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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Deciphering Jerry Jones is never easy

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- Sometimes it is difficult to translate Jerry Jones. Over the years you get a feel for not so much what the Cowboys owner and general manager says but how he delivers the message.

Jones spoke to reporters Monday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and some of what he said made sense, and some, frankly didn’t.

What made sense: “If you don’t have pressure on them [the opposing quarterback], then you’re toast.”

What didn’t make sense: “Our front is one of the strengths of our team.”

Huh? This front seven needs a makeover. Look at San Francisco, Baltimore and the New York Giants. Those front sevens make plays. The Cowboys have DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee and Jay Ratliff, but he had just two sacks in 2011. Anthony Spencer, Bradie James and Keith Brooking are free agents. Kenyon Coleman is not a lock to return.

What made sense: “We’re very likely to have new faces over there [in the secondary]. How much I can’t tell you but we’re going to have new faces.”

What didn’t make sense: “It wouldn’t be a surprise for him to be there on the team,” talking about Abram Elam, who is a free agent.

Well, if Elam returns – and I’d favor that and have said they should have re-signed him in favor of Gerald Sensabaugh – then the only new faces in the secondary would be Terence Newman, Alan Ball and Frank Walker.

What made sense: “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

What didn’t make sense: “Personnel is not an issue in my mind overall relative to us having a good team next year. I think we’re going to have and do have a core base of personnel that’s going to get us there.”

What the, huh? The core is pretty good if that core is about 10-15 players deep but the Cowboys need to shore up the depth of this team to be better than 8-8 in 2012. Now, that’s not unlike a lot of teams in the NFL but the teams that made playoff runs had reliable players in spots 16-46 on game days.