The Cowboys' version of the Wildcat offense was debuted during OTAs on Thursday.
In Dallas, they are calling it the "Razorback" as a way of paying homage to running back Felix Jones who helped raise the offensive formation to prominence while he was running the "Wild Hog" package along with Darren McFadden at Arkansas.
Receiver Patrick Crayton, a former college quarterback, served as the quarterback in the Cowboys' Razorback offense. Jones, however, is the primary weapon in the version of the formation that was shared with the media. That makes sense in that it creates another way to get the ball to Jones and utilize his breakaway speed.
On one play, Jones lined up at running back and quarterback Tony Romo was split wide with receiver Roy Williams in the slot. Right tackle Marc Colombo lined up outside of left tackle Flozell Adams to create an unbalanced line.
Jones is certainly excited about the possibilities and wants to see just how innovative offensive coordinator Jason Garrett can get.
"Man, it was great," Jones said. "It brought back old memories. It's just the first day. I believe we can get a lot better at it. You'll see a lot more of it, I'm hoping, when the time comes."
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips was a little coy about the behind-the-scenes development of the offense. He said the offense has its limitations because the quarterback is essentially a non-factor. He also emphasized that the Cowboys wanted to keep the ball in the hands of Romo because he's a Pro Bowl player who makes things happen.
But Phillips also acknowledged that they're tinkering with the en vogue system to get a more in-depth look at it from both an offensive and defensive standpoint, considering the number of teams who have implemented the formation in their offense.
"We want to look at that and be prepared for it defensively and offensively and maybe have some options in that area," Phillips said.
"We will see if it goes any further than that. It depends on what we can do certainly. If we feel like we can utilize and do some things from it and still help our offense or at least look at it defensively and come up with some schemes to stop it, this is the time to work at it."
Notes and Quotes
--Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will soon sign a sponsorship deal with the Texas lottery. The Patriots and Redskins have already signed deals with the Massachusetts and Virginia lotteries to put their logos on scratch-off tickets.
Jones said a deal is imminent. Breaking from a strict policy that deterred any association with gambling, NFL owners voted two weeks ago to allow teams to sign licensing deals with state-sponsored lotteries to generate revenue during a weak economy.
--Owner Jerry Jones doesn't agree with receiver Terrell Owens' comments about Tony Romo and Jason Garrett being behind his ouster in Dallas. But Jones said he doesn't hold any hard feelings toward Owens and says they still have a good relationship, good enough for Jones to pay attention to what Owens says as a member of Buffalo Bills.
"I'm drawn to when he's featured on certain segments and I read carefully what's written. I do that because I have a good relationship with him," Jones said. "I do and I know ... I'm very confident that we've communicated well. So the answer is yes. When you say pay attention, I certainly look at it. He's credible with me.
"Of all the people on the planet who knows why Terrell's not here, it's me," said a chuckling Jones. "And I've seen nothing he's said that bothered me because I know he or anyone else can't get right where I am on the logic and rationale to make a decision."
--Former Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart has taken a job with the Philadelphia Eagles as special assistant. He was fired by the Cowboys at the end of last season.
Phillips wished Stewart good luck, even though he might share some secrets with the Cowboys' division rivals.
"I'm really happy for Brian Stewart working in Philly," Phillips said. "Unfortunately he'll help them, I think. He won't play for them, which is good, but he'll help them. He's a heck of a coach and we had a great relationship and still do."
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