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News: JJT:Cowboys aren't looking for quick fix

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Jean-Jacques Taylor: Cowboys aren't looking for quick fix 03:42 PM CDT on Tuesday, April 27, 2004

    Jean-Jacques Taylor
    Inside Valley Ranch

    The Cowboys' draft is about more than passing up Steven Jackson, Kevin Jones and Chris Perry. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones and coach Bill Parcells are trying to build a team with staying power.

    To do that, you don't always make bold, sexy moves that leave fans satisfied and overrated draft prognosticators proclaiming your genius.

    To build a team with staying power, you take offensive linemen with two of your first three picks and a rugged tight end,who can help your run-blocking, in the fifth round.

    To build a team with staying power, you draft two players -- Rutgers' Nate Jones and Northwest Oklahoma's Patrick Crayton -- for one purpose: kick returning.

    If you find a guy good enough to average 24.5 yards per return and replace Zuriel Smith, then consider it a job well done.

    To build a team with staying power, you don't get sucked in by peer pressure.

    Just because most teams had Steven Jackson and Kevin Jones ranked at the top of the draft board shouldn't have influenced the Cowboys to do the same -- not if they believe in their scouts and other talent evaluators.

    The Cowboys believed Kevin Jones was the top back in the draft.

    The apparently tried to trade back into the first round to get him, but the price tag was too high. So they settled for Julius Jones, who was Parcells' favorite runner in the draft.

    Parcells said he watched five or six game tapes of Jones.

    He liked Jones because he has balance and the ability to make yards when a play is poorly blocked. He liked his catching ability and the way he blocked on the few times Notre Dame threw the ball.

    He also liked his toughness and speed. Jones had the second-fastest 40-yard dash at the scouting combine.

    There's no guarantee any of the moves Jones and Parcells made this weekend at the draft will work.

    Jones could be a bust like his brother Thomas. Tackle Jacob Rogers and guard Stephen Peterman might be average at best.

    But Dallas' logic was sound.

    They tried to significantly improve their talent and depth at running back, offensive line and special teams.

    You build a team with staying power by making good decisions. Even if the moves don't always work out, teams with sound plans will eventually prevail.

    COWBOYS Q & A


    Q. It was a major mistake to pass on the three top running backs. Who is in charge at Valley Ranch? It must be the accountants. What do you think?

    Billy Moon

    TAYLOR: I don't think money had anything to do with it. The Cowboys have plenty of room under the salary cap, and their rookie pool is determined by which picks they use, so if they had used the No. 22 pick to draft a runner, then more money would have been added to their pool. The Cowboys didn't think there was much difference between Steven Jackson, Kevin Jones and Chris Perry and Julius Jones.

    •••

    Q. I'm no expert, but I've noticed a trend. Do you know one of the differences between the Cowboys of the early Jimmy Johnson era and the Cowboys since? In Jimmy's day, the Cowboys made bold moves in the draft, often trading up to get a big-time player. They were hungry for the best players and found a way to get them. Since then, the Cowboys have become much more likely to trade down in the hopes of finding a bargain in the basement. I realize that the salary cap and draft position have been factors, but it still appears to me that the Cowboys' front office has fallen a long ways from its earlier days when it was known for being among the most serious movers and shakers in the league.

    Chris Workman, Lake Jackson, Texas

    TAYLOR: The only reason Jones and Johnson were movers and shakers in the early '90s is that they had all those draft picks from the Herschel Walker trade. That's why Dallas coveted the Bills' No. 1 pick. With two No. 1 picks, the Cowboys think they can dictate the draft next year and come away with an impact player in the top 10 or trade one of the No. 1 picks for a second- and third-round selection and get four of the top 100 players.

    •••

    Q. I have no doubt that Julius Jones will be a good runner. However, there hasn't been a safer pick at tailback in years than Steven Jackson. He plays tailback with a mean streak. He punishes defenders, he is smart, picks up the blitz well, and catches well out of the backfield. No way would I have passed on Jackson. If Jackson had not been there at 22, I would have been thrilled with this deal, because I truly believe Kevin Jones will be a bust. He doesn't play up to his capability.

    Ella Matthews

    TAYLOR: I've made this point before: I don't think Steven Jackson is special. I could be wrong, but runners who are considered special go in the top five or top 10 of the draft. There's a reason Jackson fell. Teams weren't convinced he could be a star. Now that doesn't mean he won't be a star, but clearly the Cowboys and a lot of other teams thought he was flawed. Just for the record, Kevin Jones was the top back on the Cowboys' draft board and the runner they would've chosen if they hadn't added Buffalo's first-round pick.

    •••

    Q. Why are you and many others saying that the Cowboys "added" a first-round draft pick next year when they lost this year's first-round draft pick. I realize they added second- and fifth-round picks this year, but is that really worth passing up the best running back for Julius Jones?

    Greg Mauro

    TAYLOR: Here's the deal: Dallas didn't think there was much difference between Jones and Steven Jackson or Kevin Jones. This draft had nine impact players according to most draft experts, so the Cowboys expected to get a good player, not a great player. With two first-round picks next season, the Cowboys can move up in the draft for a star or add 2-3 more quality players to their roster by trading the pick for additional premium draft choices. The Bills' No. 1 draft pick carries a lot more weight than New England's first-round pick. Or Carolina's. Or St. Louis'. Those teams should be in the playoff hunt. Buffalo is probably the worst team in its division, so there's a chance that pick could be in the top 10 or 15.

    •••

    Q. Personally, I think you're wrong about our off-season. Marcellus Wiley, even if he plays like he did last season, gives offensive lines a lot more to worry about than Ebenezer Ekuban did. Marcellus will get at least six sacks this season. Even if Willie Blade is ineffective as a pass rusher, the fact that you have La'Roi Glover and Greg Ellis on the other side will free him up. One of those two require double teams, and I think Wiley can beat most tackles one on one if we set him loose. Also, the acquisition of Drew Henson is important. You can't compare him to Chad Hutchinson because Drew has more talent. What do you think?

    Scott Small

    TAYLOR: I think you're putting a lot of stock in Wiley. Maybe he can do it, maybe he can't. But my job is not to be optimistic. My job is to be realistic and deal in facts. The facts say he struggled to get to the quarterback the past two seasons. Now you can use any excuse you want to justify his poor numbers, but the reality is he has been just a guy the past two seasons. The Cowboys hope that will change. Henson looks good on paper, but no one has any idea whether he can play. He has potential, which is another way or saying he hasn't accomplished anything. I'm looking forward to seeing both those guys play.

    •••

    Q. Why are players given bonus to sign a contract?

    Shorty Pettit

    TAYLOR: The primary reason is to lower the player's salary cap figure. For example, if you give a great player a five-year contract with a $10 million signing bonus and a first-year salary of $500,000, then he would only count $2.5 million against the 2004 salary cap (divide $10 million by five years and add the base salary to get the salary cap number). You've still given the player big money -- he earned $10.5 million -- but he didn't count nearly that much against the cap.

    •••

    Q. What's the latest on Ty Law? Do you think New England might let him go the way they did Lawyer Milloy? If so, what do you think his chances are in him coming to play for Parcells again?

    Scott Julian, San Jose, Calif.

    TAYLOR: I don't think New England is going to let Law go. I think he's too good a player to release no matter how much he criticizes the head coach. I don't think the Patriots are going to let him go because they have a chance to make history by joining Dallas as the only team to win three Super Bowls in four seasons. If he's free, Dallas will make that phone call. I think he'd listen, but it comes down to money.

    •••

    Q. Please tell me why Randal Williams and Pete Hunter are not in NFL Europe. I realize it takes a toll on the body playing football year round, but these guys need experience. Williams is a raw talent. If he is going to take a big step forward, he needs practice repetitions. The same for Hunter. What do you think?

    Blake Noblit, Longview, Texas

    TAYLOR: No one sends their top prospects to Europe because you want them at your training complex working on technique with the coaching staff and learning any new additions to the offense. As you mentioned, the possiblility of injury is also a concern. You want your top players as healthy as possible going to the season. Playing in Europe doesn't help.

    •••

    Q. How about Kurt Warner? Is Quincy is our man because Big Bill likes him or because he is stuck with him because of Jerry? What do you think?

    Frank Sullivan

    TAYLOR: Quincy Carter is the quarterback because there are no better options now. It's pretty evident that Parcells and Jerry don't think he's a championship-caliber quarterback. If they did, they wouldn't have brought in Drew Henson and spent a third-round pick on him. Until they think Henson is ready to start, Carter will be the guy. Once Henson is ready, he'll be the man.

    •••

    Q. What do you mean with your stance on "what it costs to get average players in the NFL today?" Do you mean that you would overpay for a good player rather than pay market value for an average player? Dallas is in no position to overpay for good players. That's what Philly or teams that lack one or two players to get over the top should do.

    Jason Harter

    TAYLOR: The point I was trying to make when I said Parcells must understand there is a certain price for doing business in the NFL is that average cornerbacks in the NFL earn $3 million per year. Great corners in the NFL earn $6 million-$7 million per year. That's what it costs. Just like great quarterbacks in the NFL earn $7 million-$8 million per year. That's the price of doing business. So if you're looking for a better cornerback than Mario Edwards, who's average, then you can't balk at paying more than $4 million. That's what that type of player costs.




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  2. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    Wow, JJT actually admitted Carter was not the future!
  3. baj1dallas

    baj1dallas New Member

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    Won't be long before this team has two kinda guys on it: Either you're a 300 lb lineman, or you can return kicks.
  4. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    I almost capped, bolded, underscored, and special-fonted that. :p

    But seriously, anyone not willing to admit what the Henson signing meant is, well, behind it.

    Doesn't mean Q can't improve, can't start anywhere, can't drive a bus decently.

    But it does mean the braintrust thinks Henson is something special.

    That he can actually WIN games for ya.
  5. CoCo1

    CoCo1 New Member

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    That's a really strong position being taken by JJT on this draft.

    It does more than suggest that Dallas alternative strategy was legitimate. It seems to imply that it is actually superior, meaning that to grab Jackson or Jones at #22, and perhaps sexier picks than our two OL and the ST guys would actually be an INFERIOR approach, less staying power.

    Pretty strong statement IMO.
  6. Tsgt Hendricks

    Tsgt Hendricks Benched

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    Name one Qb that can win games by himself. Better yet name any Qb that has done that past pr present.

    Heck they htouhg hutch was something special. Henson has not done one thing but stunk up baseball, he is done there so now he wants to do like hutch and run back to football, well he will soon find out that football in the NFL is not that easy.
  7. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    You are right about something, football in the NFL is not easy, just ask Carter he seems to be really struggling.
  8. windward

    windward NFL Historian

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    I'm really excited by the acquisition of Henson. I love Q as much as anyone, but Henson's upside is tantalizing, to say the least.

    That being said I wouldn't mind if Kerry Collins was brought in to bolster the position and chalenge Q for the starting job
  9. Mike 1967

    Mike 1967 New Member

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    This is the best quote I have read all day LMAO
  10. Mike 1967

    Mike 1967 New Member

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    Michael Vick
  11. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Sarge, you know what I meant, and it wasn't take the field all on his lonesome.

    I meant carrying the team once or twice a year when needed. I meant coming from behind to win in OT a few time each year. I mean a few games with memorable plays, ones cemented in your mind, the wow! throws, the Ahh! drives. Highlight reel stuff leading to wins. Leadership stuff. It was on "me", and I commanded.

    Beautiful football.

    I'm not going to name ALL the QBs I've seen win games for his team, because the list extends from Joe Namath to freaking Jay Fiedler - putting a team on his back and carrying it kicking and screaming into the won column is NOT the territory of only the Marinos.

    Any GOOD QB has to do it sometimes.

    Any starting QB better have it in him at least twice a season.
  12. jay cee

    jay cee Active Member

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    Carter had a game like that against the 49ers, his rookie year and made big plays against the Panthers his 2nd season to win a game. I think he can be a Jay Fiedler type. I just don't see him as a superstar qb.

    I doubt that Henson will be a superstar either. That's why I am glad that the Cowboys did not spend more than a 3rd rd pick for him.
  13. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Active Member

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    And since Parcells places a premium on guys with versatility, they're gonna start looking for 300lb'ers who can return kicks! Can't wait to see the train wrecks at the 20! :eek:
  14. Chuck 54

    Chuck 54 Well-Known Member

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    I hope all you guys are right, but frankly, the Henson signing doesn't mean anything more than the Chad Hutchinson signing meant. It's the same thing...we didn't have a proven QB...they were unsure about QC, so they signed Hutch. Now they've done the same thing with Henson. I'm not comparing Henson to Hutchinson...I'm comparing the situations and the signings. The Hutchinson signing meant the same thing the Henson signing means...but Hutch still had to prove he could play ball.

    So does Henson...let's hope he can...otherwise we just have two guys behind Carter.
  15. jay cee

    jay cee Active Member

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    Ain't that the truth. If they wanted to make a change, I would have preferred going after Couch. And now I would much rather Collins than Henson. This team is a decent offense away from being a superbowl contender right now. Decent not great.

    I don't think they can be a decent offense with a guy who has not played beyond college ball, AFTER a 3 year layoff. I'm putting my hopes on Carter stepping up with an improved o-line and running game.
  16. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Geez it bugs me when I read about Jimmy J and Jerry J back then...and how supposedly the only reason they were bold in their moves was because they had a bunch of draft choices.

    Duh, JJT, did you ever think that it required rather bold thinking for JJ and JJ to trade Walker in the first place? :rolleyes:

    When those two took over the franchise, they were dynamic...everything they did was bold...
  17. Cbz40

    Cbz40 The Grand Poobah

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    :eek:


    That was a shock.
  18. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    JayCee, I felt all last year that altho Tuna was correct in his number one mandate: reining in of Q's impulse decisions (no possible way the playoffs were made w/o it), the straight jacket he had on Q did take away some of his natural flair for the big play. I mean, he ended up with over 20 picks, some not on him, but I sort of doubt he'd have had many more in any system, even a wide open one. He strikes me as the kind of player who not only needs to find that rhythm, but to get that full head of steam, which feeds upon itself. I personally love QBS of that type, and will take the bad with the good. But not at the expense of the playoffs.

    Q was to some extent micro-managed last year. Had he not been, I think we would have seen more personal highlights, but ultimately fewer wins too.

    Do you remember Tuna's late season press conference when he said: "I'm not trying to straight-jacket him"? Oh. YES you were.

    I'd love to see Q get off to some fast starts this year, and build up confidence with a few BLOW OUTS. ;) Like maybe matching Daunte TD for TD come the season opener. Blow them out in their own dome, and start them on that season long nose dive like last year v the Jints. I can just see Julius (find this kid a nickname, someone please) on an end around, leaving Tice's mouth hanging open in the first drive of the game. Then Moss meets up with Roy at the wrong place, wrong time. Umm, umm, 31 can plant Bennett into the carpet too while he's at it. Culpepper we save for Dat Dude.

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