Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Meetings memo: Jerry Jones praises Derek Dooley
By Calvin Watkins
PHOENIX -- Here are a few thoughts about the Cowboys as we enter the final day of the NFL owners meetings.
Derek Dooley impresses: While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is impressed with his new defensive coaches, he praised new receivers coach Derek Dooley in his chat with reporters Tuesday. Jones said he loves the ideas Dooley brings and says he has a fresh set of eyes for the offense.
"I like the fact Dooley is coming in here with college ideas, been around a lot of that fast-moving college game," Jones said of Dooley, who was fired after three seasons as the head coach of the University of Tennessee. "Jason (Garrett) has a lot of respect for him. He’ll end up having a lot of input in our passing game."
Slot receivers catching Jones' eye: Jones was asked if he regretted letting Danny Amendola go in 2008 when the Cowboys cut the slot receiver and re-signed him to the practice squad. Amendola eventually ended up with the St. Louis Rams and last week signed a five-year, $31 million deal with the New England Patriots to replace Wes Welker.
"No, I just see Welker. I regret Welker," Jones joked.
Jones, however, did praise young receiver Cole Beasley, who is built like Amendola and Welker and has the potential to become a good slot receiver. "Beasley's got some of that," Jones said. "You know Amendola and you know Welker, and he's neither of those two, but he can really create some problems for those guys over on defense. (Tony) Romo thinks a lot of him. He's got a shot for us."
Training camp dates: The Cowboys are still in the process of finalizing the training camp schedule. The veteran minicamp is tentatively scheduled for June 11-13. Training camp would start July 20 in Oxnard, Calif. After three preseason games, the Cowboys would return to Valley Ranch possibly on August 17 or 18, depending on the date of the third preseason game.
Safety working out for Cowboys: University of Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro tweeted he's going to work out for the Cowboys on Wednesday. Vaccaro is projected as the best safety in the draft and, with the Cowboys selecting No. 18 overall, there's a good chance he might be around. The Cowboys currently have Barry Church and Matt Johnson as their starting safeties, but the team is open to bringing in a veteran or drafting a safety. Jones said the Cowboys are not drafting for need, but for best player available.
Paying a franchise quarterback: The Cowboys are in the process of sealing a deal with Romo. Team officials won't go into specifics about how much it would cost, but you could assume Romo's new contract will average between $15 million to $18 million a season. It's a steep price at one position. Just ask the Baltimore Ravens, who signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a six-year deal for $120 million. "I’d say it’s a good problem to have," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It’s the problem everybody wants to have. When you’ve got the young quarterback and you just drafted them and he’s playing well ... When you look at some of the teams that have the young quarterbacks, their cap situation is really good because they’ve got a player for a couple years that’s not going to be making top dollar. But you get to the fifth year of that contract and now it’s time for some of those things to change. We’re very willing to do what we need to do. It’s the nature of the league to have a quarterback like Joe Flacco."