Cowboys coach Jason Garrett broke away from preparing for the NFL draft, set for Thursday-Saturday, to attend the annual Taste of the NFL Tailgate party at the Gaylord Texan's Glass Cactus.
He took pictures with fans and took time to chat for a few minutes.
He said he is excited about the draft and believes the Cowboys will get a good player with the 18th overall pick.
Garrett said the draft was deep at certain positions and not so deep in others.
He indicated the cowboys don't have 32 players listed as first round picks.
Garrett refused to lament the fact that the Cowboys had just six picks because of the trade for center Ryan Cook last year. Cook ended starting the majority of the season and was well worth the seventh round pick.
Garrett said attendance was great for the first week of the offseason program. He said was not surprised defensive end Anthony Spencer was a full participant despite being in the middle of contract negotiations.
Spencer signed his $10.6 million franchise tender but is seeking a long term deal from the Cowboys.
Garett said that Spencer showed last season that he was not only a great player but a team leader and he is only continuing his leadership in the offseason program.
The Dallas Cowboys’ hopes of using defensive tackle Josh Brent’s salary to help free up salary cap room took a hit Monday when Brent’s trial for intoxication manslaughter was set for Sept. 23.
A Dallas County grand jury in December indicted the defensive lineman in the wake of a Dec. 8 crash in the Dallas suburb of Irving that killed teammate Jerry Brown.
There is little chance Brent plays again for the Cowboys. But his $630,000 is still on the books for next season.
The Cowboys put him on the reserve non football injury list at the end of last season and can do the same in 2013. But any hopes of the salary-cap strapped Cowboys have of using his salary to clear space this year so they can sign some free agents now rest with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Cowboys need Brent to be suspended under the NFL’s Personal Conduct policy so they can get the salary cap room back. But last week NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Goodell wouldn’t rule on Brent’s status until his case was resolved with the courts.
If the Cowboys hope to get money back to use in free agency they need Goodell to rule on Brent’s case earlier.
The Cowboys currently have just $102,000 in salary cap space, rendering the unable to even offer deals to free agents prospects, including three that visited the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters on Monday.
The Cowboys are on the short list of teams being considered for the annual Hall of Fame game to open the pre-season, per a high ranking source.
The Cowboys were last in the Hall of Fame game in 2010 when NFL rushing king Emmitt Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It's no coincidence that legendary Cowboys guard Larry Allen is being inducted this year. Owner Jerry Jones will present Allen. Jones was also Smith's presenter in 2010.
A final decision will be made at the NFL Owners Meetings this week in Phoenix, Az.
The game is set for Aug. 4.
Getting named to the Hall of Fame game would bump the Cowboys' number of preseason games from four to five. It would mean they would start training camp a week earlier and give them more time to adjust to the philosophy change on defense where they are moving from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3 under new coordinator Monte Kiffin.
The Cowboys released the following statement today following the news that nose tackle Jay Ratliff's blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit when he was arrested last week in Grapevine.
Ratliff's arrest came less than two months after the tragic death of linebacker Jerry Brown and teammate Josh Brent facing intoxication manslaughter charges. Brent was also more than twice the legal limit. Having recently experienced the most tragic of circumstances regarding this issue, we, as an organization, understand the ultimate consequences of driving while impaired.
Here is the statement from Calvin Hill, head of the team's player programs department.
"We know that one incident is too many.
The critical goal is to effect the decision making process in the hours before the wrong decision is made.
Our player assistance programs in the areas of preventing incidents such as these are at the highest level in professional sports, but we are always looking to do better and for ways to improve. We will continue to draw upon the best expertise and resources available, both internally and from outside the organization, to work toward being the best in the areas of education, prevention, and effecting the right decisions.
We have been in communication with Jay Ratliff regarding this incident, and we will monitor the legal process and work within the NFL guidelines for player behavior moving forward."
Agent Peter Schaeffer released a statement late Saturday night on behalf of client Josh Brent: "I am devastated and filled with grief. Filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and team mate, Jerry Brown. I am also grief-stricken for his family, friends and all who were blessed enough to have known him. I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life. My prayers are with his family, our teammates and his friends at this time."
I don't know if you remember this, but Jerry Jones breakdancing in a Papa John's commercial exists on the Internet. Well, Jones is back at it and has ditched breakdancing for a more fluid art form -- rap.
"Jerry's breakdancing act in an earlier Papa John's TV spot was a big hit, and we think it's time to show off some of his other talent," said Bob Paine, regional marketing director for Papa John's International in a news release.
The newest commercial is the creation of Michael Tuggle, creative director at Dallas-based advertising agency LOOMIS, and Luminous Sound's two-time Grammy winning recording engineer Tre Nagella.
High: The stairs jump.
Low: The dance moves throughout. (especially Jones' hands... weird.)
The Dallas Cowboys could use a veteran safety. Michael Huff, an Irving native, is a free safety and a free agent to be. He makes perfect sense for the Cowboys.
"That's home, but you never know what's going to happen," Huff said last week at the University of Texas' Pro Day. "I've got to want to go there, but they've got to want me. There are a bunch of things that go into the process."
The Cowboys' starting strong safety, Gerald Sensabaugh, will be a free agent. Their free safety, Alan Ball, is a converted cornerback who struggled at times last season. Dallas did not get in on the bidding for veteran safeties Bob Sanders or O.J. Atogwe, who were free agents before the collective bargaining agreement expired.
But with a weak class of safeties in the draft, Huff could be the Cowboys' best option to improve at the position. Rob Ryan, the Cowboys' new defensive coordinator, was the Raiders' defensive coordinator in 2006 when Oakland made Huff the seventh overall pick.
Huff was benched, booed and thought to be on the trading block before having the light come on in 2009. In 2010, he made 94 tackles and forced six turnovers.
Now, he's likely headed for free agency.
"It's tough," Huff said. "In a normal year, I'd have a team by now. I'd know where I would be, so I could buy a house if I was going to be in another place. So it's definitely tough, but it's the business side of the thing. I have to be patient and wait it out."
The one thing Huff is looking forward to is winning. The Raiders were 24-56 in Huff's five seasons.
"That's the only thing," Huff said. "Being here [at Texas], you get spoiled. You win all the time here and then you go there and have some tough years. Getting that Super Bowl ring is something they can never take away from you, like they can't take away the national championship ring. That's the next step, and I look forward to it."
Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys still are putting together their board and have not decided what they are going to do with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
But Jones acknowledges that he already has options. He said he has received interest from two teams who want to move up in the draft.
Again the Cowboys are still in the evaluation mode. But they do have options, Jones said.
Most pundits have them selecting Nebraska cornerback Prince Amakamura with the ninth pick.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was fingered as a symbol of the perceived disrespect of the owners by the players when he was accused of trying to intimidate the players and walking out of a mediation session two weeks ago.
Jones talked about the issue for the first time last night at a reception to open the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans. He doesn't deny making gestures with his hands because that's how he talks nor walking away.
But Jones said the sources who reported his actions to Sports Illustrated for a story published last week had their timing wrong.
He said he didn't up and walk away until at least 15 minutes after he finished talking. So there was no truth to the report that he challenged the players and then walked out.
Furthermore,Jones said he never left the room. He said walked down to talk someone and stood for the remainder of the mediation session.
He said it's unfortunate that it was perceived that way because that wasn't his intention.
Jones declined to talk about the arrest of cornerback Bryan McCann early Saturday morning in Dallas for public intoxication.
Jones also said the meetings over the next two days will be streamlined compared to the past because of the NFL lockout. He said owners would be briefed on the state of negotiations,but there was not much they could do.