Jason Garrett Reiterates that Mike Jenkins will be Available at Start of Regular Season, States Kevin Ogletree Is No.3 Receiver

August 8, 2012 – 7:20 am by Steven Cuce

This could not only be a make or break season for many veteran players on the Cowboys, but for the head coach as well. Jason Garrett was given a lot of credit under Wade Phillips a few years ago for being an offensive genius during the 2007 season. He ended up being the most logical choice for the head coaching job last season after having the interim tag removed.

It could be argued that the Cowboys head coach played a factor in some key losses last season. Garrett was too aggressive with big leads and too conservative late in games last year, which ended up costing the Cowboys big at the end of the season. This season Garrett looks for his team to have some mental toughness and make some noise in the postseason.

Jason Garrett joined KTCK in Dallas with Norm Hitzges to discuss the status of Mike Jenkins’ shoulder injury,  Jenkins being available at the start of the regular season, the No.3 wide receiver on the Cowboys depth chart at this point, and the Cowboys laying down the law with Dez Bryant after his latest off-the-field incident.

Do you have a feeling when a healthy Mike Jenkins will be available? Early in the regular season?

“We are certainly hopeful about that. You guys hear me give you day-to-day answers all the time. In this case it is probably not a day-to-day answer. It is a day-to-day evaluation and we’ll keep seeing how Mike does. At this point yesterday after talking to Dr. Andrews he’s not cleared to come out here and practice today. Okay we get that. Keep getting better. We have a tentative visit scheduled with Dr. Andrews in three weeks to see where Mike is at that point and see if he can be cleared to go there. He needs to get the shoulder stronger, improve the range of motion, improve his conditioning and at some point he’s going to playing for football for us. We’re hoping it’s sooner rather than later.”

Is it realistic to think it will be a few weeks into the season until Mike Jenkins is ready to play for you?

“Yeah. Based on the information we got yesterday it’s not going to be this week or next week. Our hope all the time with injured players is you’d like to get them back into some preseason play. It’s a real important thing for us to just get out there and go through the warmups and do that. But different guys have different injures. They are able to come back at different times and you gotta think about the whole season now. It’s a 16-game schedule, so if you think about Laurent Robinson, the receiver we had last year, he was not on our roster coming out of camp. He wasn’t officially signed until week two and then he had a really big year for us. He caught 11 touchdowns passes, so you kind of have to…we want him back today. We want him back tomorrow. We want him to play against Oakland, but that’s not realistic right now. So let’s see where he is. Get him better. Don’t rush him back before he is ready and understand this is a long haul. The season is a marathon and if you are not back right away then maybe you are back in week two or three and you are ready to go. I am not saying that about Mike. We’ll evaluate as we go and see where he is.”

The Cowboys currently don’t have a No.3 wide receiver with any experience in the NFL. Has someone won that job in camp or is the team keeping their eyes open on the open market for a player?

“We’re always keeping an eye on the street for every player at every position. It’s a big part of what we do in our pro personnel department. Our pro personnel guys know the league. They know who is out there and they know the areas where we continue to evaluate. Really it is throughout our team. If there is a defensive lineman, if there is a quarterback, if there is a receiver. Whatever position. If there is somebody out there who we think can help our football team we are going to take a close evaluation of him. That’s a really important concept for everyone to understand. We express that to our players. You are not necessarily competing against the guys in this room. You are competing against a standard. That is everyone who is available to achieve a standard for us. Let’s start there with that. We are always trying to do that. We’ve done a really good job of that here in the last couple of years adding guys throughout training camp and early into the season, who ended up helping us. In regards to the third receiver position? Right now Kevin Ogletree is the third receiver. He’s done a really good job so far in training camp. We have some young guys who we like to have compete for that spot. Andre Holmes. Dwayne Harris. Some other guys. We’ll see Danny Coale in practice for the first time today. We want to give these guys a chance to compete and show us what they can do. They’ve done a nice job through six practices. We’ve only been here for six practices. Actually seven was yesterday. Today will be the 8th practice and then we’ll get a chance to continue to evaluate them. I think what they do in the preseason matters. That will start in Oakland on Monday and at the end of it in terms of making our evaluation we’ll look at the total body of work. Essentially it is what they are doing now and how they are playing now, but also their experience in the past will factor into it as we make that evaluation.”

Would it be correct saying the Cowboys are laying down the law with Dez Bryant after this latest incident?

“Ever since Dez Bryant has come to our organization and ever since any player has come into the organization we try to lay out expectations of what we want for them. As players in our building, on our practice field and our game field, but also as people. That’s really important concept. They’ve heard me say that. They’ve heard the day one expectations from me as a coach a number of different times. Okay here he goes again. Here are the expectations. We lay them out. We lay them out. All this stuff we are talking about falls into what those expectations are, so we are going to help our players understand what those are. We are going to hold them accountable to it. We are going to everything we can to make sure they maintain those expectations and those standards. Dez Bryant is 1 of 90 guys on our team right now and we are going to try to help him any way we can and do that. Sometimes you have to be stern with them. Sometimes you have to fine them. Sometimes you have to do whatever you need to do to make sure he does that, but you also have to help and support him and understand where the different players on our team come from and help them achieve those standards that way. We embrace those opportunities as a staff and as an organization.”

Listen to Jason Garrett on KTCK in Dallas here

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