Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones Q-and-A on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday:
IS ALL OF THIS WINNING GETTING BORING? -- "Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? I'm hanging on every series, hanging on every play, and just wanting to make sure we don't do something that makes it go the other way for us."
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT THIS COWBOY FEVER IN DFW? -- "This particular fever, I don't know that I felt it. But we certainly had a great months, years, days in the '90s. We did win three championships and that felt good. But this one was beyond our expectation, just the timing of it. And the fact that we really haven't had this feeling since we've gotten into free agency. It's made a big difference in how you construct a team that can be successful and maintain it."
ARE YOU FEELING BETTER ABOUT THIS YEAR THAN IN 2007 AND 2014? -- "Well, but we didn't have the part of it that had the consistency, which is expressed in nine straight wins. We had some interim times there where we were a little less excited. I know that when I look all the way back, I think to what we thought was the best team in the '92 and '93 team that I think we won nine games by a touchdown or less in that particular time. So, you never got this feeling that we have right now."
DOES 2014 AND THIS YEAR ALLOW YOU TO POKE YOUR CHEST OUT SAYING YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING? -- "I think that you recognize, we all do, that Jason has evolved as a coach. When he became our head coach, he had never head coached anything, whether it be at the college level, high school level. And, so, he's had a lot of things that have been a learning process for him, which is a good thing, which is what I counted on. He's bright. He's total football oriented if you will; osmosis, sitting around the table growing up. All of those things are, I think, coming to bear. We all, during this particular time, we've gone at this thing a lot of different ways. We've had last year without the quarterbacks but we just have learned from our mistakes. I think last year has helped this year."
DO YOU WATCH GAMES WAITING FOR THE OL AND RUN GAME TO TAKE OVER? -- "I haven't seen one like we had Sunday where we had five straight possessions and didn't come away with any type of movement or any type of series that we were satisfied with. So, I think that one's different. Frankly, each of these series, each of these games are different, different nuances. That Pittsburgh game was a lot different than that one Sunday. And I'm just talking now from trying to see a pattern like you're talking about. What I'm seeing is guys that are making some really good grades if you will on Monday. In the offensive line, I'm seeing an alternating of players that are doing better and doing more better if you will on the defensive front. I'm seeing some great consistent play from Sean Lee. And that secondary has really impressed with the way those two key injuries we had there guys have stepped up that really replaced them. So, no, I'm not seeing a pattern here other than the fact we're winning the game."
HOW'D ROMO HANDLE BEING THE BACKUP? -- "He wants to compete. He wants to play. And there's no doubt about that. He was as genuine there in the locker room and was as excited about the win as anybody else was in there. He's just as he said he was going to be. He's supportive and he's ready. He's ready to go on a moment's notice. We're giving him snaps out there at practice. Not giving them to him, he's taking those snaps and he's ready to play. And, so, if we should have an occasion where he needs to step in there immediately, he's there and ready."
DID YOU SEE DAK PRESCOTT AND THE CUP? -- "Well, I did and I thought if you go out to our stadium or you go out to The Star if you go down on the event level or if you're in the top part with the suites in that area you'll see no intellectual clutter and you'll see all the trash picked up. That's what we want. We're proud of it. And it's good to see that carry on through to the sidelines. John Madden was once sitting with Stephen at practice. And there was some paper that had gotten loose and split up and going in two or three different directions on the field. And everybody walked out to practice and nobody picked it up. And John said, 'When your dad comes out before he says anything to me, I'll bet you $100 that he goes over and picks up all that paper.' That's what you do when you are trying to basically not only when you're trying to be an example but when you get in the habit of it. I'm proud of him for doing that. You can tell. I bet you one thing. That mobile home he grew up in, it might have been modest, but I bet it was clean."
IS THERE ANY CHANCE MO CLAIBORNE IS NOT GOING TO RETURN DURING THE REGULAR SEASON? -- "None at all. I think the nature of what he's describing [bone coming off pelvis] is frankly what happens when you have a groin area injury sometimes. So, I think he's just describing in his terms a little bit about the injury. It would appear that he's on the same recovery prognosis that he had when he injured."
AND WHAT ABOUT BARRY CHURCH? -- "I know nothing that is altering our plans for when they would return. Every individual is different. We hear that all the time. But right now I know nothing on either of those players that alters the timeline."
WHAT IS YOUR INTENT WITH ACTIVATING JAYLON SMITH? -- "We all want his nerve to get in better shape. That can be an unpredictable thing. We're very pleased with where he is right now with his strength and all of the other things. We're just hoping to see it continue to improve. But nobody knows. No medical people know when that might occur. But we wanted to keep his eligibility as far as NFL rules are concerned. We wanted to keep that alive this year."
DO YOU THINK DALLAS NEEDS A LOSS TO KIND OF REFOCUS AS MICHAEL IRVIN SAID YESTERDAY? -- "No, but if Michael has a sense for that then I'll accept that. I really like his basic instinct about a team. I'll remind you of the story. I was sitting there with him when we were playing the Rams in preseason and Dak got in at quarterback and went down the field and hit a back shoulder to Dez for a score. And, man, we were just on the edge of our seat. I said, 'Did you see that? That's really impressive.' He said, 'What was that?' I explained it to him again. He said, 'I'm looking at the sideline. Look at all that whole team over there, a hundred of them plus coaches that are almost out on the field hanging on every move he makes.' He said, 'He's inspirational. It takes more than one guy to play this game. He's got this team fired up.' So, Mike's got a great feel for this thing."
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR DARREN MCFADDEN? -- "We'll activate him when the time comes. He's fresh, got fresh legs. We all know his speed. And, so, he gives you some outside opportunity with that speed. And, so, we've got to find a place for him."
SET US UP FOR THURSDAY IN THE JONES HOUSEHOLD -- "One thing in the morning I go out to the stadium, get there about 5:00 a.m. And we set up and go literally across the country to the morning shows that each of the network stations all across the country. Sometime go as many as 30 or 40 of them. And we do that through 9:00 a.m. and cover the country talking about the kickoff of the Red Kettle Campaign and all that the Salvation Army, how many millions of people that help. So, I'm looking forward to that. But that will happen real early in the morning. So, I'll make sure not to be coming in rather than meet myself going out there. So, I'll have a goodnight's sleep and be ready to go out there. But that has become such a part of our Thanksgiving Day. I was sitting there with Reba McEntire almost 22, 21 years ago. A little sad note for me, but my daughter put her head in the door for whatever reason, and usually outside on the field. And she said, 'Papa Pat just passed.' That was my father. So, I've got a lot of memories about that event."
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING IN WASHINGTON? -- "I see one of the top teams. And, boy, don't think for one minute that they're not capable of being right there. This will be a big challenge for us. I'm not so sure that -- first of all, I'm glad that we got it at home. We need to have this at home and we got out of there with a win in Washington. But we did just that. We got out of there with a win. The quarterback helped us out a little bit. He's not doing that anymore as I've watched them play. So, bottom line is we do have to get ready for a hell of an effort on their part and I have a lot of respect for them. So, this is a big game for us. They're all big for us. This is a big game, division game. This would do a lot to have a win."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR DANCING DAN SNYDER? -- (laughs) "I'll tell him to make sure not like me when I was in the ninth grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, I'd come up to about the girl's armpits. That's how short I was in that time and had a big growth spurt about after that. So, if I'm Dan, I'm staying out keeping that arm's length and keeping my feet moving and not emphasizing the height difference."