Cowboys don't rule out Cam Newton

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dallas Cowboys officials spoke with Auburn quarterback Cam Newton on Friday night for 15 minutes at the national scouting combine.

Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, talked with other teams as well.

With the ninth overall pick of the draft, the Cowboys might not select a quarterback with so many other needs, but team officials are doing their due diligence when it comes to Newton and other players.

Cowboys officials plan on attending Newton's pro day on March 8, as well.

"As far as any team right now, I'm not going to get particular about which teams that I'm interested in," said Newton, who confirmed the meeting with the Cowboys. "Right now, I'm interested in every single team that's in the NFL that's willing to take me as a player."

Starter Tony Romo is signed through the 2013 season and backup Jon Kitna, 38, is entering the final year of his contract.

No. 3 quarterback Stephen McGee has started only one regular-season game in the NFL and the team probably needs to see more of him before making a true assessment of where he is in his development.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he's pleased with the quarterback position, calling it "outstanding," but wouldn't rule out drafting Newton if he fell to No. 9.

"I wouldn't dismiss any player that's going to be in that draft and wouldn't express interest," Jones said Friday. "So much happens with the circumstances that are there, not only on draft day but how we continue our process. But I do feel like we're in really top shape. ... I'm going to really say outstanding shape at the position. Obviously, a quarterback to draft right now is a future consideration. For that reason, I wouldn't dismiss him or any position."

Newton is projected along with Missouri's Blaine Gabbert as the top quarterbacks in the draft. But it is Newton, coming off a national championship season, and his potential that has several NFL teams interested.

There are numerous questions concerning Newton's off-field problems, something he wouldn't talk about Saturday in a nearly 14-minute news conference.
Newton started the news conference by reading a prepared statement to clarify his comments about calling himself an icon and entertainer.

"For me seeing how it did happen, I felt it was somewhat misunderstood and it was partly my mistake for not making myself clear," Newton said. "It was my fault."

Newton, who will work out Sunday, said he loves the competition of the combine and is telling teams football is his No. 1 priority.

"This whole path to where I am right now has been something of a whirlwind to say the least," Newton said. "But at the same time, this is what I signed up for. I'm blessed and I can't even say that enough but just to know I'm talking to [reporters] that 365 days ago, I was attending class at Auburn. Even the Auburn fans didn't know what they were getting at this time last year. So it's a wonder what God can do in a person's life this fast."

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.