Jerry, Stephen Give a "State of the Cowboys"

Cowboys front office figures Jerry and Stephen Jones talked to our 105.3 The Fan family Friday about the shape of the team at the bye. Read the unedited, in-their-own-words recap of what the club brass had to say about Cassel, Dez, and more:


Jerry -- "I think that Matt gives us the -- I want to say the experience that leads to his confidence. And there's no question that he approaches the huddle, his body language, his demeanor has the feel of someone that's played the numbers of games and competed in the NFL the way he has. I think he's also got experience in basically just stepping up in the pocket and making some plays. Now, he will, with that experience though, do something that Weeden was not doing. Weeden was so conservative. He was coached to be conservative to a degree, but he was not taking chances with that ball. Now, we know you can't make some plays if you don't take some chances. So, we'll see more of that. We could see the risk of that hit us a little bit, but hopefully we'll be getting our share of them over on defense with this group we've got."


Stephen -- ""Well, when we initially traded for Matt the thought process was we knew at a minimum Tony [Romo] was going to be out eight weeks, put him on the designated to return list, that we one, needed an option in case something happened to Brandon and two, needed an option in case he struggled. And of course the second part of that has been kind of what's happened. I don't know if it's necessarily fair to point the finger at Brandon, or any of these other moves that we've made where guys are moving up and some guys are moving out of the starting lineup. But anytime you're struggling, you've got to look at things that maybe make a difference and can change for the better. And that falls right in line here. Obviously Matt's got more experience than Weeden and of course went 10-5 after Brady got hurt that one year and then went on to Kansas City and had a great year there. Since then, he's been kind of up and down, but we like his experience and like what he brings to the table."


Jerry -- "Well, he's not on my list of disappointments. He specifically is not, nor is the running game. I know that what a challenge we've had in that running game by not backing them off of us and crowding that line of scrimmage. And had we dealt with the same dynamic last year, we wouldn't have had the running game we had last year. There's no doubt in my mind about that. And these running games or these offenses are fragile in the sense of their balance. And you can dominate it every now and then with a real, powerful, talented, effective either running game or passing game without having balance, but not very often. I'm now convinced, for instance, we didn't run up against a good balanced attack when we played Atlanta and we basically, I thought, looking back on it did pretty well. What I will say is I thought our disappointment was New Orleans. But after watching New Orleans and particularly Brees, I did feel that Brees played well against us and I think that was the difference. We actually ran into a hotter Brees than we had thought we were going to or that played for New Orleans the prior two or three games."

Stephen -- "Joe's been doing a real nice job. McFadden's being doing a real nice job for us. We really just been getting, as our guys like to call him, 'C-Mike' ready, getting accustomed to what we like to do on offense, and feel like he could give us a jolt as well in terms of his kind of runs -- not kind of. He is physical in his running style and he might bring a little something to the table as well. That doesn't mean Joe Randle and Darren McFadden aren't both going to be a part of what we do, but I do see us taking a longer, harder look at C-Mike as we move forward."


(In fact, Fish is reporting that Christine Michael is getting more of the first-team snaps now and is a solid bet to be the starter next week at New York.


Jerry -- "Yes! And we don't have to take a step back for that. Bill Callahan wanted to run the offense. We didn't get that done to the degree that everybody was satisfied and we really had to make a decision. I'm glad that we got the staff that we've got, but you can't have it all. There's no question Bill Callahan is an outstanding coach. I will say this: the players that we're playing with cut their teeth and really have been coached up by Bill Callahan. And, so, we have the benefit and of course our coach was coached up by Bill Callahan, played for him, coached for him. So, we felt that we had the next best thing. On the other hand, anytime you lose a coach, don't have a coach the caliber of Bill Callahan on your staff, then you could say that leaves you a little less than what you had. A lot of people -- I'm going to eye me for a minute -- have the idea that, for whatever the reason, I under appreciate coaching. It's the opposite. You can't have my background without understanding what a great teaching coach, what a great motivating coach, how much a difference that they can make towards an individual's play. I had the privilege of really being around some great ones in Frank Broyles who on the coaching staff that I got to play on at Arkansas for the three years I played. Within about two years after I left, about five of them were major college coaches: [Jim] McKenzie at Oklahoma, Johnny Majors at Tennessee, Bill Pace at Vanderbilt, Hayden Frye. You just name them. They were all assistant coaches. So, I do appreciate great coaching. Callahan is a great NFL offensive [coach] but also with the specialization in offensive line coach."


Jerry -- "Well, I'm pleased with it. I thought that, and so did our trainers, and certainly both. We are very lucky we have in Brown a full time rehab trainer in Britt Brown. And having said that, to get a real good opportunity to get these guys back quicker. I really believe that. And we were pleased that Dez had the procedure that he had about seven or eight days ago, and we think that that will give us confidence that if he is close Saturday, then we can go ahead and have a more solid mend. And I'm talking about his bone marrow treatment that he had from his hip that should make it more solid to heal. So, we've got to see how it goes. As you know, at this juncture, it's based upon the players sensitivity towards pain which doesn't mean that Dez or any player isn't courageous relative to pain. That has nothing to do with it. If you have pain in an area, the mind just won't let you use it. It just won't do it. So, you've got to have it well enough that the mind says, 'Let's go.'"

Stephen -- "I think it is a possiblity [he returns for the Giants game]. I don't know if you put the word 'strong' in front of it, but it is a possiblity. And that's been our goal all along is to get him back for the Giants. It's an aggressive goal, but still think he has a chance to do that. We'll see. What we're not going to do is do something that's not smart. I know everybody's feeling urgency. Our fans feel urgency. The media feels urgency. Of course, you can imagine the urgency we feel at Valley Ranch, but at the same time, we can't do something that's not in Dez's best interest, not only for the long term in terms of the rest of the season, but also his career. So, we've really got to balance that. But he's getting really close. For whatever reason he didn't get back for the Giants, we feel really good that Seattle is going to be that time frame. But he's really making great strides. He'll do a whole lot more. He did a lot this week and do even more next week. And we'll go from there."

CHQ has Dez in his own words here after doing some sideline work on Friday ...

And just as Dez told Fish would be the case, he made a sidetrip to his native Lufkin, where we hope all those kids took it easy on his foot!


Stephen -- "Actually, he said he told me that he said that right after the game. So, we just got to hang in there and make Tony's words come true. ... I like it. And I can tell you this about our team. I know our fans are concerned obviously. They understand. I think even you guys, the media, give us -- totally understand we've had some guys on the shelf and we've got to do better than what we've done in terms of the 0-3 without Tony in there. But we lot of guys coming back here and I like our team. They fight. They give a tremendous effort, and I think some of these changes, as you said, will give us a little jolt or a spark. We just got to win a handful of games here before Tony gets back and we're going to have a heck of a chance. Coach Garrett has a great message. And I can tell you the locker room is in a good place. I like our team, and I know our backs are against the wall here a little bit, but I know we'll keep working to try to get this right and hopefully we'll have it in a decent shape when Tony gets back."

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