|Bengals CB Adam Jones doesn't hide his emotions about wanting to beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
CB Adam “Pacman” Jones is happy to be a Bengal. He'll be even happier if his Bengals beat up on his previous employer Sunday.
Many players suppress talk of extra motivation when a team that passed on them comes calling. Not surprisingly given his emotional nature, Jones doesn't fall into that category. He wants to beat the Cowboys. And he doesn't want it to be close.
“I probably won't sleep the night before,” said Jones, who was waived by Dallas in 2008. “I don't have any friends on Dallas. Well, just one. Number 21 (Mike Jenkins). That's the only guy I can say I'm friends with. The rest of them, I don't care about. I just want to win. Whatever we need to do to win the game we must do it. I don't have any bad blood over there, but I don't care about them.”
Jones spent one season with the Cowboys under tight scrutiny due to a number of off-the-field issues. He was out of the league in 2009 before the Bengals gave him a shot in 2010. He's latched onto a franchise he praises for sticking with him and allowing him to mature as both a player and person. The six-year veteran spoke at the rookie symposium this past season about how to avoid problems like those that littered his early seasons in the league.
In his mind, the same opportunity was never afforded to him in Dallas. Hence, the emotions toward Sunday's game.
“In Dallas a lot of shit is fairy tale I should say,” he said. “It's not real life. They don't tell you how it really is.”
The Bengals played Tennessee last year for a return trip against his former team, but he made little of the Nashville reunion. This one, on the other hand …
“I have nothing against Tennessee,” Jones said. “My coach down there (Jeff Fisher) is a great friend and father figure to me. I have no hard feelings against none of them, but down deep this is the one you want.”
Any frustrations Jones has with the Cowboys don't begin at the top. Owner Jerry Jones extended a lifeline to him when nobody else would. Adam Jones views the departure from the team as business and not personal, so he won't take any shot at the man in the owner's box.
“I love Jerry with all my heart,” he said. “I'm not going to get into what I don't like about (the Cowboys), but it's not about Jerry. He's done a lot for me. I'm a Bengal, and I would like to stay a Bengal for the rest of my career.”
Jones finds himself in better position to stick with a team than he ever has before. He took part in 70 percent of the team's defensive snaps on Sunday as the third cornerback next to Leon Hall and Terence Newman. He's third on the team in passes defensed (7).
Considering a possibility existed he might not make the team out of training camp, every snap this year was earned.
“This is probably the best year he's had since he's been here,” defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said. “He's tackling well, disciplined. He can still jump off the reservation sometimes but for the most part he's been good. He kind of had to prove that he wanted to fit in a little bit to me. He cares about playing good and trying to be a better teammate. He cares about winning, and I think he cares about what I think.”
Marvin Lewis searches for whatever wood he can knock on when assessing Jones' play. Jones has only played 14 of a possible 33 games since joining the team. Yet, this year, he hasn't missed any of the first 12 games. And to be sure, it would take an amputation for him to miss this one.
“I'll do whatever I can do to win this game,” he said. “I mean whatever. I truly want to walk away with a W. I want the game more because we need it. I don't want Dallas to win any game. I'm not a Dallas fan. I'm not cheering for no one. That's just how it is. Right now I'm playing hard and on Sunday I'll have a double chip on my shoulder.”
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSBengals.