IRVING, Texas – One day after the passing of his mother Arminta, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was in good spirits when he was stopped in the hallway Wednesday at Valley Ranch. He spoke for a while about his mother and shared some memories with his son, Stephen, also present in the conversation.
But it wasn't long before he started off the football talk and said "Ok guys, ask me about Sean Lee."
So here are a few comments from Jones on Wednesday about Lee, DeMarco Murray and his trust level with Tony Romo.
What are your thoughts on not having Sean Lee for the rest of the season?
Jones:That's a setback. He's not only a setback after the ball is snapped, but before the ball is snapped. The thought that we'd move Carter to his spot and Connor is in, the old adage that it gives someone else a chance to show what they've got doesn't necessarily apply here because he's proven to be a difference maker out there. We're going to have to adjust for him. There's never a doubt in my mind, I just didn't know where it was going to happen, before we finished this season, this journey to where we want to go, we're going to have to make injury adjustments. I've said all along I think this team has an opportunity to be a contender but the one exception that I made was … sitting as we're sitting right now health wise, injury can make a difference and does in the NFL.
What is DeMarco Murray's long-term status?
Jones: I don't think it's long term. I think we'll have him back in the foreseeable future. I wouldn't predict.
How disappointing is it to go in the game without Murray, Lee?
Against this team, by many and arguably the best team in the NFL, we wanted all hands on deck. It is disappointing not to have two players of that caliber. It's been my experience when you do have a situation like this, others will step up. Others on the field at different positions will compensate. Like I said, we'll give more to Carter and he'll have to compensate and be a better factor.
What is your trust level in Romo right now?
I view that, I understand exactly how that appears and I use the word trust. I don't think that's the right word. I think Jason when he's done it, has felt that there's less, be more conservative running game specifically and have a better chance to win the game. I don't view that as trust, one of the things that we thought we would have a heck of an advantage, Tony sees so well and makes good decisions before the ball is snapped. That we wanted to get all that we could get to some degree and it created other issues, relative execution offsides penalties, those kinds of things, so we have cut that back some but that's not to say in certain instances that we won't use it. I think what has happened, you probably see less at the line of scrimmage in between the play call. But Tony still influences the play call and obviously the play that is call he really influences by checking out of it or read the options on the play and he's very much encouraged to do that.
Have you guys taken some of the pre-snap responsibilities from Romo?
Jones: Let's put it like this, we've basically created a little less pre-snap communication with the rest of the team, that's not taking the load of him, that's the communication before the ball is snapped has been tightened up and probably crisper.
Do you think Romo is being more careful with the ball lately?
Jones: I'd be careful about saying that what you're seeing last week is what you're going to see this week with him, relative to (being careful). We don't want to take the Romo out of Romo because it's going to get us where we're going to get. We've got to keep the Romo in Romo. Hes' going to have to be the one that gets out there and decides whether or not he wants to make the play or not. That hasn't been something that (the) staff has said 'we want you to do that.'
We've always, from my perspective, I've always told him 'go out there and make those fabulous plays, keep the drives moving… but turn the ball over.' And I laugh, please understand I'm almost tongue and cheek when I say that … we all I know it's talking out of both sides of your mouth.