Talking "Footballese'' about the Cowboys' draft. ...
* Cowboys watchers used to get irritated when owner Jerry Jones went public and talked "Footballese.'' Never mind the time Jones spent playing college football at Arkansas, or the last 16 years he's labored as an NFL GM, or the endless hours he's spent gaining insights into the pro game by watching film and watching games alongside the likes of Johnson, Switzer and Parcells.
Of course, this is a different era of Cowboys football. So Jerry has to speak "Footballese,'' because of all the time the traditional speaker, the coach, spends in his spider hole.
"You won't see us be in the fullback business much, if at all," Jones said, speaking this weekend on the second-round selection of Anthony Fasano, the Notre Dame tight end.
As is often the case when Jerry launches into an X's-and-O's monologue, the owner is simply mouthing the words handed him by the coaching staff. Unfortunately, sometimes, things grow a bit muddled in the translation.
So it is with this "no-more-fullback'' stance.
A better way of saying it: When the Cowboys need a "fullback,'' there will be one already on the field. He'll simply have a jersey number in the 80's. For that matter, sometimes, when the Cowboys need a "third wide receiver,'' there will already be one of those in the huddle, too. But that "third wide receiver'' will just happen to come in a package that goes 250-pounds-plus.
The two-tight-end offense will become Dallas' standard formation, and Pro Bowler Jason Witten and Fasano will both be full-timers. But the real change isn't who "starts''; the real change will be in who "stays,'' on second down, on third down, on short yardage, and the like.
* If you think the member of the Bobby Carpenter Camp that drove the Cowboys to select the Ohio State linebacker with their No. 1 pick is his dad, Rob, well, you don't know how Bill Parcells runs his Cowboys.
Yes, Rob once played for Parcells' Giants. And yes, the coach already has a relationship with the kid. So yes, Bobby -- projected as an immediate starter by Jerry Jones and others within Valley Ranch -- is a few practice-field cups of water delivered to the coach away from being a certified "Parcells Guy.''
But the real connection within the Carpenter Camp isn't the dad.
It's the agent.
I promise, Cowboys fans, I won't turn this into a negative. But I will beat this drum again (especially since only now are other media outlets starting to notice): The coach of the Cowboys has an uncanny knack for acquiring players who are represented by an agent named Jimmy Sexton.
Who just happens to represent a coach named Bill Parcells.
No conspiracy theories here, just a statement of fact: On any given day, you could visit Valley Ranch, toss a dart into the air, and have it "plunk'' into the flesh of a Sexton client. Jason Ferguson. Marco Rivera. Aaron Glenn. Bradie James. Jason Witten. Tony Dixon. Marcus Spears.
The Sexton Connection branches its way down more Valley Ranch hallways. Last year draftees Kevin Burnett (who played for Sexton client Phil Fulmer at Tennessee), Chris Canty (who played for Parcells former assistant Al Groh at Virginia) Rob Petitti (a Jersey boy like Parcells) and Jay Ratliff (played for Sexton client Tommy Tuberville at Auburn) are all in The Family. So is this year's second-rounder, the tight end Anthony Fasano. Fasano is not only from Joi-see, he's also a disciple of Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, who is a disciple of Parcells.
Who, did I mention, is represented by Jimmy Sexton?
"If we drafted everyone Bill knew or had a relationship with, there's no telling what kind of team we would have," Jerry Jones says.
No, Jerry, if you drafted everyone Bill knows or has a relationship with, you would have a team full of very signable players represented by one agent. And a few guys from places like Hoboken. Carpenter was asked if he is already a "Parcells Guy.''
"I wouldn't characterize myself as one of those guys yet," he said. "I believe that's something that's got to be earned, but I'm looking forward to the opportunity. My dad said he always valued hard work, and that's something that I'm going to bring to the table every day.''
OK, kid. You're not yet a "Parcells Guy.'' But you are a "Sexton Guy.'' And for Bill, that's close enough.
* Regrets? They'll have a few.
Three draft-weekend decisions worth watching as this NFL Draft bears fruit (or doesn't):
1) What exactly is it that Dallas decided it doesn't like about South Carolina safety Ko Simpson?
2) When QB Matt Leinart started slipping down, should Dallas have started charging up?
3) Will the solid ability of Bobby Carpenter make him a better pro than the freakish abilities of Manny Lawson?
Remember, I've only got the questions here. We might be years away from the answers.
Fish: Talking 2006 NFL Draft
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