Cowboys owner Jerry Jones Q-and-A on Tuesday with "Shan & RJ'' on 105.3 The Fan: Unleashed On Romo, Dak, Secret Weapons + Mosquito Surgery
DOES THIS WEEK FEEL DIFFERENT? -- "Yes, we've been very deliberate so far this morning and it's sparked by our excitement knowing that we kick it off this week. Boy, it is exciting."
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MARK SANCHEZ? -- "Well, the price got right, number one. And number two ... his style I think melds real good with Tony's, certainly with Dak's. And he can move a little bit and has some playmaking ability. So, all of that is real good. It's a fact that if it goes the way we want it to go, then he won't take a snap. But we know that there's no need of even speculating on how much he's going to play because somebody else decides that called The Man in the Sky."
HOW LONG IS DAK PRESCOTT'S LEASH? -- "There's no leash on Dak. You guys blow me away. There's no leash on him. Heck, he's in. He's going to be playing. We're very comfortable with him. There's no short leash. There's no long leash. We got us a player we hope can win the ballgame for us (Sunday)."
WILL YOU PUT ROMO ON THE SHORT-TERM IR? -- "Not really. So, I think that medicine can fail you when you start really creating these bright lines. And we've found that out over the years when they say it takes six weeks, it takes this. We learned that with Witten. So, in his case, it was supposed to be a length of time. It turns out that it wasn't. So, some of these kinds of things have been around, these traditional healing times, aren't necessarily as bright-lined as you might like for them to be. So, his importance to us, his being able to play in a game ... is really kind of unique. So, we'll be real liberal when we start evaluating when it is he'll start coming back."
IS ROMO GOING THROUGH MORE TESTS? -- "He's got a planned test that's been there all along. And it's just a read as to how things are going over the last two to three weeks. So, there will be a test here sometime within the next week or so."
HOW IS ROMO DOING MENTALLY? -- "I think fine. I visit with him frequently, see him frequently. And, so, he's excited about the game for the team. He's excited for the season. He's excited about his participation in the season. From Tony's perspective and from our perspective, we see him as missing some games. There's no thought on our mind or our decision making that this could be a season(-long) deal."
COULD WE SEE ROMO BEFORE THE OCT. 30 GAME? -- "I don't want to rule out anything. I don't know that anybody is qualified to do that. Medicine basically gives you estimates and guidelines and I'm not trying to be vague here. But there is no need to rule out anything. We don't have a situation on the 53. This isn't an active roster, day-game situation. He won't be active. And we don't have anybody valuable enough to take up that last spot to give us the opportunity to see how he does. There's just not enough value there realistically to bring somebody else in. That's the deciding factor. You don't have to spend a lot of time going over and ... kind of 'circumcising the mosquito.' You don't have to do that over there on him because you look back over on the other side that caused you to make the decision and there's nobody good enough to take that spot to give you a chance for that if if he can come back."
IS THERE A CHANCE RANDY GREGORY IS AVAILABLE AFTER WEEK 4? -- "Yes. That's the reason for the appeal process ... Absolutely. Now, I don't want to get out and sound in any way that might influence his ability to appeal it. But he's doing the things he should be doing as of right now. And that gives him a chance."
IS THE APPEAL PROCESS GOING TO BE COMPLETE BEFORE SEPT. 11? -- "Not necessarily. And the closer it gets to the game, the less (likely) that is."
IS GREGORY PART OF ANY CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR THE DEFENSE IN '16? -- "Yes. But not necessarily subject to games, subject to the outcome of this appeal."
ISN'T THE APPEAL PROCESS FRUSTRATING? -- "No, I don't want to go there because this is a well-known process. It goes with the territory. If you get in, if you're a player or you're a team with a player and you get in this world of appeals and you're in the program and those things happen, then get ready for the ambiguity. You condition yourself to this and you make decisions accordingly."
HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE DAK WILL BE DIFFERENT LAST YEAR'S BACKUPS? -- "Well, we're just pleased with what Dak has been. Actually, when we did use Weeden last year, we were dealing with a more seasoned player. We were dealing with one that had started games. We were dealing with a player that was a first-round pick. We were dealing with a player that had really more credentials, if you will. But he hadn't played as well as Dak has played at any point since getting in the NFL. So, we are buoyed by the fact that Dak has played well in preseason.
"We all know the limitation of getting overly committed or overly enthused because of preseason. But Dak has shown his ability to compete at this level. And we'll see. I know the coaches, his teammates, everybody is fully sold on him. And that's a big plus. I'd say that the experience we went through last year in not having Romo and not having Dez -- again, I've already used the word this morning but it has 'conditioned us mentally.' And it's all know what's coming and we all know how important it is to approach this thing in a certain way. And that way is, look, he's who we have. And we want to make that win with his skill set with his experience limited as it is we still have to figure a way to come out of here with a win. If I have any criticism, which I have many of last year of how we all handled last year, it is that we had this idea that help was coming. Let's just 'get by.' I don't know that we really had it. Our team competed really hard all year long. But, still, we want to be sure we look at last year and try to make something positive of it as we deal with our quarterback situation."
HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT YOUR DEFENSE BEFORE SUNDAY? -- "I look at '14's defense and I think we're better than '14's defense. '14's defense along with the offense was able to give us some really good games, give us some really good competitive situations. I think we're better than '14's defense."
ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC OR CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS SEASON? -- "I'm optimistic. I think that we're better than we were in '14. Again, we just happen to be, maybe I brought it up, but we're looking at '14. I think we got a chance to overall with the exception of not having Romo, so you factor that in as to where we stand, but we're going to get him back. But, still, I think as a supporting cast, receivers, our offensive line, our running backs, the whole part of that offensive side of the ball is better. And I think defensively we're better. And, so, but it's different. It will be totally different. It always is because the Giants have got something to say about it. What are they going to be this year? We don't know. But here we go. Still, I like the way our team, it's attitude, the way that the team is inspired with Dak. They were inspired. One thing Dak did bring is a real hope and he brought genuine, genuine promise. And, so, I think we can maintain that. And I agree with Michael Irvin: that's really a major contribution when you play 45 plays, 43 players to win a ballgame. It's not just one man ..."
WHO ARE YOUR SECRET WEAPONS THIS YEAR? -- "I think everybody is expecting something from Zeke. I like [Alfred] Morris. I think Morris showed us some stuff. So, I expect him to play above his grade or his expectation, so to speak. So, I like what he's doing. Defensively, I think our [Maliek] Collins from Nebraska, our rookie in the defensive line, could really play at a high level. He's a very mature but capable -- I don't want to say 'project' -- but he will play better than expected. I frankly think that we've got a chance to see [Kyle] Wilber down and maybe he can be something that Rod [Marinelli] has not really shown an inclination toward undersized pass-rushers. And that doesn't quite fit. Wilber has shown him and shown us all that he can do some things out there. You may hear more from him than you think. And I think Benson [Mayowa], the right end. I think he has the chance to surprise some people. So, I'm zeroing in on this defensive line maybe because I want it that bad."