Those who believe the Cowboys weren’t using the Tank Johnson interview to get inside information on Bears -- this Sunday’s opponent and Johnson’s former team -- are being naive.
This stuff goes on all across the league and has been for years. Teams would routinely bring in players for “tryouts” or “free agent visits” the week before playing said player's former team.
Now that doesn’t mean the Cowboys weren’t legitimately interested in Johnson’s services as a nose tackle because, obviously, as we've seen, they were. But the timing of this week’s visit was no coincidence.
You can argue all day about how much it might help, in light of the fact that the Cowboys already have a complete scouting report on the Bears. But if it didn’t help or teams didn’t think it would help then why would they do it?
Regarding Bears inside information, the Cowboys got a head start on that last February when they interviewed former Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera for the then-vacant head coaching position. Part of the interview was asking Rivera how he ran his defense in Chicago, what made it a success and would he do similar things in Dallas. Don’t think the Cowboys haven’t reviewed those comments.
And don’t forget that quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson came to Dallas from Chicago in the off-season. Sure, Wilson is serving a five-game suspension for using a banned substance. But his phone still works as does his computer. Also, as one coach pointed out to me, the Cowboys began picking Wilson’s brain about the Bears offense and quarterback Rex Grossman’s tendencies as soon as the schedule came out last April.
-- Clarence Hill