Jones Ready for New Role

IRVING, TX. - As Dallas head coach Bill Parcells visited with the media Wednesday for the first time since Monday night's last-minute loss to the Washington Redskins, he clearly was looking forward to Sunday's game with the San Francisco 49ers -- a fact he made clear when he said "I'm not here to re-visit" the loss to the Redskins.

Right or wrong, the Dallas secondary has fallen under serious scrutiny for allowing Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell -- not thought to possess one of the stronger arms in the NFL -- to connect with wide receiver Santana Moss on a pair of touchdowns covering 39 and 70 yards in the game's final four minutes. Parcells defended his secondary's talent, but admitted he has toyed with the idea of adding some speed and coverage experience in obvious passing situations (for the opponent) by moving cornerback Nate Jones to safety, although he remained non-committal about the idea of implementing the plan.

"I've thought about it," Parcells said, "and if I do it, Nate Jones would be the player. I've worked him there (at safety) a little bit in the last couple of weeks. If I decide to do it, he'd be the guy."

Jones said Wednesday that he likes the idea … because he feels like he's better prepared to handle the position than he would have been last year, and because it presents another way in which he can establish a stronger foothold in the NFL.

"I worked out hard" in the offseason, Jones said. "I added some muscle -- that was one of the big things they (the Dallas coaches) wanted, a little more size. I got up to about 190 in the offseason. Of course, I ran a few of those pounds back off during training camp, but I'm definitely stronger. I can feel it. The way I move, the way I hit -- I can feel it a little bit."

Whether or not Parcells chooses to play Jones at safety remains to be seen. In the interim, he will continue to fill his jack-of-all-trades role for the Cowboys.

"That (playing safety) is still a work in progress," Jones said. "Right now, I still see myself as a utility man -- cornerback, nickel back, safety, special teams -- anything to get my feel settled in the league. My goal is to earn a starting spot and establish myself. Until then, I'll do whatever they ask me to do."

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