IRVING, Texas - In the middle of several topics and opinions relating football and the 2014 season, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones, who is the team's director of player personnel, gave a timely answer when asked about the construction project in Frisco for the team's new practice facility.
"I think they're going to start doing some work (Thursday)," Stephen Jones said. "It's exciting. We're fired up about our place. Hopefully, it'll be state of the art and best in class. We're excited to get with it."
The Cowboys officially announced the decision last August to move the headquarters from Valley Ranch in Irving to Frisco. The timetable to open the new facility hasn't changed from the original plan for the start of the 2016 season.
Over the last two years, the Cowboys have sent representatives to several NFL teams and even college football programs to see various setups for headquarters.
"We've been to several college places and several NFL clubs. We saw some good ones," said Jones.
And while Valley Ranch has stood for about 30 years, there will be obvious differences between the two places. But in some regards, it won't be drastic.
"It'll be different. Just layouts," Jones said. "We're always looking for space (currently at Valley Ranch). So obviously, there will be a different feel for it. There's only so many things you do with locker rooms, access to the field, weight rooms and training rooms."
As for the future of Valley Ranch, Jones said there is some plans for the family-owned property. [embedded_ad]
"We'll do something with it. It's not going to sit here like this," said Jones, who mentioned the family's familiarity in Real Estate and said turning the land into an Apartment building is "more than likely."
Stephen Jones talked a little football as well. Here's a few issues he addressed following Wednesday's practice.
- When asked if the defense can get "markedly better" in 2014, Jones cited the number of players in uniform at the end of the season that weren't even in the offseason plans this year. "They were playing games and we were counting on them to beat Philadelphia and now they're good enough to make the 90 (man roster)," Jones said. "I think that tells you a little bit where we were."
- Flipping to the offense, Jones said he believes the Cowboys' offense can be better than good, and closer to great.
"I think it can. I really think it can. Obviously we think Tony is an elite quarterback and we put this supporting cast with him. I think we're better on the offensive line – you'd hope so if you spent the 16th pick in the draft on one of the better offensive lineman in the draft. I think we have a chance to have an elite offense."