Monthly Archives: July, 2013

TONY ROMO PRESS CONFERENCE: Lucky to have Jason Garrett

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo interview - The Boys Are Back blog

Tony Romo Press Conference – Lucky to have Jason Garrett (Duration 15:20)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo talks about a range of subjects, including:

  • Impressed with how quickly 2013 rookie draft picks are adapting
  • How he feels while getting back into football shape
  • Asked if he’s getting more than usual amount of ice tub this year
  • Offseason preparation, can’t duplicate 11-on-11
  • Intent of playing in upcoming Hall of Fame game
  • First preseason game playing percentage for him is the same this year
  • Coaching receivers and expanded role in offense
  • Dealing with national media and local critic speculation
  • Getting Witten more involved in the redzone this season
  • Expectations coming into the 2013-2014 season
  • Thoughts on the upcoming visit to Canton, and the Hall of Fame
  • Larry Allen memories when him and Witten were rookies
  • Communication with teammates while on sidelines, meetings, etc.
  • Thoughts on new personnel packages and plays coming this season
  • Working with Travis Frederick
  • Asked about his legacy as a QB in Dallas
  • Bill Parcells influence on him
  • Relationship with Jason Garrett
  • Text that Bill Parcells sent him after signing new contract
  • What it’s like to practice against guys like Carr, Ware, Lee, Carter
  • Miles Austin, Dez Bryant
  • Intensive running routine of Dallas receivers
  • Dunbar impressing, DeMarco, Randall, Tanner
  • Talking to kids at his football camps
  • How the past two 8-8 seasons fit into the big picture

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Rookie Review

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Blue White scrimmage - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference – 7/30/2013 – Rookie outlook (Duration 13:01)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discusses:

  • 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster
  • Ronald Leary back from knee tweak
  • DT Nick Hayden playmaker mentality
  • Ronald Leary growth since last season
  • Tony Romo playing status
  • Ronald Leary role as guard
  • Nate Livings overcoming rust
  • Thoughts on Yankee’s coach Joe Giradi’s speech
  • Preseason games effect on camp/season
  • 2013 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Report Card (Video | Audio
  • First four draft picks taking first-team reps with starters
  • Player combinations with coordinators, Monte Kiffin
  • LB Ernie Simms fit into new scheme
  • Bill Parcells, Hall of Fame inductee, influence on Garrett

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND: Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Scoring Chances

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND - Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Scoring Chances - The Boys Are Back blog


Watch the 1-on-1 period in the redzone drills. End-of-game special situations that concluded with a surprise call by Bill Callahan. (Duration – 9:09)

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND - Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Scoring Chances defended - The Boys Are Back blog

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NFL HALL OF FAME: Dallas Cowboys Larry Allen enshrinement just days away

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Seven new legends were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans, La. The group – Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson, and Warren Sapp – will be formally inducted during a memorable Enshrinement Ceremony at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 3.

LARRY ALLEN Guard/Tackle … 6-3, 325 … Sonoma State, Butte Junior College (CA) … 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers … 14 seasons, 203 games … Selected by Cowboys in 2nd round (46th player overall) of 1994 draft


Cowboys Seahawks Football

Versatile, played every position on offensive line except center during 12 seasons with Dallas … Led way in second season for Emmitt Smith who set Cowboys’ franchise record with 1,773 yards … Started at right guard in two NFC championship games and Super Bowl XXX victory … Named NFL Alumni’s Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1997 and the NFL Players Association NFC Lineman of the Year twice (1996-97) … Named first-team All-Pro seven straight years … First-team All-NFC six times, second-team once … Moved to tackle late in 1997 and entire 1998 season, earned All-Pro honors at position … Signed as free agent with San Francisco in 1996 … First season with 49ers led way for Frank Gore who set team single-season rushing record (1,695 yards) … Elected to 11 Pro Bowls … Named to NFL All-Decade Teams of 1990s and 2000s … Born November 27, 1971 in Los Angeles, California.




Allen played for four high schools and then Butte College for two years. He then sat out a year before playing at Division II Sonoma State in California. Allen caught the eye of the Dallas Cowboys, who selected him in the second-round of the 1994 NFL Draft.



Allen set a club record with 10 starts during his rookie season. He even admirably filled in for the injured Erik Williams in the 1994 NFC Championship Game in San Francisco as Allen himself played on a hurt ankle for most of the game.



Larry Allen earned the first of seven consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl in 1995. He was one of four Cowboys’ offensive linemen to be selected to the Pro Bowl for the season.



Larry Allen helped the Cowboys beat the Steelers 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX. It was the first Super Bowl ring for Allen, but the third for the 1990s Cowboys and fifth in club history.



Larry Allen broke his right hand during 2000 training camp, but he played every game that season for the Dallas Cowboys to earn a sixth-consecutive Pro Bowl spot.



Larry Allen missed most of the 2002 season with injuries that required surgery. He returned in 2003 to earn his eighth Pro Bowl nomination, and he helped lead the Cowboys to the playoffs.



Allen played his final two seasons with the 49ers and again continued to pile up Pro Bowl nominations. He would be selected to 11 Pro Bowls and was a member of the All-Decade Teams of the 1990s and 2000s.



Larry Allen signed a one-day contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, so he could retire with the team that drafted him.

AROUND THE NFL: Adrian Peterson foresees topping Emmitt Smith’s record in 2017

Jul 27, 2013; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) as he leaves the field at training camp at Blakeslee Fields. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s Minnesota Vikings are in goal-setting mode.

Pass rusher Jared Allen says Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5 sacks is “absolutely reachable,” and Adrian Peterson repeatedly has talked about running for 2,500 yards.

Peterson didn’t stop there. Fresh off his dominant 2,097-yard campaign, Peterson is thinking long-term: Specifically, Emmitt Smith’s NFL record of 18,355 rushing yards. (Watch video HERE)

Peterson is 9,506 yards away, and Dan Wiederer of The Star Tribune has done the math. If Peterson stays on his career pace of 98.4 yards per game, he’ll top Smith in Week 4 of 2019.

Peterson says he’ll get there sooner.

“I’ve been in the league seven years,” Peterson told Wiederer. “I’m already right around (9,000). Calculate it out … Let’s think. Maybe get a couple 2,000-yard seasons … I’ve got … Hmmm … 2017.”

Drilling down, Peterson targeted Week 16 of that campaign, which charts out to 120.3 yards per game without a hiccup.

Emmitt Smith Rushing Stats:

AROUND THE NFL - Adrian Peterson foresees topping Emmitt Smith's record in 2017 - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Adrian Peterson Rushing Stats:

AROUND THE NFL - Adrian Peterson foresees topping Emmitt Smith's record in 2017 - AP stats - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

COWBOYS AT&T STADIUM: NBC Sports will debut new Red-Zone 360-degree view in Giants-Cowboys opener

COWBOYS AT&T STADIUM - NBC Sports will debut new Red-Zone 360-degree view in Giants-Cowboys opener - FreeD - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

OXNARD, Calif. NBC Sports and the Dallas Cowboys announced that they will work with Replay Technologies Inc. to provide a unique, new 360-degree “FreeD” look at red-zone plays for viewers watching NBC football telecasts and fans at the game in AT&T Stadium. 

“FreeD” (free dimensional video) will debut during the Sept. 8 Sunday Night Football New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys opener.  In addition, NBC Sports will use the system for the October 5 Notre Dame-Arizona State game, and the October 13 Redskins-Cowboys SNF game (in addition to any Cowboys home games flexed into primetime) at AT&T Stadium.  Fans in the stadium will also see “FreeD” replays on the scoreboard at all home games, as well as on Cowboys local programming during the season.

The “FreeD” system will utilize 24 high-speed cameras mounted in the stadium — 12 in each red zone placed on both sides of the field from the 20-yard line to the goal line and in the back of each end zone — to provide replays of key red-zone plays from a 360-degree perspective, enabling fans to see the action seamlessly.

“We are excited to partner with NBC Sports to bring a new look at replays to our fans,” said Charlotte Anderson, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president. “We are always striving to be on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.   Just as our center hung video board has changed the way our fans view the game, we believe that this ‘FreeD’ technology will add a unique viewing dimension for our fans at every game.”

NBC Sports and Dallas Cowboys Replay Technologies unique new 360-degree FreeD red-zone - Cowboys AT&T Stadium - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

This :35 second video will blow your mind … Click HERE to check it out

“The Cowboys are the perfect partner, because AT&T Stadium is the most technologically advanced stadium in the world, and the organization is constantly striving to provide the best entertainment experience for their fans,” said Fred Gaudelli, coordinating producer of Sunday Night Football. “Being able to seamlessly move from side to side and around an entire play without switching shots will entertain and inform the fans at the stadium and watching our telecast. Fans will think they are playing a video game or watching a Sci-fi movie, but they’ll actually be viewing football as never presented before.”

RELATED: ‘FreeD’ brings 360-degree camera views to NBC football this fall

FreeD brings 360-degree camera views to NBC football this fall - Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Sure, the Palace in Dallas, newly rechristened AT&T Stadium in a naming rights deal worth upwards of $19 million a year, may be a $1.2 billion monument to excess to Texas-style size and excess. But that doesn’t doesn’t mean the high-end gadgetry inside can’t be put to good use. 

This season, in conjunction with Replay Technologies Inc., the Dallas Cowboys and NBC Sports will introduce 360-degree, “FreeD” replay views for red-zone action (from the 20-yard line to the end zone), available for viewers watching NBC’s football broadcasts, local Cowboys broadcasts in Dallas, and those inside the stadium staring up at 23,040 square feet of center-hung LED Diamond Vision display. Twenty four cameras – 12 on each side of the field – placed strategically allow depth and color to be calculated for every pixel within visible coverage. The information is then built into 3D models enabling fully orbiting views without switching cameras. The effect is like a combination of The Matrix-style “bullet time” and the latest Google Maps animations, with any moment of action viewable from almost any conceivable angle.

The system makes its maiden NFL voyage on Sept. 8, when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants and will be used again on October 13th when Dallas hosts Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Fans of college football will also get a taste of FreeD when Notre Dame plays Arizona State on the 5th of October, at AT&T Stadium as part of this year’s “Shamrock Series.”

Fred Gaudelli, producer of “Sunday Night Football” for NBC, told the Television Critics Association Sunday the decision to place the system in Dallas was no accident. “It literally takes a month to install this system,” he said. “Obviously, we’re doing games every single week. So there’s only one system in the world.  We basically had to put it in a stadium we knew we were going to be at least twice. Pray for three times.” 

No sport has a larger, more dedicated television watching audience than the NFL. FreeD promises fresh views of a football game’s most critical moments. (Including potentially soul crushing, late game mistakes). The upcoming NFL season contains a nearly endless array of compelling questions. If, for you, one happens to be “If Tony Romo and The Matrix had a baby, what would it look like?” 

Your answer is coming.

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Gotcha

Jason Garrett played a joke on the reporters in his daily press conference today (Monday).

You might remember, from just days earlier, reports that Tony Romo wouldn’t be participating in the upcoming Hall of Fame game. Romo said the staff hadn’t had any meetings about that yet.

Today, Garrett was asked at what point in the week would the team start deciding on playing time for the Hall of Fame Game. Garrett, notoriously reluctant to reveal anything he doesn’t have to, had everyone’s attention when he began his answer: “We had those conversations two weeks ago, and we outlined everybody’s playing status. We made that public.”

He stopped. Silence hung in the air.

He curled his finger, put it near his mouth and made a motion like a fish caught on a hook.

He couldn’t hold back his smile. He had “hooked” the media. He laughed as knowing smiles spread.

“You guys were locked into that answer,” he said.

And then, just to properly answer the question, he said, “We will have those conversations later this week.”

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Gotcha - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference – 7/29/2013 – Gotcha (Duration 13:26)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discusses:

  • 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster
  • Thoughts on yesterday’s Blue & White scrimmage
  • Barry Church
  • Ronald Leary
  • Kevin Kowalski upside
  • Ben Bass’s rise
  • RB Lance Dunbar challenges/role
  • RT Doug Free battling back
  • Quarterback Alex Tanney instincts
  • Joseph Randall’s progress
  • Gotcha
  • Redzone and the running game
  • Overcoming negative plays and penalties from last season
  • WR Terrence Williams
  • Coach Dooley
  • J.J. Wilcox physical edge
  • Playing better at home.

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT: Dallas Cowboys get taste of real football with Blue & White scrimmage

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys get taste of real football with Blue & White scrimmage - DeMarco Murray stiff arm

OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys got their first taste of real football since camp began with Sunday’s Blue and White Scrimmage, which featured a heavy dose of the team’s second and third teams competing against each other full speed.

Main Event:

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys get taste of real football with Blue & White scrimmage - Williams catch

The backups and rookies had the opportunity today (Sunday) to stand out from the pack and make an impression with the team’s first scrimmage.

Some took more advantage than others, with B.W. Webb returning an interception for a touchdown and quarterback Alex Tanney providing a spark for the backups.

Perhaps the best news of the day was the lack of new injuries. Players were going full speed and some tackling occurred, although most whistles blew the play dead before a player could get dragged to the ground, particularly when the first team was on the field. No one appeared to head to the locker room for medical attention.

The injured players who missed past practices didn’t return Sunday. The Cowboys were particularly short at receiver, as wide receivers Cole Beasley and Danny Coale were among the group of injured players off the field. Dez Bryant looked like he wanted to be on the field, but the coaches and trainers elected to hold him out as well for precautionary reasons.

Before the scrimmage began, the team still participated in team drills. One of the standout plays was a play-action pass to Jason Witten on the first play of red zone drills, going for a touchdown. 

“It’s an area of the field we want to attack,” Witten said. “I think we can do a better job of that. It’s good to see it paying off for us right now. Some of those play-action fakes, Tony does such a good job of drawing those backers up.

Lance Dunbar had a couple nice runs and continued to demonstrate his quickness as an asset not only as a receiver out of the backfield, but between the tackles as well for a change of pace from DeMarco Murray. Later on as the scrimmage began, Joseph Randle also displayed what the Cowboys hoped he would.

After recovering in the offseason, the scrimmage gave Randle an opportunity to take more snaps in live situations. He took advantage of those, demonstrating a cut move that left a coupled defenders grasping for a jersey.

The Dallas Cowboys coaches tried to make the scrimmage as much like a game as possible, keeping a scoreboard and forcing the offense to move the chains. The defense was also allowed to be more physical than they usually are during camp.

“It’s huge, especially being in a new system,” said defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. “It was good for us. I didn’t think we played that great early. The second group played really well.”

The lack of receivers meant the ones that were out there got an extended look with the second and third teams.

Jared Green and Tim Benford each got a heavy dose of playing time with the backups. Green made a nice play in 7-on-7 before the scrimmage and continued being a prime target to move down the field for Tanney and Nick Stephens. Green and Benford had a couple miscues, but they also helped move the chains and stood out on multiple occasions.  

Quick Hits:
  • Eric Rogers (14) continued to turn some heads with one of the plays of the day, hauling in a deep heave to the back of the end zone from Tanney with two defenders covering him. The play may have been called back for a sack, but the defense didn’t stop playing and neither did the receiver.
  • Jason Hatcher unleashed some competitive fire when he drew an offside flag during the scrimmage. After arguing with the officials to no avail, he returned to the huddle in a bad mood. Several plays later, he blew up the line of scrimmage and sacked Tony Romo uncontested.

“Just staying on the small things,” Hatcher said. “Don’t let any of the small things creep in – like being lackadaisical or not running to the football. You can’t let that stuff leak in. We just have to keep our eyes open. When something comes up, we have to address it. If someone gets out of line, I’m going to try to do my part to help them get back into line.”

  • Head athletic trainer Jim Maurer said it appeared the Cowboys made it through the scrimmage without any injuries. While Maurer is always cautious of players popping into the training room with an injury, he said overall, the team seemed to make it through pretty clean.
  • In Austin’s return to practice after his veteran off day, he caught a touchdown from Romo during team drills in a bunch formation on a quick out near the goal line.
  • The Cowboys worked on situational drills after special teams and team drills, but before the scrimmage. There’s been a heavy focus on red zone drills thus far in camp, and they worked on red zone and two-minute situations.
  • The scrimmage brought out the largest attendance of the training camp so far in Oxnard with an estimated 8,479 fans jammed along the sidelines and end zone.

2013TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys get taste of real football with Blue & White scrimmage - Fans watch

Notable Standouts:

Joseph Randle: The Cowboys’ newest running back had his most extensive workload of training camp, and he showed some of the promise the team saw in him during the draft. Randle split second-team carries with Lance Dunbar. He got plenty of carries, but he also had a chance to showcase his hands coming out of the backfield. During the full-contact portion of the scrimmage, he displayed his strength in warding off tacklers. “This is the most reps I’ve got since I’ve been a Cowboy, so it felt good,” Randle said.

Alex Tanney: Tanney wasn’t even signed until the Dallas Cowboys got to Oxnard, but he’s wasted no time in capturing the imaginations of onlookers. The 25-year-old displays good accuracy and a live arm, and he has a knack for creating plays. Tanney and Stephens split time as third-team quarterback. During the scrimmage, Tanney broke out of the pocket and connected with wide receiver Eric Rogers on an impressive deep ball, though he was technically “sacked” on the play. It’s hard to count that, though, considering it was a mere slap on the back.

Andre Smith: The second-year tight end out of Virginia Tech has been one of the most-forgotten participants in this training camp – not necessarily because he’s bad, but because of the depth the Cowboys possess at tight end. Smith showed some of his ability when given a chance during the scrimmage, as he made several nice catches and showed good moves with the ball in his hand. Smith caught a crossing route from Orton and outran two linebackers to the sideline. As he neared the end zone, safety J.J. Wilcox laid an upper body hit on Smith shoulder pads, only to see the big tight end bounce off and keep moving.

Play of the Day:

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys get taste of real football with Blue & White scrimmage - Wilcox

B.W. Webb might have been the Cowboys rookie to make the smallest impression during the first week of training camp – until Sunday, at least. Webb grabbed a spot as a second-team cornerback during the end-of-practice scrimmage, and he used the opportunity to make the most memorable play of the afternoon. Second-team quarterback Kyle Orton was looking for wide receiver Tim Benford on a short slant to his left, but Webb intervened. The rookie stepped in front of the route and picked it off, racing past the offense for a 50-yard touchdown. Webb was mobbed in the end zone by safeties Matt Johnson and J.J. Wilcox, and as he returned the ball to the sideline, many of the defensive veterans swarmed him to congratulate him on his first big play.

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys get taste of real football with Blue & White scrimmage - Monte Kiffin

Missed Practice:
WR Dez Bryant (cramps) WR Cole Beasley (knee)
G Ron Leary (calf) OT Jermey Parnell (hamstring)
DE Anthony Spencer (knee) WR Danny Coale (knee swelling)
DT Ikponmwosa Igbinosun (ankle) TE James Hanna (hamstring)
DE Tyrone Crawford (Achilles) DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring)
G Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring) LS L.P. Ladouceur (calf)
OT Demetress Bell (conditioning)  

July 21 – Signed T Demetress Bell, QB Alex Tanney and Lavasier Tuinei. Placed G Mackenzy Bernadeau and DT Jay Ratliff on the active/physically unable to perform list and placed the following players on the active/non-football injury list: T Demetress Bell, C/G Ryan Cook, LS Louis-Philippe Ladouceur, G Ronald Leary, G Nate Livings and WR Lavasier Tuinei.

July 23 – C/G Ryan Cook passed his physical and returned to practice.

July 24 – Released WR Lavasier Tuinei. Signed DT Landon Cohen and DE George Selvie.

July 26 – G Nate Livings passed his physical and returned to practice.

Upcoming Schedule:

Monday, July 29
10:30 a.m. (PDT) Walk-Thru
12:00 p.m. (PDT) Coach Garrett press conference
4:00 p.m. (PDT) Practice

Tuesday, July 30
10:30 a.m. (PDT)         Walk-Thru
12:00 p.m. (PDT)         Coach Garrett press conference
4:00 p.m. (PDT)           Practice

NEW 2013 NFL RULES: Officials discuss changes beginning in upcoming season

NEW 2013 NFL RULES - Officials discuss changes beginning in upcoming season - The Boys Are Back blog

NFL officials met with the media today (Sunday) following Jason Garrett’s press conference to discuss changes made to the NFL rule book during the past offseason.

Officials ran film depicting all major rule changes to be enforced during the 2013 season:

  • As has been discussed extensively, running backs are no longer allowed to make contact with the crown of their helmet. If a ball carrier outside the tackle box lines up with a defender and lowers his head to use the crown against a tackler, a 15-yard penalty will be assessed.
  • On all kicking plays, the defense can no longer block below the waist, and they may no longer push players into the line or stack one side of the line of scrimmage.
  • Also on kicking plays, the long snapper is now a defenseless player and may not be engaged until he becomes an active blocker.
  • Peel back blocks, in which an offensive player blocks a defender below the waist from either in front or from the side, will now draw a 15-yard flag.
  • Thigh pads and knee pads – all pads worn below the waist – are now mandatory for all players. If it’s determined a player isn’t wearing pads, he can’t return to the field of play until he fixes his uniform.
  • The infamous “tuck rule” has now been amended so that the passing motion ends when the quarterback begins to tuck the ball. Under the new rule, Tom Brady’s famous incomplete pass from the 2001-02 playoffs would have been a fumble.
  • The rules have been amended to change the penalty for an erroneous challenge. When a coach throws a challenge flag for a play that either cannot be reviewed or is automatically reviewed, the team will lose a timeout. In the past, plays that had been challenged erroneously could not be reviewed – such as the case during last season’s Thanksgiving game between Houston and Detroit.
  • Taunting between players, including spiking or spinning the ball in the direction of another player, is a penalty.

Supervisor of officials Gary Slaughter spoke briefly following the presentation, and he clarified the running back rule, which has been the source of plenty of consternation among NFL fans.

“We’re still allowing the runner to protect himself,” Slaughter said. “We don’t plan on getting out there and having a lot of flags on this. In fact, of all the plays from last year, only really a few fit that rule. [The runner] still has the ability to defend himself, if there’s any angle involved going toward the sideline or outside the tackle box – running at an angle, that’s not a foul either. And we certainly don’t encourage the runner to run straight up and take the blow, either.”

Slaughter also touched on the peel-back blocks, saying that any such situation would require the blocker to go across the body. He also added that officials will make a strong effort in 2013 to penalize the instigator during taunting situations.

“We’re really making an effort, even more, to try and get the instigator –even if we see retaliation by somebody. You might see that this year,” he said. “If a player has been picking, trying to get the guy to react, he finally does – even if he does, we’re going to try to get the guy that caused it.”

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Blue & White scrimmage

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Blue White scrimmage - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference – 7/28/2013 – (Duration 19:16)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discusses roster, rule changes, and the upcoming Blue & White scrimmage.

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND: Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–In the trenches

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND - Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–In the trenches - The Boys Are Back blog


A look inside the trenches during full-contact drills of the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. Watch the defensive line and offensive line battle it out during the 1-on-1 period. Duration – 9:18

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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AVOIDING THE INJURY PLAGUE: Addressing the apparent rise in ACL, Achilles, and hamstring injuries

COWBOYS 2013 INJURY REPORT - Young Dallas DE Tyrone Crawford out for the rest of the season - The Boys Are Back blog

I don’t think it’s my imagination. It seems that there has been an increase in ACL, Achilles, and hamstring injuries in the past few years. Most concerning recently, as a Dallas Cowboys fan, is the season-ending Achilles tear suffered by DE Tyrone Crawford last week. League wide, as other teams have joined the Cowboys and Dolphins by opening training camps, there are many more of these types of injuries are reported every day or two.  

After several text and voice discussions with my son, I have come to several conclusions. I believe the changes imposed by the new CBA has lead to more injuries. I say this for two reasons. 

  • Players must now rely on themselves or private trainers during the offseason to stay in condition
  • Teams are now much more restricted (therefore, less influential) regarding offseason and in-season conditioning

I do believe the Dallas Cowboys Strength and Conditioning staffs are doing all they can within League/NFLPA’s new guidelines. I expect good arguments on both sides of this issue. Some will claim, “less is better” … others will flip the coin and side with the old school (Jimmy Johnson) philosophy of “more is better”. Ultimately, this falls on the shoulders of the players. They must be self-motivated during the offseason and work harder to stay in shape without team supervision. Surely, NFL Strength and Conditioning staffs provide players with a recommended regimen to follow during the offseason. 

Since the CBA has been in place, teams are restricted to fewer ‘mandatory’ practices and team activities. The question seems to be, is this beneficial or detrimental to long-term strength and conditioning issues?

I hope to hear from fans that have expertise in this area … doctors, trainers, physical therapists, coaches, etc. to learn what is causing the increase in injuries and more importantly … what the NFL should do to reduce them in the future. Regarding hamstrings, is it largely an issue of not stretching properly? Are players not taking in enough liquids? Are shoes and artificial turf putting players at risk? 

Hate to see the Dallas Cowboys go through another injury plagued season like last year. Is there something the NFL can do to decrease the odds of them occurring and recurring?

To join the discussion (and many others) or to vote in the related poll … please visit the Dallas Cowboys Fan Forum by clicking HERE. Enjoy!

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Day 6 review

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Day 5 - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference – 7-26-2013 (Duration – 19:08)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California.

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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COWBOYS 2013 INJURY UPDATE: Anthony Spencer surgery a success, should be ready for start of the season

dallas cowboys outside linebacker anthony spencer (93) sacks washington redskins quarterback robert griffin iii - the boys are back blog

Defensive end Anthony Spencer had successful surgery on his left knee today (Thursday), according to his agent Jordan Woy.

Spencer will be be sidelined about a month while recovering, likely keep him out the majority of the preseason. He should be ready for the start of the season.

The surgery was necessary after Spencer experienced discomfort in the knee during pre-camp conditioning tests on Saturday. It’s the same knee he hyper-extended during organized team activities in June.  A magnetic resonance imaging exam confirmed a bone-bruise in Spencer’s left knee.

The Cowboys felt surgery was the best option and wanted to get this taken care of so it wouldn’t be a lingering issue during the season. Spencer will make $10.6 million after being designated as the team’s franchise player.

RELATED: Cowboys finally got some good news on the injury front

Starting left guard Nate Livings has been given the OK to practice and was removed Friday from the active non-football injury list. He’s expected to practice Friday afternoon after missing the start of camp with a foot problem.

Coach Jason Garrett said several other injured players could be back next week, including tight end James Hanna (hamstring), guard Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring) and guard Ron Leary (calf).

Backup right tackle Jermey Parnell (hamstring) probably need another week, Garrett said.

Garrett also said that defensive ends Anthony Spencer (knee) and Tyrone Crawford (Achilles tendon) had successful surgeries in Dallas. Spencer is expected back in camp sidelines this week, while Crawford will remain in Dallas.

AROUND THE NFL: 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown lost $2M over missed workouts

AROUND THE NFL - 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown lost $2M over missed workouts

Tarell Brown left $2 million on the table this offseason. This hardly was part of the plan.

The San Francisco 49ers cornerback was due to earn $2.925 million in 2013, the final year of his contract. To collect $2 million of that salary, he was obligated to attend offseason workouts with the team. Unaware that his attendance was contractually mandatory, Brown worked out on his own in Texas.

He didn’t realize he had cost himself dearly until Thursday, when he saw reports on Twitter. He immediately fired his agent, Brian Overstreet.

“No one wants to leave money on the table,” Brown said Thursday, via The Associated Press. “If I would have known the clauses in my contract — that’s what agents get paid to do, to orchestrate the contract and to let you know what you can and can’t do as far as workouts and OTAs and things of that sort. That’s what he got paid to do. He didn’t do that, so in my opinion, you have to be let go. We all are held accountable for our actions. This is part of the business.”

After finishing what we imagine was a tremendously pleasant conversation with Mr. Overstreet, Brown reached out to the 49ers. Unfortunately for the 28-year-old, “there wasn’t too much I really could say.”

“It had nothing to do with not being in shape, not wanting to work out, no contract problems, it just had to do with me wanting to go back home and train,” Brown said. “It’s something I’ve been doing for the past few years.”

Brown said he plans to sit down with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in an effort to work out a compromise of some kind.

“Hope for the best,” Brown said. “Pray for me.”

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND: Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Running back drills

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND - Observe the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Running back drills - The Boys Are Back blog


An inside look at the full-contact run period of 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. One of the upcoming changes this season (seldom talked about) is the new philosophy towards a zone running scheme.  Duration – 14:20

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

BONUS – DALLAS COWBOYS HELMET CAM : See the speed of what Brandon Carr sees in training camp practice

Dallas Cowboys Helmet Cam - Brandon Carr training camp practice - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Dallas Cowboys Helmet Cam: Brandon Carr (Duration – 2:04)

Experience what it’s like to fly into the air and grab an interception as you ride on the side of Brandon Carr’s helmet. Click HERE to watch the video.

Dallas Cowboys Helmet Cam: DeMarco Murray (Duration – 1:57)

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COWBOYS STADIUM RENAMED: Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys

Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas — Welcome to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

At a press conference Thursday, the two iconic American brands jointly announced an expansion of their long-standing relationship to include the new name as well as plans to create an innovative, mobile-first experience for fans.

“AT&T is an iconic American leader that has guided the path of communication in the world for more than 100 years,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.  “Our stadium has always been about providing fans with an unsurpassed experience in the area of technology. With AT&T, we are growing our relationship with one of the world’s strongest and most innovative companies to ultimately provide fans with the latest cutting-edge technology for many years to come.

“Dallas is our home town, and we’re proud to expand our successful relationship with the Cowboys, one of the most visionary sports franchises around,” said Cathy Coughlin, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Global Marketing Officer.  “This is a terrific opportunity to further integrate AT&T’s industry-leading mobile technology with the premier sports and entertainment venue to create a world-class fan experience.”

The name change, effective immediately, will be reflected in substantial signage updates throughout the upcoming football season, prominently featuring AT&T, both inside and outside of the stadium.

The Cowboys and AT&T will work together to deliver an interactive gameday experience for fans like no other. AT&T and the Cowboys also will continue to invest in advanced mobile technology in and around AT&T Stadium to benefit all visitors. For example, they —

·       Have recently doubled the capacity of AT&T’s 4G LTE network inside the stadium, in the plazas and in parking lots.

·       Will nearly double the capacity of the Wi-Fi network inside AT&T Stadium, giving all visitors a significantly enhanced mobile Internet experience. This will be completed in time for the Cowboys’ regular season.

·       Will enhance – in time for this year’s preseason games – the Cowboys’ mobile app with maps and way finding to improve the overall fan experience on game days.

In addition to Cowboys’ games,  AT&T Stadium is already lined up to host a series of major events in the near future, including:

·       2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic

·       2014 and 2015 Cowboys Classic Kick-Off games

·       2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four

·       2015 First-Ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game

AT&T Stadium hosts an average of 30 marquee events annually – from soccer and motocross to monster trucks and concerts – and attracts close to 2 million visitors each year. Additionally, nearly half a million guests visit the venue annually to take part in stadium tours. Since opening in 2009, almost 10 million people have entered the doors at AT&T Stadium for events and tours. In addition, Dallas Cowboys games consistently deliver some of the highest-rated telecasts during the NFL season, including a number of nationally televised prime-time broadcasts each year. Cowboys fans also are among the most loyal, with season ticket holders in all 50 states and several countries.

Watch the official AT&T Stadium announcement with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

AT&T Stadium Announcement

Watch the official AT&T Stadium announcement with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. (Duration – 39:11)


Click HERE to watch … or click HERE to listen to the audio (MP3)

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND: Observe the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Full pads

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (19) focused - The Boys Are Back blog

Training Camp LIVE – Full Pads (Duration – 15:01)

Take a look at the receivers and corners as they go at it 1-on-1, as well as the offensive line versus the defensive line.

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Day 4 review

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Day 4 - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference – 7-24-2013 (Duration – 20:06)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discussed:

  • Which players are due back from injuries/rehab this week
  • Ben Bass and his upcoming role in this defense
  • Kyle Wilbur development
  • Versatility factors of defensive linemen in this scheme
  • Defensive ends vs. right or left handed strategy
  • Dialing back and developing Matt Johnson in the secondary
  • How Dez Bryant’s passion in practice translates to game day
  • Sean Lee and J.J. Wilcox comparison to Bill Bates mentality
  • Dez’s leadership and influence on other players on the roster
  • Describing Monte Kiffin and the passion he brings to the defense
  • A little lesser-known history about Monte Kiffin;
  • How team captains are determined each year
  • The differences to expect this season from new Special Teams coach
  • Traits of special teams coaches Rich Bisaccia and Joe Avezanno
  • Dez Bryant vs. Mo Claiborne battle – making each other better
  • Current edge that veteran Brandon Carr has over most corners
  • Adjusting to practicing with full pads and other required gear
  • Rapport with Dez and Tony Romo evolving
  • Shoring up the roster with newly signed defensive linemen
  • Strategy for working Jay Ratliff back into the lineup
  • Eric Rodgers fit into Garrett’s the right-kind-of-guy mold
  • New, strict accountability system for pre-snap penalties (both sides of ball)
  • Collective style regarding all coordinators and coaches
  • J.J. Wilcox comparison to late Sam Mills, style of safeties and linebackers
  • inside information on today’s activity from training camp, and
  • how the Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 roster is shaping up.

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

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TRAINING CAMP SCOUT REPORT: Dallas Cowboys veterans making strides in new scheme

TRAINING CAMP SCOUT REPORT - Dallas Cowboys veterans making strides in new scheme - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

• Hope you had a chance to catch the TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND segment from Tuesday where we featured the one-on-one drills with the wide receivers and cornerbacks. If you did, you saw a show from Dez Bryant. Through three days of camp, this is not unusual for Bryant, who has been nothing short of spectacular in the manner in which he has gone about his business. The route running along with the sheer physical strength that he has played with has made him difficult to defend. In our video, he was matched against Morris Claiborne on each one of his reps, and, to Mo’s credit, he didn’t take himself out or away from working against Bryant.

Every rep that the two went at each other was intense, where technique went out the window and it came down to the sheer will of who was going to make the play. When you are battling Bryant, you might be in position in the route like Mo was several times but just his ability to adjust while in route makes him so dangerous.

It wasn’t that Claiborne was struggling to fight Bryant, but more like Bryant can physically beat you up as he is going down the field, then find the ball no matter where it is in the air and this is something that NFL cornerbacks are going to have to deal with when they line up across from Bryant the entire season.

Dez being Dez - Dez Bryant made three spectacular catches in the teams 1-on-1 portion of 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp practice - The Boys Are Back blog

VIDEO CLIP – Dez being Dez – Dez Bryant made three spectacular catches during 1-on-1 portion of Dallas Cowboys training camp practice – Click HERE to watch (Duration – :37)

• Continuing my thoughts on Morris Claiborne, I was very interested to see how he would respond to playing against the run in this new scheme off the edge, especially with pads on. I have addressed this situation plenty with both he and Brandon Carr on what is expected of them on the outside. From my observations, there were several plays where the ball was spilled to the outside and Claiborne had to step up and make the play.

Like his battles with Bryant, he could shy away and hide but instead he stepped up and forced DeMarco Murray to the sidelines and out of bounds when Murray tried to plant a stiff arm in his face. Later in the Team Run period, he again stepped up off the edge playing close in a tight formation and handled Lance Dunbar for a short gain in the open field. For Claiborne, this has now become his responsibility full-time because soft corners don’t win in this scheme.

The physical matchups against Bryant and having to successfully play the run are part of the gig. His first day in the pads showed that he understands the task ahead.

2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp - Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Jason Witten, Will Allen - The Boys Are Back blog

• Another player who is off to a nice start in camp is Doug Free. In the first day of pads, I thought he did a nice job of showing up and handling the position with some nice technique. In just watching him play, you can see that his confidence level is much better as well. With each rep, he has been on point with how his hands and feet have to work together. His sets have put him in positions where he looks stable and solid.

I have yet to see the problems he has struggled with when a defender goes from speed to power on him. He is playing stronger at the point and when he has to sit down on a rusher, he has been able to do so without giving much ground.

In the running game, he has shown the ability to adjust in this zone scheme with the front side reach and backside cut off. When the ball has been run to his side, he is not late or struggling with his technique.

He has played with good quickness and has been able to finish his blocks or tie up his man. Still plenty of practices to go for Free, but so far he is heading in the right direction.

2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp - DeMarco Murray running in pads - The Boys Are Back blog

• It was a good learning experience for Barry Church on Tuesday on how to play safety as the single high guy in this scheme. In the 7-on-7 drill, Church was in the middle of the field when Dez Bryant went on a “9” route against Brandon Carr up the field. Church reacted well to the route to help Carr but the angle he took to the ball was too deep and behind Bryant who once again went straight up for the ball at its highest point.

Bryant was able to make the catch but Church would have had a shot at the play if his angle was more to or in front of Bryant, instead he goes sweeping by him with no chance at the ball. On Monday, we observed Will Allen playing the same route to Miles Austin correctly and in position for the interception.

Later in the period, Church was able to show a nice drive and reaction to a ball that was thrown in front of him to Gavin Escobar up the field to deliver a big hit on the rookie tight end. For Barry Church, every day is a new experience when it comes to techniques that he is going to have to learn coverage-wise. He has the physical ability to handle the job but he just needs the experience of reading and positioning himself in routes to make those necessary plays.

COWBOYS 2013 ROSTER UPDATE: Dallas bringing in two defensive linemen to shore up depth concerns

COWBOYS 2013 ROSTER UPDATE - Dallas bringing in two defensive linemen to shore up depth concerns - The Boys Are Back blog

OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys are bringing in two defensive linemen to make up for their lack of depth after injuries at the position.

They’ll take a look at defensive end George Selvie, a former South Florida defender who’s made stops in the NFL in St. Louis, Carolina, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay since 2010, and veteran defensive lineman Landon Cohen, who’s played in 25 games throughout his career.

Selvie spent a month in Tampa Bay after signing with the Buccaneers in April of this year before getting released. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Rams in 2010, playing in all 16 games for St. Louis his rookie season. He was waived in September 2011 and then spent time with Carolina and Jacksonville in 2011-2012. 

The defensive lineman played in 11 games in 2011, including four with Carolina and seven with Jacksonville. He stayed with the Jaguars in 2012, playing in nine games that season. 

Cohen’s bounced around the league since getting drafted out of Ohio in the seventh round in 2008. He played in Detroit in 2008-09, suiting up for 20 games during that time. He spent time with Jacksonville, New England, Seattle, Arizona and Philadelphia since then, suiting up for two games with the Jaguars and three with the Patriots.  

After adding three players to start training camp in quarterback Alex Tanney, wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei and tackle Demetress Bell, the team has one spot open on the 90-man roster. Tanney was the only one of those three to pass his conditioning test when arriving in California.

dallas cowboys defensive end tyrone crawford - the boys are back blog

The Cowboys need help and depth at defensive line after losing Tyrone Crawford for the season on the first full day of training camp practices Sunday when the former third-round pick tore his Achilles tendon.

dallas cowboys olb anthony spencer contract - the boys are back blog

Crawford was a backup player expected to play an increased role, but it’s not just the backups who are hurting on the defensive line. Starter Anthony Spencer also sat out of practices early in training camp with a bone bruise on his knee, and he’s slated to have surgery that will keep him out two to four weeks.

Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is also not participating in practice after hurting his hamstring during the conditioning drills, while defensive lineman Ikponmwosa Igbinosun sat out Tuesday with his foot in a boot.  

GROWING PAINS: Cowboys rookie WR Terrance Williams bouncing back after rough start

Dallas Cowboys Joseph Randle (35), Terrance Williams (83) with Gavin Escobar (89)

Rookie receiver Terrance Williams had a rough couple of days in his first training camp, unable to get open, being pushed around by Morris Claiborne and generally looking a step behind. But Tuesday, he turned it around with a better performance.


He got his nose in the playbook, sat in the film room, and paid attention.

“I put that to use,” he said about Tuesday’s practice, when he was stronger and caught more passes. “That’s something I’ve just got to continue to build on, keep going over the playbook. I just paid attention to what the coaches were telling me and the other players were telling me. And today, I ran well and caught the ball well.”

Coach Jason Garrett said he tells all the players, but especially the rookies, to “know, and know they know.” That means playing with confidence in your assignment, and Williams, one of the Cowboys’ third-round picks in April, is starting to see what that means.

“The coaches and Dez and Miles told me to relax and just do me, just have fun,” Williams said. “I get to thinking, and I get to second-guessing myself and then I don’t run the right speed. But when I’m playing relaxed and freely, I can just take the top off defenses.”

Williams smiles when he thinks about how he got chewed up by the coaches on Monday.

“It was just to help me out,” he said. “If they didn’t like me, they wouldn’t have said anything. So I just took it to heart. I came to the film session, paid attention to the stuff they told me and put it to good use.”

LEAN AND MEAN: Dallas Cowboys RB Phillip Tanner is moving faster after weight loss

Dallas Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner (34) gets by safety J.J. Wilcox (27) - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Phillip Tanner looks like a new man. He feels like one, too.

The Dallas Cowboys running back lost 10 pounds in the offseason, down to 210. He credits his weight loss to better eating and different workouts.

“The coaches see the difference,” Tanner said Tuesday. “Coach [Bill] Callahan messaged me in the offseason and said, ‘I thought about putting you at fullback last year,’ joking around because I was so big. It really has helped me, and I appreciate all the hard work I put in during the offseason.”

Tanner played in 14 games last season but carried the ball only 25 times for 61 yards with four catches for 41 yards. He had expected his second season in the league to be more productive, especially considering DeMarco Murray missed six games and Felix Jones was non-productive.

“There were a lot of times last year where I would see it, but I wasn’t able to get there as fast I wanted to,” Tanner said. “In the NFL, holes are only open for so long. So it was kind of hindering me from that. My goal this offseason was just to get leaner, faster and quicker and play at a certain weight.”

He is as light as he has been since his sophomore season in college. It has him playing faster. He outran Bruce Carter in an 11-on-11 drill Monday, something he admits he probably wouldn’t have done last year.

Tanner’s eating habits changed in the offseason. At Chili’s, his favorite restaurant, he chose the salmon and broccoli. At Wendy’s, it was a grilled chicken salad and a baked potato. He was allowed two cheat meals per week, with Wingstop and Dominos the favored stops. Snacks became granola bars instead of candy.

It has turned him into a lean running back ready to compete not only for a job but for playing time.

“We come out, and we compete against each other every day,” Tanner said of the running backs, “and it just makes the team better.”

AROUND THE NFL: Titan hopeful Jonathan Willard pulls family, dog from burning car

AROUND THE NFL - Titan hopeful Jonathan Willard pulls family, dog from burning car - The Boys Are Back blog

On the road to training camp to fight for a roster spot, Tennessee Titans rookie linebacker Jonathan Willard tackled a car fire.

Traveling down Interstate 40 on Tuesday in Tennessee, Willard came upon a car on fire and helped pull a woman, her three children and their dog to safety.

“When she pulled over, the car was really on fire at that point,” the former Clemson Tiger said. “The driver, she acted like she was in some kind of daze or something. She told me that she didn’t stop because she didn’t think it was her car that was on fire. Another guy stopped, and we managed to get the kids and the dog out and get them to safety, and then I finally got the woman out.”

AROUND THE NFL - Titan hopeful Jonathan Willard pulls family, dog from burning car - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Willard tweeted out pictures of the blaze and said he was surprised more drivers weren’t stopping to aid the woman.

“I was just glad that we got the kids and all of them out of the car,” he said. “I was thinking that I was just doing what everybody else would do, but there were cars just going past us and no one else was stopping, so I don’t know if that is what would happen or not.”

Willard went undrafted and signed with the Titans after a productive senior season at Clemson, leading the Tigers with 95 tackles and compiling three sacks.

He can now add gallantry to that resume.

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