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Networks discuss hapless Dallas Cowboys

by Mel Bracht Published: October 27, 2008

On “Fox NFL Sunday,” sideline reporter Pam Oliver interviewed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the state of his dismal football team. Here are some excerpts:

Oliver: “Is your team a mess?”

Jones: “Mess is not the word. It’s so close; it’s an offside penalty here, it’s bad timing of a penalty there. It’s missed assignments here but mess I think is real strong.”

Oliver: “You said you’re keeping Wade (Phillips) for the season.”

Jones: “Absolutely.”

Oliver: “Then evaluating?”

Jones: “No, not at all. It’s ridiculous to think that I would change Wade Phillips. We’ve got a head coach that was very much a part of that turnaround from a year before.”

Oliver: “What on earth makes (WR) Roy Williams worth $45 million?”

Jones: “When you put him on the other side of Terrell Owens, initially you create problems for the defense. So, he’ll be a big time addition.”

Oliver: “Is it time to cut ties with Adam Jones? You asked him to do one thing and he couldn’t do it.”

Jones: “I have spent a lot of time looking at Adam’s background. I know him to be very smart. He has made bad decisions. He is being asked to really toe the line, as it should be, in a way that probably not many of us have had those kinds of restrictions in what we do. I know from the standpoint of a football player, we’ve never had one on this team that had more things that he couldn’t do and that’s going to take a lot from him. If he does it, then I’ll consider it.”

Fox NFL Sunday’s Terry Bradshaw, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan and  Howie Long react to Oliver’s interview:

Johnson: “They’re a sloppy, sloppy football team. Their fundamentals are poor; they should have been practicing the fundamentals in training camp rather than being TV stars for “Hard Knocks.” And I’ll say this to Jerry (Jones). Don’t tell me about 13 wins in the regular season. The fans want to know about playoffs.”

Bradshaw: “Jerry Jones spent $142 million this year, $30 million more than anyone in the National Football League; he’ll pay $85 million dollars in bonus money alone this year. However, not one dollar was spent on a leader.”

Strahan: “On the sidelines the players look dejected. They need a fiery guy who is always positive to go up and down that sideline to keep guys in the game. If they had that one player, I guarantee you they wouldn’t have the record they have right now.”

Long: “In some ways the cure is the curse in Dallas. As a player, Jerry (Jones) is a guy you want to play for. Jerry’s going to do whatever it takes right now and the Roy Williams acquisition is a great example of that but they have too many distractions. This was the most talented team in football last year and they’re the most talented team in football this year. As poorly as last season ended, I think the single focus should be on winning a championship not Hard Knocks and not the distractions. Right now, it’s a distracted football team.”

CBS analysts also discussed the Cowboys on “NFL Today.”

Bill Cowher: First it’s the distractions. They have the situation with “Pacman” Jones with all his issues off the field and then you have to deal with TO on the field. But I will say this, Dallas has always had a little bit of the circus atmosphere to it. So, I don’t think this is a big issue because I think you understand that when you play down there. Another is team dynamics. You’ve got to have one voice. In this situation you have Jerry Jones who is on the sideline when they’re winning. When they’re losing he is talking to the team. Talking about the status of the quarterback and Wade Phillips has to listen to Jerry, because right now he has to know what he’s saying as well. But even Wade has his own issues.

Shannon Sharpe: I don’t think these guys are a Super Bowl football team for the simple fact, when you turn the ball over as much as they do and your defense is undisciplined. And right now they don’t have a lot of talent on the back end…What you need right now is some character guys to stand up and say ‘look, forget all the distractions, forget Jerry coming in and talking to the football team’…one guy in that locker room comes with credibility. (He) has been there long enough and is a good enough player to sit that entire team down and talk to them. I don’t see that happening. I don’t see them going to the Super Bowl.

Best NFL defenders

Hall of Fame DE Howie Long and future Hall of Fame DE Michael Strahan ranked their top 11 defensive players thus far in the 2008 season:

1. DeMarcus Ware (LB, Cowboys)

2. Troy Polamalu (SS, Steelers)

3. James Harrison (LB, Steelers)

4. Albert Haynesworth (DT, Titans)

5. Antoine Winfield – (CB, Vikings)

6. Ray Lewis (LB, Ravens)

7. Charles Woodson (CB, Packers)

8. Aaron Kampman (DE, Packers)

9. Kevin Williams (DT, Vikings, a former Oklahoma

State star)

10. Mario Williams (DE, Texans)

11. Lance Briggs (LB, Bears)

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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