IRVING, Texas -- With the regular season set to open this week, here are five things that have me wondering:
**Much was made of Sean Payton’s move to Westlake as a sign that he will one day be the Cowboys’ head coach. Payton and Jerry Jones have a close relationship, but Payton re-upped with the Saints through 2015 and that should put any of those rumors to bed … for now. Honestly, I think Jones wants Jason Garrett to be his Tom Landry. Not that Garrett will have a 30-year run as the coach, but certainly longer than the 3.6 years Jones’ previous six coaches have had as an average tenure.
** Could the decision to add Derrick Dockery have something to do with his size and who the Cowboys will be playing this year? Dockery is 6-6, 325 pounds and has 111 career starts. Bill Nagy is a seventh-round pick and weighs 299 pounds. In Week 4 the Cowboys will see Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh. In Week 6 they will see Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork. Philadelphia added Cullen Jenkins to its interior. Buffalo has Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams.
** Leon Lett is sticking around the Cowboys for the season. He originally joined the club as part of the team’s minority internship program, but the ex-Cowboy has decided he will not return Louisiana-Monroe as an assistant. Lett does not have an official title but he will continue to work with Brian Baker and the defensive line.
** There are interesting stickers on some players’ lockers inside the Cowboys’ Valley Ranch facility. Players with Pro Bowl experience have logos from the corresponding years near their nameplates, while players who earned game balls last year have football cutouts stuck to their locker. Having made the last seven Pro Bowls they are running out of room on Jason Witten’s locker.
** The Cowboys cut Nick Folk in 2009 after the kicker lost his confidence and form that year in part because of hip surgery. He missed 10 field goals before he was cut but the Cowboys should have put him on injured reserve. Maybe it would have needed some creativity to do so, but Folk put together two of the best seasons a Cowboy kicker has had in 2007-08. They could have given him time to get right for 2010 and competed with David Buehler. He did not set the world on fire with the Jets last year and was not a lock to last the year but it would be a kick in the gut if he were to make a game-tying or winning field goal on Sunday.