Jones family State of the Union: Packers offense comes to Dallas committed to Dak & Zeke

The NFL world has come to Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl, one of the offseason’s biggest pre-draft showcases for upper-class college players and the top decision-makers of the Dallas Cowboys, owner Jerry Jones and his son and team COO Stephen Jones are of course part of the crowd in the observation.

Jerry and Stephen addressed a variety of issues Tuesday, including the direction of their offense, both schematically and from a player staff perspective. Here’s what they said and what their comments could mean for the future of Silver and Blue:

Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s west coast offense, who was used by the Green Bay Packers, is coming to the Dallas Cowboys: “But this is an opportunity [Kellen Moore’s firing] for Mike [McCarthy] and us to use other skills and assets that we have, as well as Mike’s background and experience running offense and calling games,” Jerry Jones said Tuesday when asked about the reasons for Kellen Moore’s departure.” He [McCarthy] knows our staff even better [than when he was hired in 2020]he knows what they did and he can play that into his offensive system however he wants [use]. I feel good during this time [with McCarthy calling plays] because it evolved. I feel more comfortable than I would have if he’d been calling plays as soon as he took over as head coach. I always looked at him [McCarthy] not as a walk-around coach, but as a coach who could coach the offensive side of the ball. It’s going to be basically how he operated in Green Bay, which I’m sure he’ll tell you has evolved.”

“In Mike we have an outstanding Super Bowl winner who has proven himself as a play caller and offensive coordinator. I am confident that Mike can do whatever this team needs. The team, as far as the players are concerned, are really following Mike. He has a personality that makes our players the best they can be. I’m really impressed with how Mike has coached this team and the unity he has among the players. I look forward to building on that.”

The Importance of Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn: Jerry then detailed how Dan Quinn’s success as his defensive coordinator the past two seasons gave him even more comfort that McCarthy had called the games on offense. The 2021-2022 Cowboys defense has become one of two since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to lead the NFL in consecutive seasons at takeaways and joined the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “steel curtain” defense from 1972-1974.

“Dan Quinn gives us a huge advantage here because of his proven ability and the fact that we can really rely on what he brings to the table for both the team and the defense,” Jones said unprompted. “For me, this is one of the best forms of my experience that I have experienced in coaching.”

Dan Quinn’s Ability to Keep Defensive Free Agents: “I’m really excited about that,” Jones said. “His combination of scheme, skill and the way he gets individuals to commit to what he wants them to do, this close-knit aspect of it is really impressive. Honestly, I’m excited to see when Mike comes around to doing the same thing on offense and seeing the more direct benefits of it.”

Expanding Quarterback Dak Prescott’s Football Horizons: Jerry Jones cited a key reason for Moore’s move to McCarthy as the team’s offensive play caller is related to Dak Prescott progressing as quarterback under McCarthy’s direct tutelage.

“It’s a great opportunity to expand Dak’s now [knowledge]let him have the opportunity to take Mike directly [McCarthy] can give him as a coordinator,” Jones said. “He [Prescott] would probably be the first to tell you that there will be some nuance there, that it’s new territory for him too. My point is that I think this is just taking advantage of our situation. We happen to have two head coaches now, with Mike of course being able to fully focus on leading offense and calling plays. Coordinating all offensive blocking, receiving and tight ends. Mike can be in the thick of it because he winds up the plays and calls them in-game. What that really means for us is to maximize the skills of our coaching staff if you think about what we have with Dan Quinn and what we have with Mike.

Still believe in Dak: “I’m very strong on Dak,” Jones said. “I’m thinking of a unique person, a unique football player, a unique quarterback…but this whole thing [McCarthy as the play-caller] reflects the positive side I feel in Dak. This has everything to do with the positivity around Dak and the building around Dak. I won’t speak for him, but I don’t know anyone who looks in the mirror more than Dak and is interested in self-correction and improvement. He’s very open about doing better, which doesn’t necessarily mean different.”

Future contracts with Dak: I think you can absolutely watch it,” Stephen Jones said. “Are we going to do it or not? It takes two interlocutors. First and foremost, Dak is the key player in this soccer team. Nobody respects him more than Jerry and I. You’ll have 12, 13, 14 quarterbacks making over $40 million if you look up and he deserves to be in that category… The bigger thing for us is that hopefully Dak will be our man for the next one ten years. I think Dak will play for so long. He takes care of himself and strives to be great.”

Cowboys would love to rewind Ezekiel Elliott’s future next year:”If we take a closer look at the season, we’ll see Zeke’s positives,” Jones said, though his fast yards per character declined in each of Elliott’s seven seasons. “Zeke will look better the more you look at what he’s brought to The Table to find out more about what the season has been like. I don’t want to talk about Zeke until we’ve had a chance to evaluate our entire season. But I know this without looking at any rating: Zeke was far more instrumental in our success than his fast yards would suggest. I believe that. I would love to have him back next year. “

“I think Zeke is the ultimate competitor,” said Stephen Jones. “His style is different from Tony’s [Pollard], and if you’re a fan, Tony’s kind of a fan-man because of his juice. At the end of the day, Zeke is a worker. Its competitiveness isn’t something you can define with the stats. That’s how we see it. Zeke has been amazing in terms of what he’s done with the Cowboys during his tenure here. It’s hard to define. You always want Zeke. The question is, “Are the numbers working?” special guy Nobody respects him more than Jerry and I. Nobody respects him more than this organization. Sometimes it’s a tough business and we’re going to have to talk business, and he knows it.”

Dealing with the wide receiver position in the 2022 season: “We probably relied too much on what [third round rookie Jalen] Tolbert could do it because we believed he was coming out and thought he could become a factor right away,” Jones said. “We thought we could get better results compared to [wide receiver Michael] Gallup as far as rehab and where he is. The other part, the elephant in the room, when I look at the salary that’s at stake here, over $20 million a year [the dumping of wide receiver Amari Cooper and his $20 million per year salary to the Cleveland Browns] and then look at what we got with that salary to help this football team that we wouldn’t have gotten if we kept it [Cooper’s salary]I like what we did.”

What’s next for the wide receiver position: “We need Tolbert as a young player and we have to keep looking,” said Jones. “[CeeDee] Lamb has done everything and more that we hoped he would do. We need some guys who have a better chance of opening up. We can probably do some things in the passing game [schematically] help [Michael] Gallup is getting more involved. You can’t look at the receiver position in isolation because the receiver freed up more than $20 million to have the team we had.”

The odds of Odell Beckham Jr. being a Dallas Cowboy in 2023: “I’ve gotten to know him well, but we’ll talk,” Jones said.

“So we left it with him: ‘Get ready to play and let’s revisit it,'” said Stephen Jones. “We obviously had an interest for a reason.”

Run down Tony Pollard’s contract chances in free agency after his playoff injury: “The surgery wasn’t a first thought for me to look to the future and I certainly see Tony [Pollard] in the future,” Jones said.

Expectations for offensive tackle Tyron Smith and his future: “Right now, yes,” Jones said when asked if the 32-year-old, eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle will be back on the team after battling the injury virus for the past three seasons. “With a veteran like Tyron, a veteran like [Jason] Peters and Terence [Steele]… I like the way we’re going about it with our offensive line than I’ve done in the past few years.

Finally beating Tom Brady for the first time in eight tries in what appears to be his last NFL game: “Once after my freshman year [as owner], Jimmy Johnson and someone asked me about my freshman year, and I put on a ball that Herschel Walker had signed, ‘This is our win,'” Jones said, comparing the Cowboys, who celebrated their only win in 1989, to when they won 1989 1:15 went to beat Tom Brady. “Someone said to me, ‘I don’t know anyone who is happier to win than you.’ I’m proud of that win, I’m going to keep that win in Tampa Bay like I did with the Herschel walker ball when we won a game freshman year, that was my prize, he [Tom Brady] was outstanding.”

What Cowboys fans can look forward to: “Think of the fact that we’ve won 24-25 football games in the last two seasons,” Jones said. “Think of the fact that we were one of the leading and winning teams. Consider the fact that we had some of the best staff in the National Football League. Think about the fact that you have Dak [Prescott]. I like that… Focus on Dak will be better at turnovers. Focus on that and that we have a coach who has given us the results that we have had. I understand when people say the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl in 25 years. Many different things have been done over the course of 25 years, just as it would have been had you changed general manager or ownership. I have to change in my mirror. I like the incentive that we have to win.”

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