The beauty of the NFL owners meetings is that the owner and key decision makers for every team in the league are in attendance.
Access is as simple as flagging someone down in the lobby as they walking away from a meeting, lunch or reception.
It also means that interviews and conversations are held within earshot of other passing decision makers.
Such was the case during an interview with Dallas Cowboys vice-president Stephen Jones while discussing Oakland Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa, a restricted free agent who the Cowboys signed to a three-year, $8.55 million offer sheet last week.
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The Raiders have until Wednesday to match the offer.
But as Jones was discussing the merits of Mayowa, who has just two career sacks, Raiders owner Mark Davis walked by.
Jones: “Is he the next DeMarcus Ware? Probably not.”
Jones: “Is he the next Charles Haley? Probably not.”
A voice then rose up in the distance: “He’s better,” Davis said with a laugh.
“Oh, Mark,” Jones said while laughing.
Davis declined to comment on whether Raiders were going to match the offer sheet.
Jones said he had no clue what the Raiders were going to do. All he is knows is that they have the offer sheet and Mayowa is a player they identified as one who could help them.
“We are looking for players who have value and are efficient for us,” Jones said. “I don’t know how the Raiders view it. But we are looking at guys we can get value out of. That is what we did with Benson. We like him as a player and we think he can fit in our defensive scheme.”
Jones said they view Mayowa as a right end and someone who can help make up for the loss of Randy Gregory, who is suspended for the first four games of next season.
The Cowboys haven’t rule out moving DeMarcus Lawrence back from the left side to the right side either.
Lawrence played right end as a rookie before moving to the left side last year when the Cowboys drafted Gregory and signed Greg Hardy in free agency. But with Gregory’s situation and Hardy not expected back, Lawrence could go back to the right side.
“We want to play our best players,” Jones said. “Last year, we thought Gregory and Hardy were best fits for the right end and DeMarcus was better for left end. Things change. We haven’t ruled out DeMarcus Lawrence on the right side.”