SAN ANTONIO -- The day after the Cowboys failed to sign cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, the one man who tried to make a big sell for him said he really wasn't trying to get him.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said, or joked, depending on how you read it, the team wasn't in the mix for Asomugha, who signed a five-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, spurning a four-year offer from the Cowboys.
"Actually I love Nnamdi, probably my most favorite player I ever coached," Ryan said after Saturday's walkthrough. "I wasn’t ever planning on having Nnamdi Asomugha."
In Friday's afternoon practice, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones pulled Ryan out of a defensive drill so he could speak on the phone with someone. After Ryan's conversation, Jones walked over to his son, team executive vice president Stephen Jones, and gave him a fist pump.
"The chase wasn’t as real as apparently people made it out to be," Ryan said. "I'm not supposed to be reading the papers, but hell I read em' That wasn’t the deal. A lot of [those] calls was trying to get [Marcus] Spears and somebody else’s agent [Jordan Woy, the agent for Kenyon Coleman]. Man, there were a lot of phone calls to Nnamdi, but nah, it wasn't really true."
Jones admitted during a radio interview on 105.3 FM that he did try and pursue Asomugha and thought the Cowboys had a deal. The Eagles signed Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million contract in comparsion to the Cowboys' offer of roughly $40 million over four years.
What made Friday interesting is that the Cowboys were trying to replace one of their own players who was on the practice field at the Alamodome. If the team thought it completed a deal for Asomugha, the team would have pulled Terence Newman off the field so they could tell him he was getting released, traded or moved to another position.
The Cowboys have told Newman about their plans to upgrade the roster, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to him.
"Yeah, I guess we've had conversations with Terence all along," coach Jason Garrett said.
Newman declined to comment, saying he will speak with reporters on Sunday.
"I'll be honest with you: I could care less," secondary coach Dave Campo said. "When we came out here, we knew what we had here. I don't even know what our administration was doing with Nnamdi. I think he's an outstanding player, but I'm telling you, we've got good corners."
Yet, it was a strange day to see the Cowboys try to replace a player in public.