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Stephen Jones Talks Injuries, Standouts, Stadium Name
OXNARD, Calif. –Stephen Jones spent some time Friday discussing a range of topics, from the stadium’s new name to the new Hall of Fame class to the current state of the Cowboys and their injured players.
Here are some of the notes from that session.
• The decision to leave the name “Cowboys” out of the new AT&T Stadium was the Cowboys’ decision, according to Jones.
“It was our decision all the way. It was not anything we considered. We wanted it to be AT&T Stadium. In no way were they the ones leading the charge of no Cowboys in the name. We just felt like AT&T Stadium says a lot. It’s important for us for it to say a lot to our fans that we’re committed to being best in class when it comes to connectivity and technology.”
• Jones also noted that Texas Stadium never included the Cowboys name, either. He said they had to be patient to finally get the deal done with AT&T, but it was worth the wait.
“We think we’ve got the partner that we’ll work with and have the same commitment that we have, which is really make this a world class stage to really show off what connectivity and technology can be.”
• Hamstring injuries continue to pester the Cowboys, but Jones didn’t sound particularly concerned that there’s any reason his team has suffered so many compared to other teams. He said players train harder and have better diets to take care of their bodies in today’s game, and sometimes hamstring injuries come with the territory when working so hard and playing so fast.
“It doesn’t mean we’re still not going to continue to try to find a way to do better. Obviously any time you’ve got guys missing time, and it starts in practice, then that’s not good. Of course, it gets really difficult and affects your success on the field when it ultimately leads to missing games.”
• One player already lost for the season is Tyrone Crawford. Jones said the Cowboys can overcome the loss, but he doesn’t fear the injury will hurt Crawford’s future with the team. He said Crawford was going to win the award for the hardest worker in the offseason for his group.
• If he had to pick one young player who’s catching his eye immediately, that would be safety J.J. Wilcox. Jones said he brings a thump and has only just started to tap into his potential after playing mostly on offense throughout his football career.
“We felt like he was a hell of a third round player and that’s where we got him, and we’re certainly pleased we did. Everyone asks the question, ‘Why didn’t you pick Leon Lett earlier?’ I said, ‘If we would have known he was Leon Lett, we would have picked him earlier.’”
• The Cowboys will be in Oxnard, Calif., for another year contractually. Jones said the team’s always enjoyed itself in Oxnard, and he hasn’t worried too much about where the team will be after the contract is up.
• Jones wouldn’t rule out some of training camp being held at the Cowboys’ new training facility, wherever that ends up. He said if the team moves from Valley Ranch, he could anticipate seeing a situation “where some fans in North Texas could come out and enjoy some practice.”
• Jones also commented on the upcoming Hall of Fame ceremony and the selections of Bill Parcells and Larry Allen. “No one deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, in my opinion, more than Bill Parcells,” Jones said. He said the mutual respect between Parcells and Jerry Jones made everything work.
He was just as excited about Allen’s introduction. “Just his natural strength, you hear players tell stories about it. He’s certainly a legend. You hear about all the people who got the Larry Allen flu whenever they were playing the Cowboys.”
Photos from Friday's afternoon practice >>