Jerry Jones: Cowboys personnel better than before

The Dallas Cowboys’ time in Oxnard, Calif. is almost over. The team plays their third preseason game Saturday in Arizona and the regular season is less than a month away.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has a lot of time to look at his group and on Friday talked about what has him excited for the upcoming season.

“First of all, we’re a better team personnel-wise than we were at this time last year or at any time in the last two years,” Jones told the Elf & Slater show on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “I’m excited about what we’ve been able to accomplish in training camp and what we’ve done to change our defense. I’m excited that we got eight new coaches on our coaching staff, and how they’re working together, which is critical.

“Probably most of all, I’m excited about Jason Garrett. Not that it’s different, but you can just see him, his command, you can see his fingerprints all over this team. He’s, of course, involved in every aspect of it and more so because he’s delegated some of the offensive responsibility. But I’m excited about this coaching, not only the new ones but what it’s doing to the coaches that remained on our staff. It has created an element of competition on both sides of the ball with the snaps. Not only the players you see out there having these disputes during practice, but that competition is carrying over to the entire group. You can feel the edge. It’s very competitive.”

Jones said that competitiveness has especially carried over to the Cowboys rookies, specifically naming third-round draft pick Terrance Williams, who Jones said is  “playing well.”

“Those guys are catching this mood and catching this mentality that Jason Witten’s practiced with every day for his career, almost,” Jones said. “So all of that I think is a good thing. I like what we did technically on defense. I like what we did technically on offense. We changed things up on offense.”

The changes on offense Jones spent the most time discussing involved implementing more zone-blocking in the run game.

“I think our players are more-suited for this type of blocking schemes,” Jones said. “All of that is looking good at practice. Everybody’s really digesting it and basically executing.”

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota