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Jones and Goodell chatty and chummy at draft event

Wed Apr 25 5:27pm ET
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) As Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones sat side by side chatting, then grabbed shovels at a junior high school to dedicate a new field, they sure seemed chummy.

Then again, this was for a worthy cause, so any and all past animosities over suspensions and lawsuits and contract extensions were, uh, buried on Wednesday.

Instead, they spoke from the stage at Workman Junior High School about the latest NFL Draft Legacy Project. Soon, youngsters will be making footprints on the turf field being built. The NFL commissioner and Dallas Cowboys owner were more interested in a different sort of footprint.

''It's giving kids the opportunity, resources and facilities to play sports,'' Goodell said. ''It gives kids the opportunity to find out about themselves and grow. It stays with them for a lifetime.''

The Cowboys funded $1.4 million of the project, and Goodell praised Jones helping not only this school and the city of Arlington, but for his role in the North Texas area and in the league.

''Without the Cowboys, we wouldn't be here,'' Goodell said on the day before the Cowboys host the draft. ''We're here because of his leadership, because of his drive and because of his commitment to this community as well as making everything bigger and better. He does that, and every time we give him an event, he finds a way to make it bigger and better. He's been an extraordinary leader for us.''

Jones, who arrived by private helicopter - Goodell came by car - spoke of how Goodell began in the mailroom at the league and that the commissioner ''always is about growing the pie.'' He then veered away from NFL policy and economics to tell an enlightening and, Jones hoped, an inspirational story to the school kids on hand for the ceremony.

''The biggest point of all - and I am talking to the young people here,'' Jones said, ''I was a senior in college. Our coach took us to Houston to get away from all the hoopla of New Year's; we were playing in the Cotton Bowl, and we had to get down to business in Houston. He took us on a field trip to the Astrodome, the eighth wonder of the world. There had never yet been a game played in it.

''I walked in, and the first thing that hit me was what would it be like to compete in this stadium? It was like Mars.

''Where to you start to build something like this, where do you hit the first nail or turn the first screw?

''Thirty-five years later, when I thought about AT&T Stadium: How do you pay for it, make it work, get our leaders to be part of it? But I didn't have to wonder if I could do it. I knew I could do it. I'd seen it done.

''And,'' he added, drawing laughs from Goodell, other dignitaries on hand and, most notably, the students in the bleachers, ''you could put five of those stadiums into our stadium.''

The message, of course, went beyond building a sports and entertainment palace.

''Seeing something like that does something for young people,'' Jones noted. ''It gives them confidence that they can do this.

''You can do it. That's what it's all about.''

Player Notes
Anthony Brown May 24 4:00pm ET

Dallas Cowboys defensive back Anthony Brown was working as the first team slot cornerback in OTAs. Brown allowed the most touchdowns in the entire NFL last season while playing as an outside corner, so the move makes sense. When filling in at slot corner last season, usually for the injured Orlando Scandrick, Brown looked much better. Chidobe Awuzie and Byron Jones were seen being used as the outside corners on the first team defense.

Terrance Williams May 24 3:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams contradicted an earlier public statement regarding the car accident he was involved in. He was charged with public intoxication and leaving the scene of an accident when his Lamborghini was found crashed into a light post. At the time, he said he'd walked home and was on his way back to the scene to meet with a tow truck. Now he's saying that he was not driving the car at all and instead says Kendall Wright was the driver, and that Williams was not in the car when it happened. This seems like mostly a non-story, but the plot is certainly thickening.

Tavon Austin May 24 3:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys offensive weapon Tavon Austin will be used all over the offense. According to quarterback Dak Prescott, "Coaches have a great plan, whether it's getting him out of the backfield, lining him up at X, lining him up at Z, putting him in the slot. He's a guy we get the ball in his hands, he'll score some points and get a bunch of yards in this offense." Austin was acquired from the Rams during the draft. Despite his failure to become a legitimate NFL player so far in his career, the Cowboys seem set on making Austin a major part of the offense. The offensive weapon is much more likely to turn into the foam dart gun he's been since drafted than anything else.

Duke Johnson May 24 9:50am ET

Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that he is optimistic on ongoing contract extension talks with the team that drafted him in 2015. Johnson, who will play out the final year of his rookie contract in 2018, would become an unrestricted free agent after the season if the two sides don't hammer out an extension. Johnson said, "I'm very optimistic [we'll get a deal done]. I believe that not only the [coaching] staff but the front office wants me here. It's just about both sides coming to an agreement." The Browns added Carlos Hyde and rookie Nick Chubb this offseason, but Johnson's role as the team's third-down back should be secure heading into 2018.

Antonio Gates May 24 9:23am ET

The Los Angeles Chargers are likely to consider re-signing free-agent TE Antonio Gates, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Gates had previously been told he would not be brought back, but TE Hunter Henry (knee) suffered what's believed to be a season-ending knee injury Tuesday, May 22.

Hunter Henry May 24 3:03am ET

Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry (knee) did suffer a torn ACL GM Tom Telesco confirmed on Wednesday, May 23. Telesco said Henry sustained the injury while running a route during practice. Henry's surgery has not yet been scheduled.

Andrew Luck May 23 11:50pm ET

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich told the media on Wednesday that the team is "not worried at all" about how quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) has yet to resume throwing. Luck also explained how he is following a timeline that included when he would start throwing, but wouldn't share it. If he can manage to throw without restrictions by the fourth week of July, Luck will be able to fully participate in Colts training camp. Only then will fantasy owners be able to slowly regain their confidence in the sixth-year pro.

Corey Graham May 23 11:43pm ET

Free-agent FS Corey Graham (Eagles) is a player that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson would like to re-sign this offseason.

Geronimo Allison May 23 11:33pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison appears to be the leading candidate for the No. 3 receiver job entering organized team activities.

Dez Bryant May 23 11:23pm ET

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he does not expect the Packers to sign free-agent WR Dez Bryant (Cowboys) this offseason.

Mychal Kendricks May 23 11:13pm ET

Free-agent LB Mychal Kendricks (Eagles) does not appear to be an option for the Los Angeles Rams at this point, but he could be pursued if defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is interested in him, in the opinion of the Los Angeles Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore.

Brian Robison May 23 11:03pm ET

Minnesota Vikings DE Brian Robison has agreed to restructure his contract, which saves the team $2.38 million in salary cap space. He was originally scheduled to make $3.5 million in 2018 but will now make $1.015 million.

Geoff Swaim May 23 10:53pm ET

Dallas Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Wednesday, May 23. TE Blake Jarwin was on the field when the team lined up in two-tight end sets. TE Rico Gathers worked with the second-team offense.

Rishard Matthews May 23 10:33pm ET

Tennessee Titans WR Rishard Matthews (undisclosed) is dealing with a minor undisclosed injury but should return to the field before offseason workouts end.

Andrew Luck May 23 10:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) did not throw during organized team activities Wednesday, May 23, and head coach Frank Reich said he is not sure if Luck will throw before the end of June minicamp but is confident that Luck will ramp things up in time for training camp.

Stephon Tuitt May 23 10:13pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt said he played most of the 2017 season with a torn biceps.

Josh Rosen May 23 10:03pm ET

Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said he has not ruled out QB Josh Rosen being the starting quarterback this upcoming season.

Baker Mayfield May 23 9:53pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions during organized team activities Wednesday, May 23, with two of the three interceptions tipping off receivers' hands.

Howard Wilson May 23 9:53pm ET

Cleveland Browns CB Howard Wilson (knee) did not participate in organized team activities Wednesday, May 23.

Antonio Callaway May 23 9:53pm ET

Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward (hip) and WR Antonio Callaway (toe) participated in organized team activities Wednesday, May 23. Both players suffered injuries during rookie minicamp.