Now retired in Hot Springs, Ark., Larry Lacewell was the head of scouting for the Dallas Cowboys for 14 seasons (1991-2004), working with Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Jerry Jones. Lacewell’s career skyrocketed in the 1970s during his second stint at OU, where he coached 11 consecutive seasons, the majority as defensive coordinator. He also was head coach at Arkansas State for 11 seasons and defensive coordinator at Tennessee for two seasons in addition to early career stops at Iowa State, Wichita State and Kilgore (Texas) Junior College.
Draft Day is miserable.
It’s like a 10-hour football game. You’ve spent all these months getting ready after your scouts spend months preparing for it. If you sit where we were a lot of years, at the bottom of the first round or somewhere between 18 and 25, you start seeing all the players you really want come off the board. It’s a sickening feeling. By the time you get to draft, your top players are all off the board.
While Draft Day can be exciting, you have 25 phones hooked up.
You’re sometimes talking trade. You’re nervous. You’re jumping sideways, following every move teams are making. It’s not as much as fun as people think because you don’t have much control over who is available.
Barry Switzer often gets criticized for not being a football coach but you can describe the word coach in a lot of different ways.
Some guys like to X’s and O’s every play. Barry could do it all. He had no ego. Once he became head coach, other than the Texas game and the Nebraska game, he didn’t coach much. He motivated, recruited, talked to the players. But he would get involved in those two games.
Barry, frankly, was brought in to the Dallas Cowboys to not screw it up.
So often people want a head coach with an ego who puts his stamp on a team. Everyone knew we had a great football team. They had won two Super Bowls under Jimmy (Johnson). Barry’s style wasn’t conducive to what some of the players wanted.
(Troy) Aikman wanted to truly believe that it was blood and guts that won football games.
It wasn’t necessarily talent. Barry was just the opposite and knew talent was the biggest variable. Barry was laid back. The majority of players loved him. He did what we brought him in for. We went to the NFC championship game his first year and won the Super Bowl the next year. I don’t know what else you could ask a guy to do.
Barry was a victim of the salary cap.
The cap was just starting to affect teams with a lot of talent to where you couldn’t keep all of them. Even saying that, I’ll say it the way it is — by that point Barry no longer was a night-and-day guy. He wasn’t going to get to work at 6 in the morning and stay until 10 at night. He wasn’t going to do that.
Jerry Jones is probably the most remarkable person I’ve ever been around.
He’s the eternal optimist. I’ve never seen anyone like him in my entire life. The world can be falling apart and he would think the sun is shining. He is great. He’s a very brilliant person.
People keep saying the Cowboys need to hire a football man.
Jerry has been in the business 20 years. Good Lord, I have to believe he’s just as much a football man as Tex Schramm and Gil Brandt after 20 years. Jerry doesn’t get enough credit because he goes on the sidelines and talks as much as he does.