Jerry Jones ends talk about Dallas Cowboys' window closing

Posted Sunday, Jul. 29, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Watch video

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

OXNARD, Calif. -- The first thing Jerry Jones did Sunday was shut the window on the window talk.

"That was off-season talk," he said with the familiar smile and playful gleam in his eye as he opened his pre-training camp news conference under sunny skies and 70-degree weather at the River Ridge Sports Complex, where the Cowboys begin practice Monday.

"And we'll leave it right there."

So, no more window talk. But not because it was a bad thing.

In fact, the off-season's window talk pleased the Cowboys owner. Because, after he said in June that he was afraid the Cowboys' window of opportunity to reach the Super Bowl with the current cast was closing, it got the team talking about urgency.

Through the OTAs. Through the minicamps.

Urgency was the word.

Even when the Cowboys landed in California on Saturday, seven-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten said the team was arriving for training camp with "unbelievable urgency."

Jones liked it.

"That's good for Claiborne to hear. That's good for Carter to hear," Jones said, using first-round pick Morris Claiborne and second-year linebacker Bruce Carter to symbolize the younger players on the team. "To hear guys who have excelled, been outstanding, but not hit the brass ring, not gotten the brass ring, or grabbed the ring. So I think it's very healthy. I think it's a part of leadership to have some of the guys who have gone before, who have been disappointed, to share it with everybody involved."

Coach Jason Garrett liked it.

"I think Witten's comments, without me speaking for him, stem from the fact that as leader on this football team over the course of the last eight, nine, 10 years, he's a guy who understands we've been close at different times," Garrett said. "We haven't gotten the job done. It's a point we try to make to our team all the time. It's a bottom-line business. It's a get-the-job-done business. I've heard that from many coaches through the years. I understand that as a coach. I understood that as a player. I think our team understands that."

And Garrett understands his team's weaknesses.

The Cowboys moved in the off-season to improve the offensive line. They switched tackles, moving 2011 No. 1 draft choice Tyron Smith to left tackle and veteran Doug Free to the right side, where he is presumably better.

They spent $41 million on two free agent guards, Mackenzy Bernadeau from Carolina and Nate Livings from Cincinnati.

They signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a $50.1 million contract and burned a second-round pick to move up in the first round to draft the top defensive player available, LSU's Claiborne.

They also signed a veteran safety, Brodney Pool, and a veteran linebacker, Dan Connor.

All with the aim of not only improving overall, but improving in the fourth quarter, when mental toughness, a reliable ground game and pass defense help close out games.

"Some of the personnel moves that we made will certainly help us in that area," Garrett said. "We want to be stronger running the football. We want to be able to defend the pass better. When you're ahead in games, if you can run the football and can defend the pass, you have a pretty good opportunity to hold those leads.

"There is a mental toughness you want to continue to develop on this football team.... So many of these games come down to crunch time. We've handled it well over the last few years. Other times, we haven't. We've got to get better in that area."

The window on that effort opens Monday.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407

Twitter: @calexmendez

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
San Francisco2Bottom 8th | Box
Kansas City7@theBallpark | TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Two. San Francisco leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Houston «90Final | Box
Orlando89
Brooklyn86Final | Box
Boston «100
Washington100Final | Box
New York «103
Cleveland92Final | Box
Memphis «96
Minnesota «110Final | Box
Milwaukee91
Atlanta «117Final | Box
San Antonio107
Portland373rd Qtr | Box
LA Lakers50TV: TWC SN, D
Phoenix392nd Qtr 8:46 | Box
LA Clippers38TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, October 22Full Scoreboard
Toronto0Postponed | Box
Ottawa0
Philadelphia «5Final | Box
Pittsburgh3
Washington23rd Prd | Box
Edmonton3TV: SN1, CSN-DC, SN360
Buffalo0Final | Box
Anaheim «1
Full Scoreboard