MOBILE, Ala. – Owner Jerry Jones had more to talk about Tuesday than just the play-caller of the future.
Jones and the Cowboys made a couple notable hires prior to the start of the Senior Bowl. Many teams would like the luxury of a full staff to evaluate the incoming talent to the NFL, but he said the timing of the practices this week in Mobile, Ala., had no bearing on when he made or will make staff decisions.
"Not an issue," Jones said. "Each timing of any decision we made that we have made had nothing to do with the timing of the Senior Bowl. It had more to do with their availability and our ability to get it done when we had a meeting of the minds. It just turns out that our timing was when we had a meeting of the minds with Monte."
While Jones still needs to make a few decisions on the offensive side of the ball, the vacancies on the defensive side of the ball were filled prior to Monday's practice, with Kiffin and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli joining the team.
Jones said Kiffin's experience throughout his coaching career, dating all the way back to his days as a defensive coordinator at Arkansas and Nebraska in the '70s, should help him prepare for the type of option and read zone attack that could be utilized by NFC East rivals for years to come.
"I do think that one of the things we're getting defensively is we're not only getting the benefit of these coaches' experience, but we're also getting the benefit, if you will, of real current experience, relative to a couple of the teams we're going to be playing," Jones said.
He mentioned specifically how the Redskins and Eagles are beginning to resemble college offenses.
"So that won't hurt us that Monte's been over there a couple of years," Jones said.
Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson hasn't been among the large contingency of Cowboys staff members watching Senior Bowl practices in the stands.
Jones complimented what Robinson brings to the table as a receivers coach, but didn't go into detail about where, if or how the receivers coach will fit in next season.
"I don't want to address him or that situation, but I don't think what we're doing is the reason that we may be doing things different with Jimmy at all," Jones said. "It has more to do with Jimmy and his career and where he is in that career at this time. Jimmy Robinson is one of the finest receiver coaches and brings a lot to the table regarding ideas. If he's not involved, it won't be because of his skills, it'll be more because of his own personal interest."
Romo On Board
Any play-calling changes will undoubtedly alter the offense for quarterback Tony Romo.
Jones said he doesn't need to sell Romo on any sort of changes if a new play-caller is intact next season.
"Certainly one of his pluses is how aware, how savvy, how much he invests himself in what we're doing to win ballgames," Jones said. "I will assure you, whatever we ultimately come up with and how we go forward on the offensive side of the ball, he'll be gung ho and excited about it."