUNBAR AND RANDLE DIDN’T GET MORE CARRIES? – I would be. Yes, I would be, because I think that probably in this situation more carries mean we’ve had the ball, the time we want to have it, the time of possession. And it means when those Randle and Dunbar have that ball in their hands, we have a chance to make a big play. We’ve done it. We’ve seen it. I’m excited about Dunbar on big plays. I think it gives us a chance to maximize their abilities, and they have some unique abilities as opposed to Murray.
ANY IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON WITH MELTON? – Well, I think that Henry has continued to – he’s coming off that injury, and you say, “Well, how long does it take to come off an injury?” A lot of people think that year you come back is a little bit of the price you pay. You’re not quite at the top of your game. So, I would say Henry is much, much improved today as opposed to when we left training camp. So, it’s getting better. And what Henry has, what brings uniquely to Henry, is he’s probably our best quick twitch, get-in-the-backfield type guy. In other words, a guy that can make a big play, can be in their backfield quick. And sometimes the criticism is that when he doesn’t get that break, when he doesn’t get through that gap to where then it’s play time, well, then he looks like he slipped down at that time after his initial time to get back there. Henry would tell you, “BS. Watch me. I’m going to not only get back there, but when I’m not, I’m still going to be trying to get back there.”
WHAT’S YOUR IMPRESSION OF ANDREW LUCK? – Well, he just about the time you think it’s over with him, he just doesn’t quit being a threat. He’ll make some mistakes, but then, that doesn’t deter him at all. Just about the time you’ve got it wrapped up with him, he’ll come up and make the drive or make the play. I think he’s a top quarterback. I think he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league and is the top young quarterback in the league.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LUCK COMPLIMENTING DEFENDERS WHO SACK HIM? – Yeah. Yes, I have. That’s interesting. I played with a guy that was exactly that way. His name was Jim Grizzle. He was a great ball player, the only defensive end to ever lead the Razorbacks in defensive stats, and he was exactly that way. When you heard him running down the field, chasing or going outside he was laughing as he was running. Then, when somebody would knock his butt off. He would get up, just laugh and look at them. He got me that time, let’s go.
WHY ISN’T ROMO IN THE MVP DISCUSSION? – Well, I would say this: I’ll never forget Michael Irvin told media, he said when they were really on him for an incident that it turns out he did not do and he said just please write as much when you find out that I didn’t do what you’re saying I did, please write as much as you’re writing about this. Will you do that for me? Well, the facts are that Romo has had so much written about him, about December, what he’s not, I am surprised that now he’s actually having such a great year and I emphasize that word, I’m surprised that it’s not a bigger headline. But does it surprise y’all that sometimes the positive doesn’t get as much as the negative? I think it better when there’s a little juice on it. Don’t you?
WHAT’S YOUR EXPECTATION FOR THE HOME CROWD SUNDAY? – “I think we’ll be wall-to-wall with Cowboys fans, frankly, just like it was on Thanksgiving, which was, in my mind, maybe the finest crowd, other than our opening day against the Giants years ago. I think it was the finest crowd I’ve seen Thanksgiving Day. I was so disappointed that we laid that egg out there. Let’s have that same crowd. We need it. That’s trite to say that, we need it bad. But the other thing is, I want reward these great fans that have been with us and should have the last game in the stadium for the Cowboys as far as regular season, should have a game of this quality. Now, this will be a little war on our part.”
You can listen to the rest of the interview here. Remember to keep it on 105.3 The Fan and on CowboysHQ.com!
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“We’ve been at it for two weeks. We feel like we’ve been in the playoffs the entire month of December, so we’re just going to keep that attitude and keep going.” - Tony Romo.