Cowboys Jerry Jones Q-and-A: 'Gotta Drive Nail In Coffin' To Beat Packers

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Means It In The Most Respectful Way When He Says You 'Gotta Drive Nail In Coffin' To Beat The Packers.' The Jerry/105.3 The Fan Q-and-A:

Jerry Jones with 'G-Bag Nation' on Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, previewing Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers in the playoffs ... and more ...

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR YOU AND THE FRANCHISE TO GET BACK TO THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP? -- "I think that it's easy when you, and we all look at things from many perspectives really, but look at what we missed when we didn't take advantage of our opportunity in '07. And I looked at it from the standpoint of the years. And I would. I would need that excuse, I guess. I look at it for the years and say, look, we've had three or four opportunities with teams that could really advance in the playoffs. '07 was certainly one of them with the same situation we're in right now, home-field, bye, all of that. And we didn't do it.

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And, boy, have we paid the price. Our reputation, our so many things haven't happened because we didn't get the job done that day. And, so, I'm thinking to have the resolve back through. I know I've mentioned I've probably watched that game in a critical, analytical basis. I think I've watched it 15 times since 2007, that Giant game. So, that stuff hangs with you."

HAVE YOU WATCHED THE 'FINISH THIS FIGHT' VIDEOS? -- "I have, and I've proud of that. Charlotte has led the way there. She has a great staff that she works with. I agree with you. I sure am.

"Those players get to have that kind of communication with the players to our fans. It's a neat deal."

HOW MUCH CAN MO CLAIBORNE CONTRIBUTE ON SUNDAY? -- "He's going to have rust because he's been off. Some of the things that he does you can't coach. And they're not necessarily from experience or just his natural gifts, we'll benefit from those. We certainly know that he was playing at the highest level, best level that he was playing of his career before he got this setback. I hope that he can play right where he left off. It's probably optimistic but we're better off with him out there than him watching the game."

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR THE COWBOYS TO GET A WIN? -- "We need to basically control the ball. That's easy to say, hard to do. We need to be very physical and really do things with offensively that do include our quarterback. Now, we need to include the running game in everything. I think it will be real important that we benefit from having guys like [Justin] Durant back, guys like Terrell McClain that we haven't had for two or three games. And certainly hope Lawrence can take some reps out there. Maybe he can do stuff on the edge that we really need here."

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF GREEN BAY SCORING 38 AGAINST THE GIANTS? -- "I saw, of course, how it all happened with about five minutes of the second quarter and then, of course, the half. It just reminds me that you really got to drive the nail in the coffin with that team. They will not understand that they are out of the game, and I thought that was really incredible performance that the Packers made. They were outplayed for the most part of the first half and turned around, got it all back, brought it to bear. It shows you you do have to finish. It shows you it is a complete game, not just a half. It shows just how explosive the Packers can be.

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And, so, all of that certainly left us forewarned and understanding what we're facing with the Packers."

DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT DeMARCUS LAWRENCE PLAYING AND TYRONE CRAWFORD? -- "I did miss Crawford and his work at defensive end. Defensive end will be completely a must in getting a good performance out of him. So, again, when you look at the fact that we have the first guys that we have and the progress that we have with Irving and what we got out there with Collins, a young rookie out there, then I think we're coming into the game with the best we can do."

WAS WEIGHT HAVING AN AFFECT ON TANK'S AVAILABILITY OR HIS BACK? -- "No, no. There's no issue. He's really ready as he's been all season and we just have to see how he holds up."

HOW MUCH FUN DID YOU HAVE LAST NIGHT WITH THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME? -- "Anybody that's worried about interest in football, as it relates to college, can quit being worried. That's a great football game we've seen. It was classic and you had a great Alabama, a great one. And then to have that Clemson team really battle and come back with the heroics of that quarterback and those plays that they were making down the stretch, it just shows you how exciting this game can be and how I was really proud of all of this."

HOW OFTEN WHEN WATCHING COLLEGE FOOTBALL DO YOU SAY SOME PLAYERS WOULD LOOK GOOD IN A DALLAS UNIFORM? -- "What I did see is Clemson's quarterback making some of those plays, I thought that play-action stuff and that threat of the run kind of makes me think of where we are."

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE PICK PLAY AT THE END AND HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PICK PLAYS? --"We know we have the rules, but on the other hand, those rules have ambiguity because those guys have got to go out there and run their routes, what's a pick, what isn't. We all understood what a screen is in basketball. So, the whole bottom line is, yes, there's a place for that. We've had it effectively used against us. But it's a part of the game. And I had no issue with how that game ended and the formations or the routes those Clemson players were using. They were just making great plays. Saban had it right at the end. They just made three or four great plays that won the game. And it was on Clemson's side."

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WR PLAYING WITH CRACKED RIBS AND A QB? -- "Quarterbacks have to torque up and they have to throw. And, first of all, any of us that have had any kind of discomfort in that rib area, which most people have, realize how limiting it can be. You can get a little bit of pain relief. You can get a little bit of help there. But on the other hand, that's one area, that may be the only area, that really has where you're supposed to hit people is in the body. So, that's subject to a lot of pain. We've had a player play the equivalent of cracked ribs and play very physical positions like Jason Witten. So, he's played through that. There could be some discomfort there as well. We've learned firsthand from Jason Witten's experience about pain. Those guys, they're physical guys, those contact space guys, running backs, safeties if you will, all those guys take heavy collisions close in space."

(We've got more on Jordy Nelson and Dez Bryant here.)

HOW MUCH OF AN EDGE IS HEALTH AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR? -- "I think we hoped that it's no accident that we've had the luxury of being able to have a good record as we moved to the last quarter of the year. And, so, we were able to anticipate two or three games back that we'd be in these playoffs. So, we wanted the maximum injury management and that's why we have a couple of these guys back. That's why we've really allowed, not the last game, but some other games have not only games but practice weeks that they didn't have contact but were able to go Sunday."

SO YOU'RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE STAGE BEING TOO BIG FOR YOUR ROOKIES? -- "Well, as a matter of fact, they've exhibited -- the throngs of crowds that you have in the NFL, the win or go home, they have competed in the highest levels, Zeke at Ohio State, Dak at Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference, you can't have better read on a couple of players who are playing in big games than we do on Dak. Gil Brandt told me that Dak Prescott had won more in than any quarterback in the history of the SEC, won three or four road games at Mississippi State with huge crowds, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, places like that. And, so, that's one thing that really makes both of these guys the equivalent of veteran players. Not only have had the experience of this entire year, but they experienced here. But they had not only an experience, they had the temperament, the type that goes to playing in pressure situations. So, I don't think we're at a disadvantage playing with 70-percent veteran players Sunday."

(There are other reasons the rookies don't feel like rookies. As we write here in "The Cowboys Creed'' and here in "All Smiles,'' ) the veterans don't treat 'em like rookies.)

ARE WE GOING TO SEE RICO GATHERS IF YOU'RE SHORT AT TIGHT END? -- "You really might. I don't know that we want to talk about that because it's truly an option for us. And he has had some very significant improvement this year. And, of course, you're talking about a roster spot. We've handled those roster spots with or without Rico. But he's certainly made some improvements. You're talking about a guy that's short on literal football experience. But he's not short on high competition or high stakes. He was the rebound leader. So, he knows how to be physical. So, he might be called upon to help us out here."

(Of course, if you are a Cowboys Premium fan, you knew about the Rico Gathers idea, and the other roster options, on Jan. 6, here.)

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