Birthday guy Jerry Jones joined our 105.3 The Fan guys Shan Shariff and R.J. Choppy (and Mac Engel) to talk about the state of the Cowboys heading into their bye week, including the QB situation and Dez Bryant's healing right foot. Here are some of the highlights, along with some interesting Jerry Jones birthday facts:
DID YOU FORECAST A RECORD YOU NEEDED TO STAY ALIVE? -- "Kind of with your fingers crossed, I had hoped that we could compete against Atlanta the next week, and we did. I thought we were very disappointed that we tailed-off near the end, but the way Atlanta is playing, we can see that we were up against some pretty good competition. The New Orleans game is and was a downer. It was an opportunity. We didn't get that one. That one, in my mind, needed to be there. Let's mark that up to real expectation and lost opportunity. This game against New England was always going to be a real challenge and really an accomplishment if we could get it done, even though we were at home and we know those underdog things can happen. We didn't get that one done. So, we're sitting here probably in my view with one win short of where I really, gut check thought we could be."
WEEDEN OR CASSEL POST-BYE? -- "I think it's fair to say the evaluation, which shouldn't surprise anybody, is going on. And the reason is we don't have to make it for this weekend. We've got limited practice this week, which is customary on a bye week. So, we're not pushed to make any of these personnel decisions. The idea is, and we've spent a lot of time yesterday doing this, but will continue certainly during this week, continue looking at every aspect of our team; evaluating the coaching, and that's the coaches evaluating the coaching. The head coach evaluating the coaching, evaluating everything we're doing: the players, the schemes, what we're doing. That's customary, by the way, in bye weeks, especially when you have an early one, early enough in the season. They usually come before half way, so you can evaluate. And the quarterback wouldn't be the only place that you would look to maybe make a change, give in these circumstances some look-sees that we might not have otherwise done had we been in a different shape: healthy Romo, healthy Dez, so on and so forth."
BUT WHEN GIANTS WEEK COMES, YOU'LL PROBABLY HAVE THAT DECISION MADE? -- "Well, I think there's no reason to necessarily come. Now, this is this Tuesday. You're talking next Tuesday. You say, well, who's going to get the reps? Who's going to get the most reps? Well, that's pretty, I think, logical is the best word to say it. But let's look and see. We might be dealing with a situation where we're looking the see the physical condition and how someone is responding during that week. On a bye week, following a bye week, those are long weeks in there and you got a little luxury of evaluating it."
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF QB THAT YOU DON'T THINK YOU'RE GETTING? -- "I think that you can make a case that you just need to have some things that help you win the game, the equivalent of turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. Those are usually, for the offense, 20-yard-or-more plays. And, so, I think you have to have some of those on a drive, in my mind, to hold the clock and to basically have some success. You've got to have some bigger plays in drives to be trite, and that's what I would hope that we could get from the quarterback is throwing some big plays. If you really look at it, we've done a good job on the turnover aspect of it. We had the last two in the second half the other day. But apart from that, we've done a good job on turnovers. I think the other thing that it shows you is, you know, this business of playing it really close in the league in this day and time doesn't necessarily get the win. What we've been lacking over on the other side of the ball is turnovers. And unfortunately we haven't gotten them, and we've had them right at our feet or right in our hands or within our grasp. And we just haven't done them. Those are glaring to have not gotten those turnovers on defense in any of these last three games."
HOW ARE YOU LOOKING AT THE REST OF YOUR OFFENSE? -- "Well, I think it's fair to look and see frankly what we're going to do. We're going to continue something that I thought, if there were anything, I thought had promise the other day and that's McFadden coming out of the backfield catching the ball. Looked pretty good. If we did anything, that was probably was as good as we did. That used to be Dunbar, for the most part in our minds. McFadden can possibly play that role for us. Apart from just looking at additional help, I think it's fair to keep an eye on is Dez Bryant coming our way against the Giants. Are we going to have Butler back, our really physical, fast receiver that we really missed him after he pulled his ham there in the New Orleans game after he made the big play? So, I think you look at Byron Jones. Byron Jones, by the way, did a really fine job the other day. How do we use Byron Jones to maybe impact the defense over there? Claiborne has really been coming on. Claiborne is capable of making some of those turnovers that I'm talking about. Really looking best at how to interject -- we've got the obvious there with Brady and certainly McClain coming back as far as playmaker, turnover capable people. And then there's a chance we could get Gregory back. What you saw out there the other day, you saw Hardy and his play and McClain and his play make it possible for others. How do we, now that we've got them for the offense to concentrate on, how do we get Lawrence in more of a playmaking situation? I said the other day he could have arguably had a couple of more plays because the concentration on Hardy or the concentration on McClain. That's the way you look at this thing."
WHAT IS THE RISK OF DEZ COMING BACK TOO SOON? -- "The procedure that we did last Thursday, the chief reason for doing it was that it might not improve the time that he could come back on the field or come back and compete. But when he does, we will feel and he will feel better about it not being premature. That's the main reason for doing what we did, not to get another week edge in the time frame. That's one way to do it. That's what that procedure is about. A lot of it is, to be trite, how he's feeling, how he's feeling cutting. Be very similar to what you're doing with Gregory out there in terms of as an example. You're down now to where it's the pain and the tolerance of the pain and the ability to play through the pain. If you can't do it, you can't do it. If you can, you probably got a very conservative -- you're still not going to set it back. The procedure that Dez did was one that really gives you a lot of confidence that when you put him out there at whatever time that it will hold."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF GREG HARDY'S DEBUT? -- "Well, I thought that he inspired our defense. I thought McClain did as well. We had to give up some stuff to put McClain up there in that A and B gap and put those linebackers up there. We had to give up a little bit. Brady held the ball a little long, which that was the key. If we came out and he held the ball, then we were going to have some success. If he came out like he did in the second half, which was almost throwing it as quick as it hit his hand, then that was the antidote to what we were trying to do. But, again, to your question, Brady was not only an absolute disrupter for the New England, now enough to get the job to where we want to be to win it. No. But that hopefully is to come. But he disrupted it. And not only that, but he inspired. When he disrupted, they had to adjust. When they had to adjust, if you've got good players, then they'll make the plays. That's where [Tyrone] Crawford came in. That's where, in both cases, the Crawfords did a really good job and were impactful."
Jerry Jones was born Oct. 13, 1942. Like his predecessors, Clint Murchison, Jr. and H.R. “Bum Bright, his birthday occurs during football season. Since his ownership, the Dallas Cowboys are 3-1 on Jerry Jones’ birthday with that lone loss being to the Redskins in 1997. Here is how Jerry compares to other owners:
Clint Murchison: 1-1 (6-16 loss to the Cardinals; 27-7 win over the Eagles, both at home)
Bum Bright: 1-0 (30-29 victory at the Giants in 1985)
Jones is also one of six current owners in the league who can have a game fall on their birthday. He’s 3-1 on his birthday with that lone loss being to the Redskins. Here’s how other owners with games on their birthdays have fared:
Virginia Halas McCaskey (Bears): 1-0
Dan Snyder (Redskins): 1-2
Alex Spanos (Chargers): 1-2
Arthur Blank (Falcons): 1-1
Jeff Lurie (Eagles): 0-2
John Mara (Giants): 1-3
Among the owners, John Mara, Jeff Lurie, and Jerry Jones’ birth dates all occur within the same season. In other words, if either one of those three has a game on their birthday, then so will the other, unless that game is switched to a Monday or Thursday night, which is what happened in 2013 with Jeff Lurie’s birthday. His Eagles opened on Monday night, thus skipping his birthday.
All of the owners in the NFC East can have games fall on their birthdays.
With Seahawks owner Paul Allen’s birthday being on January 21st, the only way his team will ever play on his birthday is if they make the 2017 NFC Championship game on 1/21/18.
Troy Aikman has the best performance on Jones’ birthday with 17/31 for 193 yards and 1 TD for an 84.5 rating (at Washington, 1997).
Quincy Carter holds the longest pass play from scrimmage on Jones’ birthday of 80 yards (Carolina, 2002).
Emmitt Smith’s 21 carries for 112 yards and 2 TD’s is the best rushing performance on Jones’ birthday (Cardinals, 1996).
Runningback Ricky Blake’s 30-yard touchdown run is the longest rushing play from scrimmage on Jones’ birthday (Bengals, 1991).
Michael Irvin’s 6 catches for 148 yards is the best receiving performance on Jones’ birthday (Bengals, 1991).
Joey Galloway’s 80-yard touchdown reception is the longest scoring play and reception on Jones’ birthday (Carolina, 2002).
Tony Tolbert (Cardinals, 1996) and Jason Hatcher (Washington, 2013) are tied for the most sacks on Jones' birthday with two apiece.
A fumble recovery for a touchdown (Dexter Coakley, 1997) an interception return for a touchdown (Dixon Edwards, 1991), and a punt return for a touchdown (Dwayne Harris, 2013) have both been scored on Jones’ birthday.
No Dallas Cowboys kicker has ever missed on Jones’ birthday, but Carolina kicker Shayne Graham missed a 44-yard field goal in 2002 and Washington kicker Kai Forbath missed a 49-yarder in 2013.
Chris Boniol, Richie Cunningham, and Dan Bailey each share the lead for most field goals attempted and made on Jones’ birthday: one.
Quincy Carter is the only Cowboys quarterback to complete a fourth quarter comeback on his owner’s birthday.
Sunday’s game will be the first game on Jerry Jones’ birthday that does feature Emmitt Smith.
Barry Switzer coached in the most games on Jones’ birthday with 2. He compiled a 1-1 record.
Former Cowboys offensive tackle Ralph Neely (Clint Murchison) and ex-quarterback Quincy Carter (Jerry Jones) are the only players in franchise history to share their respective owners’ birthdays and have played a game on those dates.
The Cowboys have only ever worn their blue jerseys once on Jones’ birthday (at Washington, 1997).
Notable people who share Jones' birthday include comedian Lenny Bruce (1925), former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925), singer Marie Osmond (1959), basketball player and coach Doc Rivers (1961), wide receiver Jerry Rice (1962), figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (1969), safety Brian Dawkins (1973), and basketball player Paul Pierce (1977).
The Cowboys have two other birthdays to celebrate on 10/13:
Charley Young, RB, 1974-1976 – 10/13/52
Quincy Carter, QB, 2001-2003 – 10/13/77