Dallas Cowboys COO Stephen Jones thinks coaching staff will “right the ship”

Dallas Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones joined our friends in the “G-Bag Nation” on 105.3 The Fan Monday. Here is the transcript:



HOW ARE WE DOING? — “We’re moving forward out here.”
WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTATIONS WITH SO MANY BLUE-LEVEL PLAYERS MISSING FOR THURSDAY? — “I just think we have to do a better job than what we’ve done. We came out and played good football of the last two games but are not getting the job done in the second half. There is no excuses here. All teams have injuries to good football players. We just to have to continue to look for the right answer to put four quarters together. We’re not doing that right now. We didn’t do it against the Falcons. We obviously didn’t do it against the Eagles. You got to give the Eagles a lot of credit. They’re playing really good football right now and came out and did what they needed to do in the second half and really beat us soundly there in the second half. We believe in this football team, believe in the character of the team, believe we’re going to continue to get better at certain positions where we’re young and we’re having to fill in and at the same time we’ll start to get guys back. But we do, the facts are the facts, but we have to have the next man up mentality. We certainly believe we can go out there and make a strong run here to finish and still have an opportunity to accomplish a lot of what we set out to accomplish when the season began.”
THE LAST TWO TIMES YOU’VE HAD TO REALLY GO “NEXT MAN UP,” A LA 2015, IT’S NOT EVEN BEEN COMPETITIVE (Gavin) — “Well, I disagree with you. In ’16 we did. We lost Tony [Romo] last year and did step up. Obviously did what we needed to do. I think this story is not finished yet. And we’ve had two bad football games against two good football teams, one on the road and one has the best record in the NFL. And we’ve got to do a better job. But we certainly believe we can right the ship here and do the things that we need to do to win football games.”
IS DEZ BRYANT 100 PERCENT HEALTHY? — “Yes. I think Dez is 100 percent healthy and we just have to execute better in the passing game. I think that Dez has taken the plays that are designed to go to him and he’s doing a good job. I think the rest of it, as we throw the ball downfield to Dez, it’s a continual work in progress between Dak [Prescott] and Dez on getting on the same page and making the bigger plays down the field.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU PREPARED AT LINEBACKER IN THE OFF-SEASON FOR INJURIES? — “Yeah. You always struggle if you start to have multiple injuries at one position. Don’t get me wrong. But we still like what we’re going to play with here. We brought back Justin Durant, who had done a good job for us the year before. We obviously think a lot of Jaylon [Smith] and certainly been a learning experience for him as a young guy coming off a major injury. And then, of course, Damien Wilson’s a guy that we think a lot of as well. And then we continue to work the wire and we’ll see how [Justin March-Lillard] steps up this time and see how he plays.”
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR COACHING STAFF’S IN-GAME ADJUSTMENTS? — “Well, obviously everybody is going to take a look at where we’re coming up short. And we played really played competitive football in the first half of the last two games and certainly have come up quite a bit short in the second half. I know we’ll take a look at all areas, whether it be adjustments, whether it be how we’re playing in terms of our competes and what we need to be doing there. And we need to take a long, hard look at that because we’re obviously not getting the job done in the second half.”
IF YOU LOST A THIRD-STRAIGHT GAME BY 20 OR MORE POINTS, COULD YOU SEE A CHANGE TO THE COACHING STAFF? — “No, we like our staff. Obviously it’s the same staff that was in place last year and we just have to get over, you know, a tough stretch here, this two-game stretch here is obviously not been one that anybody is proud of or at the same time thinks what this team is about in terms of the character of the football team, our coaching staff, or our organization. We just got to go to work. We got a short week and we’ve got to right the ship.”
WHAT PART OF THE OFFENSE IS MISSING THE MOST RIGHT NOW? — “I think anytime you miss great players you miss them both. The defensive side you miss a guy like Sean Lee but you got to overcome that. This is a league that every week you see who somebody has lost for the year and it’s certainly a challenge for them. We’ve got to do a better job than we’ve done up to this point of overcoming that, whether it be Sean, whether it be Tyron [Smith], or [Ezekiel Elliott], we’ve to answer the bell better than what we’ve done up to this point. It’s been a challenge and we haven’t had the right answer, but I’m convicted that this team has the right type of character. Our staff has the right type of conviction in this team that we would get it right.”
IS THERE ENOUGH TIME FOR CHIDOBE AWUZIE TO TAKE SNAPS AWAY FROM ANTHONY BROWN? — “I think Anthony has made some really good plays for us and he’s had some inconsistencies at times. So, I know we’ll take a look at that. I don’t see any major changing this week as we do have Chido on a pitch count in terms of rushing him out there and him getting too much too fast. So, we’ll continue to look at where he can help us the most when he can get in plays. But we still have confidence that Anthony is going to get consistent as we move forward. As I said, he’s made some good plays, but he’s making some plays that are inconsistent with what you would hope to have. So, that’s something that’s always — every time these guys come to work it’s competitive, and anytime someone is not playing to their very best, and it’s a competitive situation out there, they’ll compete this week, and we’ll see how we line up there when we play the Chargers.”
HOW MUCH MORE DIFFICULT IS IT TO DO “NEXT MAN UP” WITH STARS COMPARED TO ROLE PLAYERS? — “I mean, you just said it all. It’s always tough when you’re replacing a guy who has $15 million allocated to the salary cap. Those guys get paid that type of money because they make huge differences. And when you replace a role player, no question they’re much easier to replace and not feel it as much. Anytime that happens to 32 teams across this league where they lose — sometimes these teams lose their top players and sometimes they’re losing their role special teams player and they have to do the very best job they can to do it.”
IS DAK PRESCOTT AT A POINT IN HIS CAREER WHERE HE CAN CARRY A TEAM? — “I’ll tell you what. He’s very athletic and he’s very unique. If I were going to bet on someone who could pull it off, it would be Dak. At the same time, it’s tough for one player, one person to carry an entire team. And I think he certainly needs help. That offensive line has been our strength. We struggled there the last two games. There’s no doubt about it in terms of the sacks and the pressures that were given up. We’ve got to continue to look for the right answers to help him out so we can get him a little more time and a little more confidence so he can sit in there a little longer so he can make the throws and the plays he needs to make. But if I were going to bet on someone to lead us down the stretch, it would be Dak.”
ANY INJURY UPDATES? — “I think Dan [Bailey] has a great opportunity to kick. We probably have to make that decision. If we do that, we probably keep both kickers up for the game to see how he gets through that in case we go that direction. Then I do think Tyron is getting better. We’ll see how he works out this afternoon and we still don’t have any final prognosis on exactly how much time, if at all, [Anthony Hitchens] will miss.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE TACO CHARLTON IS PLAYING THIS YEAR? — “Well, I think anytime you come into the league, some guys are more prepared and they just have that ‘it’ and they step right in and play. And some guys it takes a little bit longer for the light to go on. But I do think he’s getting better. We see it in practice, intensity level, what’s expected of him, work ethic. All of those things are improving. And some guys when they get here they don’t quite understand what it takes to have success in the NFL. And we’ve had guys like that. Obviously DeMarcus Lawrence when he came in here, he was hurt. He got to spend most of the year changing his body, getting in the weight room, seeing what it took. He’s certainly making contributions and we certainly think that arrow will keep going up as we move forward.”
WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE PASSING OF TERRY GLENN? — “Just as you just said: terribly saddened to hear that news. He was certainly a guy we enjoyed around here. Bill [Parcells] brought him in here, introduced us to him, certainly made a lot of great plays while he was here. But enjoyed the person, Terry Glenn. Certainly way too early for a young man like that to pass away in a tragic accident like that. Know that he will be missed and prayers will go out to all his loved ones, his family. Just way too early for a young person like that to pass away.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THANKSGIVING SIDE DISH? — “I got to go with my grandmother’s dressing. We kept the recipes. Actually both of them had unique dressings, and the gravy that goes with it is definitely my favorite and look forward to splurging on that a little bit. We actually have our Thanksgiving — it will actually be Saturday because we have obviously the Cowboys on Thursday and the Scots on Friday. So, we won’t be able to sit down to our Thanksgiving until officially until Saturday. But we will certainly look forward to it. And, as we all know, we have a lot to be thankful for. We feel very positive as we move forward that we’re going to right the ship here and we got the right kind of guys on this team that will get it right.”
WHAT KIND OF GRILLING WILL YOU DO FOR THANKSGIVING? — “The Thanksgiving meal doesn’t have a lot to do with the ol’ grill. So, we’re going to let the guys, let the girls get in there and get the turkey done and the sides that go with it. So, I will probably get the Saturday off on this particular meal.”

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