Dallas Cowboys: Les Miles

Les Miles helpful in process

April, 27, 2012
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys did not have Morris Claiborne in for a pre-draft visit to Valley Ranch. They did not have a private workout with him. The only person on the staff who had any contact with the LSU cornerback was assistant secondary coach Joe Baker while at the NFL scouting combine in February.

Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones discusses Mike Jenkins' future in Dallas, what went on behind the scenes when the Cowboys traded up in the first round and more.

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Despite the lack of outward interest, the Cowboys felt comfortable in all that they needed to know about Claiborne. One of the biggest reasons why: LSU coach Les Miles, the former Cowboys assistant coach.

“We like guys that come through that program because we know it’s a rigorous program,” coach Jason Garrett said. “They practice hard. They practice long. They tackle in practice. It’s great competition in practice. It’s great competition every Saturday, so [Claiborne] has come through the ranks.”

The Cowboys’ scouts do more than just evaluate a player’s ability.

“You try to do your due diligence,” Garrett said. “You try to watch tape. You watch practices, so with your own eyes you see how he handles himself in all those situations. The other part is what does the coach say, what does the position coach say, what do teammates say, what do the trainers say, what do the strength coaches say. If it was one of our players and you wanted to figure out what makes him tick you’d ask the trainers, the equipment guy, the strength guy, the position coach. You try to talk to teammates. If you have people you know and trust in those roles and will give you honest, good answers, it’s helpful.”

Claiborne got a brief scouting report on the Cowboys from Miles, too.

"He talked so highly about everyone," Claiborne said. "I know everyone is familiar with him and he's familiar with those guys. He just told me, hey, I can't lose right now."

Cowboys helped prepare Les Miles for LSU

September, 4, 2011

When two LSU players, including the starting quarterback, were suspended leading up to the Tigers' season opener against Oregon at Cowboys Stadium, coach Les Miles must have been sweating.

If you think that's true, you probably don't remember Miles' history. A history that includes three years as tight ends coach for the Dallas Cowboys.

Columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor writes that Miles' time at Valley Ranch helped prepare him for the scrutiny and adversity he's had to deal with in the spotlight at LSU.

Here's an excerpt:
Do you think the scandal with quarterback Jordan Jefferson and linebacker Josh Johns, who were suspended indefinitely for their alleged role in a bar fight last month, is any more intense than scissor-gate that dominated the headlines at the Cowboys' training camp in 1998?

For of those of you who don't remember, that's when Michael Irvin stabbed starting guard Everett McIver in the neck with a pair of scissors during a dorm-room dispute while several players were getting haircuts.

Miles saw a player revolt lead to head coach Chan Gailey's firing and he saw how Gailey's replacement, Dave Campo, dealt with the scrutiny of the job.

Those experiences forged the man you see leading LSU today. It's why he knew LSU would play well Saturday.

In case you missed it, No. 4 LSU throttled No. 3 Oregon, 40-27.

Read Taylor's full column here.