As the league continues to make the NFL Scouting Combine a mainstream, fan-friendly event, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a suggestion for how to improve the experience for television viewers.
“I wish that our fans could see some of the interviews that the players have with the coaches,” Jones said Saturday while appearing on NFL Network’s coverage of the combine in Indianapolis. “Where do you ever get more real-life — tension, no — but real-life emotion, when you are sitting there as a prospective player getting to participate, live your dream and answer questions about how you feel about, how you view life, how you view the sport? …
“That may add more interest to a broader section of people than watching what we are saying about them when they are running a 40.”
Naturally, coaches and team executives likely won’t be in favor of letting cameras into the interviewing process, and NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said he’d be stunned if coaches gave the OK.
The combine drastically has changed since its conception — the NFL will allow 250 fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday to watch players run through various drills — and Jones, who never has been shy about pushing the envelope, pointed out how coaches initially were uncomfortable when TV cameras were allowed inside draft-day war rooms.
“There are a lot of us that have been around for 30, 40, 50 years that get stunned every day,” Jones retorted. “Times are changing. Things are different, and our fans, we see, really want to be in areas of building a team, making a franchise, they want to be in there from the very beginning.”
“We were the first, the Cowboys, were the first to ever have a camera in the draft room,” Jones added. “And certainly Jimmy Johnson at the time squirmed around a little bit as the coach. … We had a lot of confidence in what ESPN was going to do that day and say, ‘Look if we get into any disparaging thing about a player, we’ll use good judgment.’ And so I think there is a place for that kind of discretion involved with these interviews.”