It’s somewhat difficult to imagine but Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says he’s currently more excited about his franchise than he was when he purchased it in 1989.
Jones made that statement during a recent appearance on the show Special Edition, which is posted on the team’s official website.
While joining host Mickey Spagnola, Jones gave his take on the expectations, improvements and areas of concern entering the 2012 season.
“I think we’ve created more competition within the team than we’ve had in many years past,” Jones said. “That’s a good thing. Secondly, I think we addressed, in the secondary and in the offensive line, specifically areas that we weren’t matching up real well last year with our division opponents — even the Redskins, but certainly the Eagles and certainly the Giants.”
The Cowboys traded up and drafted cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick in April’s draft, signed arguably the top corner in free agency, Brandon Carr, and also acquired safety depth via drafting Matt Johnson in the fourth round and signing Brodney Pool.
Offensive guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau were signed in free agency and are projected to start. Bernadeau, who had offseason hip surgery, was placed on the active physically unable to perform list Wednesday but has been working with trainers to regain his leg strength.
“I think we’re in a better position to match up,” Jones said. “Now, the game will tell, but if you look where we are size-wise in our secondary, if you look where we are size-wise – and hopefully talent-wise – in the offensive line, we’re matching up better.”
Jones spoke highly of backup quarterback Kyle Orton. The 29-year-old has started games with Chicago, Denver and Kansas City during his seven-year career. The Cowboys owner said he was pleased with the way Orton “threw the ball and the way he moved the team during our OTAs.”
The wide receiver competition and fullback depth were two other areas that met Jones’ approval, calling fullback Lawrence Vickers “a significant acquisition for us.”
Asked what worries him, Jones went back to discussing the interior of the offensive line.
“In our interior, where we think we’ve got better size, I think we’ve got to look at not only who we have as our starters, but we’ve got to look at that backup, because they’re sure to get some action,” he said. “So I’m anxious to see how that plays out, but not worried about it. I think we’ve got a good chance to be as good in the interior as we would expect to be.
“I’d like to see [Jeremy] Parnell at tackle. We’ve got him as our swing guy there and we brought in [Pat] McQuistan. But I’d like to see those guys get the kind of time in preseason games that make us feel good – Parnell in particular – about putting him in there if in fact [Tyron] Smith, our left tackle, or certainly [Doug] Free has a problem.”