IRVING, Texas – Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones, the team's director of player personnel has a lot on his mind these days.
The regular season is 10 days away and there's one more preseason game between now and trimming the roster to 53 players.
And for those who think the Cowboys have it all figured out even before Thursday's tilt with the Texas, Jones says 'not so fast.'
"I would just submit to you right now that anyone who knows what our 53 is going to be I want to meet him," Jones said. "I think that remains to be seen."
But the roster was one of the questions we feature as Jones met with the Dallas-Fort Worth media this week:
Do you ever cut the roster down to 51 players, knowing there might be two more guys on the waiver wire who could be claimed?
Jones: I think you cut it all different ways. You cut it to 53. Also you have different tiers of guys. There are guys who are, hey, they're good maybe enough to be on the 53 but if you find value you want to get that. There are also some years there are guys where it is hard to find 53,that really deserve a spot on the 53-man roster. I don't know that's the case this year. I think we can find 53 right here in our own place. But at the same time injuries can make a difference on that. Different positions that you might want to look at can make a difference on what you ultimately keep. That's just a work in progress. It continues to be one.
Have you learned anything by cutting Matt Moore and does that factor into your decision to keep Alex Tanney as the third QB?
Jones: With all due respect to Matt Moore, I don't know if we let anything get out of here that is going to win us playoff games. Anyway, I just hadn't seen that we let something get out of here that was something we needed to have. He went on to be a roster player and made some starts. I don't know necessarily, though, if it would have made a difference in our plight.
What did you think of Jason Garrett's decision to bench DeMarco Murray Saturday night after his fumble? Do you encourage him to do that more?
Jones: Absolutely. I have no issue with that. I think Jason's a great football coach. I think we're lucky to have him. I think he gets better every year. I certainly support him. I know Jerry supports him in what he's trying to get done with this team to make them more accountable and do things that will make the difference in finishing 8-8 vs. getting in the playoffs and making noise and ultimately winning a championship.
This will be the first time Wade Phillips returns to the sidelines. What are your thoughts about the current Texans defensive coordinator?
Jones: I think did a lot for us. The players played hard for him. I think they enjoyed playing for Wade. We had some good runs there. I thought we had a couple of shots there. One season I think we were 13-3. I was convinced we maybe had the best team in the NFL that year. Obviously we didn't get it done. We had some other good runs under Wade. I think he made a mark here. The guys did play hard for him. As far as the last 15 years, we had some of our better seasons under Coach Phillips. I will be great to have him back. We still get to see him obviously. We have Wes here. It will be good to see Wade.
What does that say about (current TE coach) Wes Phillips and how he was able to stick around and earn respect on his own? [embedded_ad]
Jones: Yeah, I think a lot of people look at nepotism and they think, well guys get jobs that maybe don't deserve them. I think that shows that obviously Wes is a sharp guy. He loves football, he works hard at it, and he has a passion for it. He's obviously made his mark around here. I think Jason, his staff, respect Wes, the job that he does, and obviously the players do. He's a full-time coach who's got his own position. I think that says a lot for Wes. I think his arrow is up, and he's only going to get better in this league.