Jones excited Romo is Cowboys' starting QB

Jones excited Romo is Cowboys' starting QB

Published Jan. 23, 2013 11:11 a.m. ET

For most, the memory of how Tony Romo finished the 2012 season will be a poorly thrown pass to DeMarco Murray that was intercepted, securing the fact that the Cowboys would miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.

But don't think that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is down on his franchise quarterback. Jones seemed excited Tuesday when he discussed still having Romo as the team's starter.

"Tony is so much on the page with us," Jones said on the NFL Network. "He's naturally a glass half-full guy, so he's fired up about what we can do. I'll tell you this, I really would hate to be sitting here talking about getting better, and starting fresh at quarterback and not having Romo. He's a big part of what we got to go with. He gets criticized and I always say, ‘Good, now tell me who you want me to have there at quarterback? Go pick that guy for me for the next game. Go get a better one right now.' Do they just come out here and you can just take one home with you?"

Jones was referring to the Senior Bowl field behind him. The NFL Network staff then joked that there were a couple franchise quarterbacks out there last year, obviously referring to the success had by rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. Luck and Griffin did not participate in the Senior Bowl, however, Wilson did.

One of the changes coming this offseason is that Romo will be getting his play calls from a different coach next season. Jones suggested Tuesday that Jason Garrett would solely focus on being head coach and someone else would take over play-calling duties.

Jones said it was his decision to continue having Garrett call the plays after he was named head coach midway through the 2010 season, an idea that came largely from the advice Jones received from former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.

"Now, times have changed since that time," Jones said. "They've gotten more complicated. And I've had a lot of people say, ‘Boy, Jason needs to have the overall picture.' Having said that, Jason has never said, ‘Boy, that's a prerequisite; I want to call the plays.' Anything we do here that basically takes that responsibility — moves it away from, let's say calling a play or putting a gameplan together, but gives it over to the overall team — is a positive thing. And he is not only for it, he is encouraging it."

During the five-minute interview Jones said in Garrett's time as head coach the Cowboys have built an impressive foundation, a foundation that should benefit from changes on the coaching staff.

In regards to those changes, Jones said, "Don't think we're throwing all the water out. We've got a lot of things about our team. The problem is a deal called 8-8. … You got to get out of the ditch that we're in at 8-8."

The most significant move has been replacing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan with Monte Kiffin. The hire received some criticism because Kiffin is 72-years-old. But Jones says he isn't concerned because the longtime NFL defensive guru brings a "rich, rich enthusiasm and energy."

Jones added: "He's a big part of what I'm optimistic about."