Exclusive Interview: Legend Jay Novacek shares his thoughts on the 2016 Cowboys

Jan 31, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys former tight end Jay Novacek on the red carpet prior to the NFL Honors award ceremony at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 31, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys former tight end Jay Novacek on the red carpet prior to the NFL Honors award ceremony at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

We recently got the opportunity to speak with former All Pro tight end and three time Super Bowl champion Jay Novacek, ahead of his meet-and-greet session at the Allstate Tailgate Tour on Saturday, September 3rd.

Former tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, Jay Novacek spoke with us recently to discuss all things football as well as his appearance at the Advocare Classic between USC and Alabama this Saturday at AT&T Stadium.

While discussing his decision to join the team back in 1990, Novacek told us he couldn’t have foresaw the team winning three Super Bowls championships in a four year span, but it didn’t necessarily surprise him due to the team’s work ethic.

"“The first thing I noticed was how hard they worked,” Novacek said of his former teammates. “Being able to watch that team become as great as what we were was really something special.”"

Novacek also had some thought’s on the 2016 edition of the Dallas Cowboys as well. He discusses how unfortunate Tony Romo’s back injury is, while pointing out that the last time the Cowboys had a relatively injury-free season they were as good as any team in the NFL and were Super Bowl contenders. He also had some words of wisdom on rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.

"“With Prescott having to jump in there and all of a sudden be that main guy, all he has to do is go in there and play within the realm of how he can play and not attempt to make things happen that he shouldn’t.”"

Novacek also gives a pretty simple key for success for the rookie quarterback: avoid costly mistakes.

"“You’re better off going in and not making mistakes than you are pressing the issue and throwing passes when he shouldn’t be throwing them and just making mistakes. If he doesn’t make many mistake, they’ll still be a good team”"

The former All Pro tight end shares a similar experience with current tight end Jason Witten. When Novacek arrived in Dallas in 1990, he was surrounded by youth such as a rookie running back by the name of Emmitt Smith as well as a young quarterback coming into his second season by the name of Troy Aikman. While Witten has been a stalwart on the Cowboys offense for over a decade, the rest of the offense is currently experiencing a massive youth movement.

"“I think that consistency is the main thing [when playing with younger players], if you run routes in the game the same way you do in practice, that helps the quarterback, it doesn’t matter if they’re young or veterans. If they have to hold the ball because they’re not sure where you’re going to be, that’s how mistakes happen.”"

While Novacek notes that it’s far too early to draw up any comparisons between Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys’ first round pick Ezekiel Elliott, he described what it was like playing with a talented rookie runner.

"“[Smith] had a great knack of knowing how to set up blocks, and read where he needed to run, and he caught the ball well; you put all that together and that’s what makes a good running back.”"

Sounds very familiar to what we’ve heard out of training camp about the Cowboy’s current rookie back.

When asked about the Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, he points out that during their time together as teammates Garrett was considered “one of the great leaders on the teams, even though he didn’t play much.” He notes that he didn’t make many mistakes, and while he didn’t see him being a coach at the time, he’s not surprised at all he’s found success as a coach due to his leadership ability and he calls Garrett a “natural fit” to lead the team.

Finally, we got some information regarding the College Football Hall of Famer’s involvement in the Allstate Tailgate Tour. The Allstate Tailgate tour is a season-long event during which fans can go and tailgate at major college football games, win prizes such as team helmets or even tickets to January’s National Championship Game.

Novacek has been a part of this for three years now, and anybody who will be attending the Advocare Classic in the home of the Dallas Cowboys will be able to meet Novacek in lot 4 from 4-5pm CT and will have the opportunity to win prizes and take pictures with the former Cowboy.

Next: Predicting the Dallas Cowboys Final 53-Man Roster

"“Any time you can be involved with Allstate and college football, it’s a treat; the neat thing about doing this with Allstate is being able to be involved a little bit with college football.”"

Novacek, still a football fan at the end of the day, enjoyed being able to meet with players from both teams. Finally, when asked his pick in the game, he simply stated “it’s very hard to bet against Alabama.”