Monday, March 24, 2014
Cowboys owners meetings primer
By Calvin Watkins
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones lead the Dallas Cowboys' executives to the annual NFL owners meetings that start Monday morning.
Coach Jason Garrett is also present to take part in the mandatory news briefings with reporters. Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones are also expected to speak with the media during the meetings.
Some things to look for this week:
The competition committee: Stephen Jones is a member of the competition committee and the Cowboys, along with the rest of the teams, will vote on several potential new rules changes including expanding the game-day rosters on Thursday and Saturday games, moving kickoffs to the 40 and potentially extending the goal posts. The kickoff change is aimed at improving player safety, but it's a tough rule for the Cowboys considering Dwayne Harris averaged 30.6 yards per return. If the point-after-attempts go farther back, it might not affect the Cowboys much. Kicker Dan Bailey was six-of-seven from between 40-47 yards in 2013.
Agents: Several player agents attend the owners meetings and the Cowboys could begin the process of extending the contracts of Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith. The team has most likely had internal discussions about what the market would dictate for each player. The Cowboys want to take care of each player long-term and have good relationships with each players' agent. Also, David Dunn, the agent for Garrett, normally is a visitor at the meetings. Garrett is in the last year of his contract and it will be interesting to see if he tries to get the Cowboys discuss extending Garrett's contract.
What is Jerry going to say?: The last time Jerry Jones spoke with reporters, it was a two-hour chat at the combine. Will he do the same? It's not so much how long he talks, but what he says. At the combine, Jones intimated Garrett made all the play calls with Bill Callahan basically reading what was on the play sheet. With the Cowboys releasing DeMarcus Ware and not re-signing Jason Hatcher, Jones' thoughts on letting those two players go, especially an iconic player such as Ware will be a topic of discussion with reporters.
What to ask Garrett?: The head coach will speak 7:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning. Potential questions for Garrett:
1. Why did you keep Bill Callahan on the staff after demoting him?
2. Who is the starting defensive end opposite George Selive?
3. Is Henry Melton the answer to the defensive problems?
Of course, Garrett will get more questions, but you get the idea.
Odds and ends: The full NFL schedule won't get released, but the season opening game, on a Thursday night, likely will be announced. Will the Cowboys get to visit Seattle, the defending champs, to start the season? The NFL will also announce the compensatory picks for each team. The Cowboys could get at least one, after cornerback Mike Jenkins signed with Oakland.