Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek (my all-time favorite player) was kind enough to chat with me on Friday while preparing for his role in the Allstate Tailgate Tour, part of the Cowboys Classic college football kickoff game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium.
Novacek will be signing autographs from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Central Time before the game and then hosting Allstate’s 60 Seconds of Mayhem at halftime, in which one fan from each team will compete in a field goal kicking contest to win $4,000.
As for the Cowboys, I asked Jay an easy one to get him started: which stadium do you like better, Texas Stadium or Cowboys Stadium?
“As long as the turf is good, it don’t matter to me,” Novacek said.
Spoken like a true Wyoming Cowboy: Jay don’t need no fancy stadium; he just needs the field to be in good shape. He did mention that both arenas have issues with sunlight in players’ eyes during afternoon games, but that was the only remotely negative thing he had to say.
It’s been rumored that Novacek has taken on a mentor role with current Cowboys troubled receiver Dez Bryant. Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s the truth to that rumor:
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the practice field with him, say ‘hi’ to him a few times,” Novacek said. “One route he ran, I said ‘try doing this and see what happens.’ So the next day he said ‘Yeah, I think what you’re seeing, I understand that and I think it can help a bunch.’ That’s the kind of relationship we’ve got and, from there, it’s gone up a little bit, but we’re pretty much on the same page.”
Novacek went on to say he told Bryant not to hesitate to call him for help and Bryant said he would always welcome the help. When asked about Bryant being so prone to injury, Novacek likened him to a cutting horse, saying, “He plays so hard he can hurt himself. If you have a cutting horse that’s not trying to hurt itself, you’re not going to win with that horse.”
As for the rest of the Cowboys’ receivers, Novacek expects big things from Kevin Ogletree and Cole Beasley, the two players besides Miles Austin and Bryant that he said can make an impact for Dallas in the regular season.
Again, thanks so much to Jay for taking the time to shed some light on the Bryant situation and give a little bit of his expertise on the Cowboys.