With the new CBA, little attention has been paid to the rule changes that will affect the teams on game days. But one change that the owners and players agreed to will come into play on game days.
The owners and players have agreed to expand game day rosters from 45 to 46 active players. The No. 3 quarterback will no longer be an “emergency” inactive player.
In other words, a team can insert its third-string quarterback for a short period at any point in the game, then take him out and put the starter back in. Previously, the first and second quarterbacks couldn’t re-enter the game if the No. 3 quarterback played before the fourth quarter.
That rule came up most prominently (in the 2010 season) when the Bears bungled the backup quarterback situation in the NFC Championship Game. After starter Jay Cutler went down and backup Todd Collins struggled, Bears coach Lovie Smith inserted No. 3 quarterback Caleb Hanie into the game just in time for him to hand off twice in the third quarter. Smith’s decision to put Hanie in the game in the third quarter instead of waiting for the fourth meant that if Hanie had suffered an injury, the Bears would have been without a quarterback for the rest of the game.
The lack of a third-quarterback designation could be helpful for teams with third-string quarterbacks who are running threats: Now the third-stringer could be inserted as a wildcat quarterback for a play or two and then be replaced by the starter.
But the most likely result of the change to 46 active players on Sundays may just be that teams will add another active player at another position and keep two quarterbacks active on Sundays. For most teams, having extra depth at another position will be more useful than the ability to insert the third quarterback into the game whenever they please.
POINT OF DISCUSSION: I’d like to see the Dallas Cowboys take advantage of this rule change and incorporate some innovative plays during the course of the game (in a scripted series). It would be interesting with one of Dallas’ offensive weapons that can throw a little, if necessary. Maybe even something with Romo and Orton in at the same time. Have a three-down scripted set of plays … or something along those lines. Orton and the backup wide receivers practice together … imagine something creative with Beasley, Holmes, etc. What do you think?
Last year, it seemed like whoever the Cowboys brought in during the regular season, it was smart move.
Laurent Robinson wasn’t just a steal, but one of the best pickups off the street you will ever see on any team. The guy had four touchdowns in four years and he gets 11 in 14 games.
But he wasn’t the only one. Tony Fiammetta started games at fullback, while Frank Walker was a big addition in the secondary. Even tailback Sammy Morris helped out when DeMarco Murray went down.
PHOTO: The three Garrett brothers played football at Princeton in the late 80’s. In 1987, the three played together for the Princeton Tigers. From left to right, Judd, Jason, and John.
Now, the guys in the Pro Scouting Department – Judd Garrett and Will McClay are at it again. Trading for Ryan Cook seemed like a nice cushion to the interior line. That’s before Phil Costa played just three snaps against the Giants and now will be out a while.
Cook is THE guy at center and the Cowboys seemingly made a nice call with him, especially since he’s been mostly a guard and tackle during his seven years in the league. But they saw enough of him at center, and obviously trusted former Cowboys scouting director Jeff Ireland, who is the GM in Miami and traded him to Dallas for the seventh-round pick.
What they did last year on the fly to get Robinson, Fiammetta, Walker and company, coupled with this free agent period in March to get Brandon Carr, Kyle Orton, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings and Dan Connor, suggests those pro scouts have a good feel for what the coaching staff is looking for.
And that only makes sense considering Judd Garrett is running the pro scouting department and happens to be the brother of the head coach.
But already Cook looks to be a good pickup, and it makes me think the addition of cornerback LeQuan Lewis should be rather helpful, too.
RELATED: Everything you ever wanted to know about Judd Garrett, and more!
Judd Garrett (born June 25, 1967) is a former coach and running back. He is currently the director of pro scouting for the Dallas Cowboys.
Playing career: Early years
Judd Garrett went to high school at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio, where he earned a varsity letter in football, basketball, and baseball. He was named Most Valuable Player in all three sports his senior year. In football, as a senior, Garrett gained a school record 2,011 yards rushing and scored 35 touchdowns. He was selected first team all-state and he won the Cleveland Touchdown Club’s Lou Groza Award which is given to the Most Valuable Player in Northeast Ohio. Garrett graduated from University School in 1985.
Prior to University School, Garrett attended grade school at Saint Ann’s Catholic School which is located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio from 1978-1981. His three years at Saint Ann’s, Garrett played in three consecutive City Championship Football Games and his team won the City Championship in 1979.
Garrett is a 1990 graduate of Princeton University where he was a three year starter at running back. In his three seasons, Garrett gained 3,109 yards rushing, caught 137 passes and scored 41 touchdowns. In his senior year, Garrett lead the Tigers to their first Ivy League championship in 20 years. Following his senior season, Garrett was awarded the Asa S. Bushnell Cup which is given to the Ivy League Player of the Year, and he was selected to the Division 1-AA All-American team. He played in the 1990 Hula Bowl where he scored the first touchdown of the game. He also represented the Ivy League with a group of 40 league All-Stars in the Epson Ivy Bowl in Tokyo Japan vs. a team of Japanese All-Stars.
Garrett was drafted in the 12th round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. After being released by the Eagles, Garrett spent part of the 1990 season on the Dallas Cowboy’s injured reserve list. Garrett then played the next two seasons (1991–1992) with the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football. His first season in London, he led the league in receptions with 71 while helping the team amass an 11-1 record and the first ever World Bowl Championship. In that championship game, Garrett set a World Bowl record of 13 receptions and caught the game sealing touchdown with less than a minute left in the first half. After the 1991 season, Garrett was selected to the All-World League team. Following his two seasons in the World League, Garrett spent the 1993 season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, earning a Super Bowl ring. He finished his playing career with two stints in the Canadian Football League with the Las Vegas Posse (1994) and the San Antonio Texans (1995).
Garrett started his NFL coaching career as an offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints under Mike Ditka from 1997-1999. After leaving the Saints, Garrett spent six seasons with Miami Dolphins from 2000–2005, as an assistant coach under Dave Wannstedt and Nick Saban during which time the Dolphins had five winning seasons, won a Division Title and two playoff appearances. After the 2005 season, Garrett was hired by the St. Louis Rams to coach tight ends. He stayed with the Rams from 2006-2007. He was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as the director of pro scouting in May 2008.
Judd Garrett was married to the former Kathleen Kobler, an all-American soccer player at Princeton University, for 14 years, and together they had four children, Calvin, Frances, Campbell and Kassity. Kathy died unexpectedly on August 19, 2007 from a heart attack.
His father (Jim Garrett) was an assistant coach for the New York Giants (1970–1973), New Orleans Saints (1976–77), and Cleveland Browns (1978–84), head coach of the Houston Texans of the fledgling WFL (1974), and head football coach at Columbia University (1985). From 1987-2004, he served as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys
Career highlights and awards
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Seattle Seahawks returner Leon Washington a test for Dan Bailey, Chris Jones
IRVING, Texas – With star collegiate players taking over special teams roles and a hodge-podge of talent taking the field, the beginning of the season is typically difficult on special teams coverage.
Sometimes, the best way to make up for the newly-formed coverage groups is with precision in the kicking game. Against a great returner like Seattle’s Leon Washington, who holds several franchise records, the placement and distance of kicks by Dan Bailey and Chris Jones will be crucial. Washington had an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return against Arizona on Sunday, proving he can still be a threat at the age of 30.
“You certainly want to limit his opportunities any way you can,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “The kickers and the punters play a big role in this game. There’s no question about that. But we have to go cover. There’s no expectation that we can just take him out of the game by kicking the ball through the end zone or whatever the case might be. We have to plan and practice really well in preparing for him, because again, he’s a difference-making player for their football team.”
For Bailey, the best way to stop Washington on kickoffs is to try to boot the ball deep into the end zone, when the wind allows, but direction is important as well, if the ball isn’t carrying. Bailey had 24 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs last year.
Jones, appearing in only his third game last week, did a nice job on his two punts, finishing with a net average of 51.5 yards. Coincidentally, he made his NFL debut against the Seahawks halfway through last year, filling in for an injured Mat McBriar, and forcing Washington into three fair catches.
“I think if I can just pinpoint just where the ball is going to be, and I put it there with 4.8, 4.9, 5.0 hang time, something like that, we’re going to get a fair catch,” Jones said. “Or, we’re going to get somebody to run down there and rock him, and possibly get a turnover or something like that. A lot of the stress on me is going to be directional – let’s get it outside the numbers – and the hang time. That’s my main focus this week.”
Back there at the turn of the century, the Valley Ranch think tank was in agreement on Troy Aikman. Sadly, his career was kaput. Troy didn’t agree, but the great ones rarely know when to say when.
In something akin to a career eulogy, the Aikman praise flowed and so did the tears as the Cowboys said good-bye. Later, when Aikman finally agreed to call it quits, The Iceman himself even cracked. Troy cried at his farewell media conference.
Watching that so-long scene that day at Texas Stadium, front office football staffer Larry Lacewell wandered over to a reporter, who happened to be me, and in a wistful tone said:
"Well, we are now officially one of those teams wandering through the quarterback wasteland of the NFL. With Troy, we didn’t have to think about it or worry about it.
"But we are now going to run into clubs out there who have been wandering for 10 years, and still haven’t found a quarterback. It’s a vast wasteland."
And so it was.
Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe …
Six seasons later, Tony Romo emerged.
Like him or not, Tony led the Cowboys out of the vast wasteland. And whatever your beef with Romo, you are a football idiot if you disagree he’s a top 10 QB in a league where there’s 32 of them.
But speaking of that dreaded wasteland …
Did we have another team make an emergence this week? Did a long, long trek through the wasteland come to an end?
Better yet, would it suddenly be wise to start taking the Washington Redskins much more seriously in the NFC East?
A nice young man from Copperas Cove, Texas, turned the NFL upside down over the weekend. If you were watching ESPN on Sunday night, SportsCenter was on fire with RG3 testimonials.
One game. One NFL start, and this one a mere few months removed from the Baylor campus, yet Robert Griffin stole the Week One show in the league.
Griffin even out-Peytoned Peyton Manning in the national headlines.
As good as Manning was in his Denver debut, as good as the 49ers’ defense was against Green Bay, as good as Romo was against the Giants, the rookie quarterback for the Redskins knocked ’em all off the shelf.
Having had an up close and personal look at RG3 in his Baylor days, and particularly last season, we all could lie and say we weren’t surprised. But nobody saw this coming. Not as a rookie starting and starring in the tough road environment of New Orleans against a Saints crowd and team jacked to the roof.
But when a quarterback pops like RG3 popped, perception and perspective goes radically nuts. Along the Potomac this week, it’s nuts. RG3 fever has consumed Redskins Nation.
A friend who lives in Washington and is a devout ’Skins’ backer, was telling me a story this week about the most-hated contingent of fandom in his universe: that would be the CowSheep.
All along the Eastern seaboard, the Cowboys have a massive fan base, from the New York area, down through Philly and certainly around D.C.
“I remember,” said my friend, “watching a Sunday night game in Carolina a few years ago , and Romo, who had come out of nowhere, was great. I’m thinking, “Oh …spit. They’ve finally found a quarterback.”
“Well, on Monday, I’m talking to Cowboys’ fans, and all I heard from them was, ‘Oh …spit. The Redskins have finally found a quarterback.’ I was hoping I’d live long enough to hear a Cowboys’ fan have to say that.”
It’s been awhile, for sure.
The Redskins do have two playoff wins since 1996, compared to one for the Cowboys.
But they never had an Aikman, and going back to the Aikman era, the wasteland of D.C. quarterbacks is so bleak it makes the Cowboys of the early 2000s appear almost stable.
Cary Conklin, Heath Shuler, Gus Frerotte, Trent Green, Brad Johnson (who was OK in Washington, but washed up here), Tony Banks, Jeff George, Patrick Ramsey, Danny Wuerffel, Tim Hasselbeck, Mark Brunell, Todd Collins, Jason Campbell, Donovan McNabb and, lately, Rex Grossman.
The good names in that bunch were on their final QB legs by the time they got to the Redskins.
In one game, however, RG3 made us all rethink everything we thought about the Redskins in the NFC East for this season. It’s a good defense, and a team that always plays close games with the Cowboys, but Romo has been better than whomever Washington was running out there at quarterback.
The doubters can claim there’s been a vast overreaction to a rookie quarterback’s first game. But nobody (that saw the game) can claim they weren’t extremely impressed with the kid from Copperas Cove.
At the moment anyway, RG3 has taken the Redskins out of that vast wasteland of the quarterback wilderness, but the Cowboys don’t see RG3 until Thanksgiving Day.
By then we will know much more. Until then, he’s definitely worth watching.
RELATED ARTICLES ON THE BOYS ARE BACK:
Haven’t seen Robert Griffin III play? Missed the game? Check it out on NFL Game Rewind:
Tyron Smith had four penalties in his first ever game at left tackle. Still, he earned an "attaboy" from the Dallas Cowboys, one of the weekly awards the team gives after victories.
Smith won it for his hustle in chasing down Giants linebacker Michael Boley after a second-quarter Tony Romo interception. Smith was docked $15,750 by the league for his horse-collar tackle on Boley, which saved a touchdown.
He will not, he smiled, pass the helmet around the locker room for his teammates to help pay his fine.
"It was a way to help my team out," Smith said. "If you care about the money that much, you’re playing for the money. I’m playing because I want to."
Smith, who gave up no sacks, was unforgiving about the tackle, calling it a last-ditch effort. He is more concerned about the league-leading three false starts. Doug Free and Jason Witten also had false starts, Dez Bryant had an illegal motion and the Cowboys had two delay of games.
Smith said it had more to do with the unfamiliarity of new center Ryan Cook, who arrived at Valley Ranch on Aug. 31 after a trade with the Dolphins, than being twitchy about facing Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
"It’s more just being on the same page as the center on the snap count," Smith said. "That’s why I was off-sides a few times. We’re more on the same page this week. It’ll help this week coming up."
Phil Costa reinjured his back after only three plays last week, forcing Cook into the lineup. Cook has practiced with the first-teamers this week and is expected to get the start with Costa’s back still bothering him.
“Everybody’s on more of the same page this week with the new center we have moving in,” Smith said. “He’s working hard and everybody’s working hard as a unit to get everything cleaned up.”
Smith will face his college coach, Pete Carroll, this week. Carroll is not surprised to see Smith at left tackle, though he played only the right side for Carroll. Smith, the No. 9 overall pick last year, also spent his rookie season at right tackle before he and Free switched sides this off-season.
"We always thought of him as that, that he could do that," Carroll said Wednesday. "He’s a fantastic athlete. He’s extraordinary in what he’s capable of doing. There’s nothing he can’t do. We’re not surprised at all. I see why they did it. They gave him a chance to be comfortable for the first year and then make the move and it looks like it’s working out great for them."
Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith expected to be fined for a horse collar tackle against linebacker Michael Boley following an interception against the Giants.
The NFL didn’t disappoint, fining him $15,750 for the play.
That works out to $3937.50 per point …
It was money well spent considering that Smith’s tackle prevented Boley from scoring a touchdown as he knocked him out at the 2-yard line. The penalty moved the ball to the 1. The Cowboys defense rose up and forced a field goal.
It proved to be huge momentum-turning play in a game the Cowboys won 24-17.
None of it would have happened without Smith’s hustle and effort to chase down Boley _ penalty or not. Fine or not.
“It was a really big play in the game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in the days after the game. “As coaches we always try to emphasize the ball, and the importance of the ball, and taking care of the ball, and quarterbacks making good decisions, holding it the right way in the pocket, anybody who’s carrying the football, make sure you carry it the right way, and we do drills every day. One of the things we talk about is when there is a turnover, going to get the ball back, going to make the tackle if there is an interception or the other team is running with the football.
“You can preach that till you’re blue in the face, but until that situation happens in the game, it’s hard to know the guys are going to respond the right way. But if you watch that play, like we have, you see a lot of guys running the football, trying to make the play, and sure enough, Tyron’s the guy who makes the play. And you said it. It’s a difference-making play in the ballgame, to force an offense to say, ok, you don’t have a touchdown, you’ve got to score from the 2-yard line, and the challenge that that presents to a defense. You always want to be in a situation where you’re trying to have a goal-line stand. And our guys stepped up. I thought our run defense was outstanding. We knocked them back on the first play, knocked them back on the next play, forced them into a passing situation, and defended well on third down to hold them to a field goal. None of that happens if Tyron doesn’t make that play. So his hustle, his determination, his will, did a great job of carrying over the practice emphasis to the game.”
The Dallas Cowboys signed cornerback LeQuan Lewis today to fill the roster spot of released tight end Colin Cochart.
Lewis signed with the Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent from Arizona State. He was released at the end of training camp that season and was out of football the rest of the year. He signed with the Raiders on May 15, 2012, was released June 22 and signed with the Jets on Aug. 15. He was on the Jets’ practice squad Sept. 4 before being released Tuesday.
Coach Jason Garrett said the team targeted Lewis because of his strength on special teams.
Look for him to be active against the Seattle this weekend and be part of the coverage units trying to contain Seahawks dangerous returner Leon Washington.
Washington had a kickoff return of 83 yards and a punt return of 52 yards, leading to 10 points in the 20-16 loss to the Cardinals last week.
“You certainly want to limit his opportunities any way you can,” Garrett said. “The kickers and the punters play a big role in this game. There’s no question about that. But we have to go cover it. There’s no expectation that we can just take him out of the game by just kicking the ball through the end zone or whatever the case might be. We have to plan to practice really well in preparing for him, because again, he’s a difference-making player for their football team. We’ve got to get ready to cover well and certainly the kickers and the punters have a big job in this league in terms of how to kick the ball to give us favorable covering opportunities.”
RELATED: Jason Garrett Press Conference 09/12
Jason Garrett speaks to the media at Valley Ranch as his team prepares to take the field to begin their preparations for the Seahawks.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys introducing ‘Jerry Wipes’, a multi-purpose novelty
PHOTO: Jerry Wipes, inspired by a viral video of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones getting his glasses cleaned, will be sold in the Dallas Cowboys online store. Jerry Wipes aren’t the first instance of the polarizing NFL owner poking fun at himself – or making money.
The Dallas Cowboys won their season opener against the New York Giants last week, but the breakout star of the game wasn’t anyone on the field. It was Jerry Jones’ glasses.
Jones, the highly visible and polarizing Cowboys owner, stole the thunder from his team’s road victory over the Super Bowl champion Giants when video footage taken of Jones watching the game showed him casually handing off his glasses to be cleaned by an unidentified man sitting behind him in the owner’s box.
The video went viral, and the questions (and jokes) flew. Who was the man cleaning Jerry’s glasses? Some sort of manservant from a bygone era of kings? Is the billionaire Jones really so rich that he can’t be bothered wipe a smudge off his own glasses?
Not quite. The glasses-cleaner turned out to be Jones’s son in law, Shy Anderson, who offered an explanation of the spectacle (sorry) to Alan Peppard of the Dallas Morning News:
"Jerry never talks to anybody during the game. He is so focused. But he started asking, ‘Where’s [Cowboys tight end Jason] Witten?’ I was looking over his shoulder and I could see his glasses were completely smudged. I said, ‘Seriously, Jerry? Let me see your glasses.’ I actually had an eyeglass cloth in my pocket."
So it was just family members watching out for each other, more than an extravagance of the uber-rich. But that isn’t stopping Anderson and Jones from cashing in on their brief Internet fame.
One week after he was caught by NBC cameras wiping the eyeglasses of Jerry Jones during the NFL game, the son-in-law of the Dallas Cowboys owner said he’s hoping to capitalize on all the attention by selling a product inspired by the infamous moment.
Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show that Anderson has taken good-natured ribbing for wiping the glasses. Anderson, who is married to Jones’ daughter Charlotte, has run the Dallas Desperados, an Arena Football League team, as well as other business interests.
Anderson has designed a line of eyeglass wipes printed with the words “Jerry Wipes” on them, to be sold in the Dallas Cowboys’ online store. No word yet on the price, or for how long the wipes will be sold. “It started out as a joke, but let’s see how far we can take it.” Anderson said.
It’s all par for the course for Jones, who is no stranger to hamming it up, laughing at himself, or making money. During his 24-year tenure as owner and general manager, he has turned the Dallas Cowboys into the most valuable pro sports franchise in the NFL and the United States, worth $2 billion. He’s also starred in a series of ads for pizza chain Papa Johns, in which he both break dances and raps. So Jerry Wipes aren’t the first or last time Jerry Jones will cash in on an opportunity.
Jerry Jones noted Tuesday that the Washington Redskins nearly beat the Cowboys twice last season, “without really acceptable quarterbacking.”
The Redskins’ defense made the difference, Jones said.
The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 18-16 in Week 3 and needed overtime for a 27-24 victory in Week 11.
In those two games, Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman was a combined 47-of-75 for 542 yards with three touchdown passes, one touchdown run and two interceptions.
After watching Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on Sunday, the Cowboys owner and general manager is expecting better quarterback play when the Cowboys face the Redskins in November and December.
“Well, I was very impressed,” Jones said on 105.3 [KRLD-FM] The Fan’s New School show. “He certainly showed a lot of poise. They had him game-planned really well to do the kinds of things that he does good. His athletic ability, his speed, all of that is something that I don’t look forward to the Cowboys competing against for a lot of years.”
Griffin was 19-of-26 for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions as he led Washington to a 40-32 upset victory in New Orleans on Sunday. The former Baylor standout and Heisman Trophy winner also ran for 42 yards on 10 carries.
Jones added: “The Redskins have needed a quarterback for a long time. They have an outstanding defense. … They’re going to be improved.”
RELATED: The Jerry Jones Show – Jones praises Coach Jason Garrett, RGIII
DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – Even though the mere mention or utterance of the Washington Redskins anywhere in DFW could warrant a severe beat-down’ New School had to ask the Dallas Cowboys owner what he thought about the NFL debut of RG3 during his weekly “Jerry Jones Show” on 105.3 The Fan.
The question of RG3 was posed only after co-host Shan Shariff played a portion of the Redskins fight song and asked the Cowboys owner/general manager to sing along with him which elicited the response of “he (Shan) is an idiot.”
Turning back to the question of Robert Griffin’s debut, “I was very impressed and he certainly showed a lot of poise” said Jones. “His athletic ability, his speed..it’s something I don’t look forward to the Cowboys competing against.”
When New School asked if Jerry would be doing any trash talking with Redskins owner Dan Snyder Jerry exclaimed, “I don’t give him (Snyder) much opportunity to trash talk me.”
The Cowboys owner also praised the efforts and leadership of his head coach and told New School why he decided to present Jason Garrett with the Cowboys vs. Giants game ball.
Jerry also previewed the Cowboys next opponent and asked his thoughts about heading back to Seattle since the the 2006 NFL playoffs.
Listen to the Jerry Jones Show, Mondays at 8:15 a.m. and Fridays at 10:00 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.
Every championship run begins with offseason leaders. Before Troy Aikman and Tom Brady captured their Super Bowl victories, one man was pushing the two quarterbacks as well as their respective Cowboys and Patriots teams.
Winning was never an issue for strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik. Six total Super Bowl rings between Dallas and New England give credence to any football knowledge offered by Woicik.
His offseason program led to three titles with the Cowboys from 1990-96, including the team’s last championship in 1995, when current head coach Jason Garrett was still backup quarterback Jason Garrett.
Garrett knew how Woicik went about his business before the strength and conditioning coach rejoined the Cowboys last year, in a shortened season with no Organized Team Activities (OTAs) or minicamps. This year is the first since 1996 that Woicik could install his offseason awards program with the Cowboys.
“It adds a little motivation to the whole thing,” Woicik says. “Really, what we want is for guys to come in. When they play football games, they keep score. We want them to keep score in their training.”
It’s during that time in the offseason when players’ self-discipline is the primary motivating factor that Woicik rewards those who go beyond the call of duty. With three Super Bowl rings from two different teams, he knows his approach works.
And with nearly 100 percent offseason attendance this year, the Cowboys players know it does, too.
“It builds a lot of camaraderie, being able to work out together in the offseason,” says Sean Lee, one of the nine offseason award winners for 2012. “That’s something we had this year. We had a lot of guys there. The camaraderie was there. The hard work was there. And I think you’re seeing that on the field.”
The Seattle Seahawks, like every team that faces the Cowboys, are going to have to block DeMarcus Ware.
But for the Seahawks, the job could be tougher this week.
Their left tackle, Russell Okung, suffered a bone bruise in his left knee last week at the end of the game. An MRI this week showed the injury isn’t as bad as it could have been, and it looks as though he’s going to be able to play Sunday.
But if he is slowed even a little, it could be a problem against Ware, who picked up two sacks last week and is coming off a 19 1/2-sack season.
And Okung is coming off a shaky game. He was called for three false-start penalties against Arizona, and the Seahawks allowed three sacks.
It didn’t make rookie quarterback Russell Wilson’s debut any smoother.
"He was under siege," coach Pete Carroll said. "He really was rushed well. They didn’t get him as much as they rushed him, but they were around him a lot. It was a very difficult game for the quarterback because of that."
The Seahawks had to start a rookie guard, J.R. Sweezy, last week, but that could be just a one-week move.
John Moffitt, the team’s third-round pick a year ago, could be ready for the Cowboys. He was inactive last week because the Seahawks were afraid he wasn’t fully recovered from elbow surgery.
Wide receiver Charly Martin has a bruised lung, suffered in a dive for the ball in the end zone. He will miss two weeks.
Wide receiver Golden Tate is expected back after missing last week with a sprained knee.
Running back Marshawn Lynch came out of Sunday’s game with no recurrence of back spasms.
Think the Cowboys had a lot of penalties last week? The Seahawks had 13. Last year, they were second in the league in penalties.
Leon Washington had an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return for the Seahawks last week.
The Seahawks got one sack last week, from Chris Clemons.