Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discusses:
- Brandon Carr’s absence today
- Matt Johnson injury status
- Ronald Leary reps in Hall of Fame Game
- Importance of linemen conditioning
- Kyle Wilbur
- David Arkin strides
- George Selvie’s performance
- Monte Kiffin turnovers and strategy (Holloman)
- Mindset with new defense
- “Come to Jesus” meeting with some of the new guys
- J.J. Wilcox inconsistent play in first game (run conditioning)
- Stern reminder of what’s expected of players
- Messages that came out of the Hall of Fame experience
- Special Teams progress with new coach
- Mechanics of working with Bill Callahan as play caller
- Working out the communication issues, strategy during game
- Quick turnaround with game coming up on Friday
- Cole Beasley technique and progress
- Mixing in all of the running backs during preseason
- How it felt to not be the play caller for the first time
- Practicing in pads
- Starters playing in Oakland game
- Mackenzy Bernadeau update
- Phillip Tanner attitude and progress
- Backup middle linebacker status (competition)
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If you were starting a new job and were required to sing a song in front of all of your co-workers, what song would you pick?
Would it be your favorite song? A song you think sounds good in the shower? Maybe something funny?
Well, Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick went with humor when it was his turn to sing in front of his teammates in Oxnard, Calif.
The 6-3, 311-pounder picked “I’m a Little Teapot.”
“I thought it would be a good song,” Frederick said. “Obviously the point of it is to make yourself look like a fool, so I thought that was a good song to do that, and show your weakness and hopefully the team likes you.
“I gave it my all. I thought I did a decent job.”
When the first-round pick heard that some of his teammates said his song was the worst of the group, he replied: “Well, that really hurts.”
“I heard from several people that the execution was just fine, though,” he said. “It was good execution. I tried. I did what I could. I was enthusiastic about it.”
Second-round pick Gavin Escobar sang “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” The 6-6, 249-pound tight end choose the Temptations song because he had some experience singing it in front of a group.
Escobar said he performed the song with a few of his teammates during his freshman year at San Diego State. The group went around to several sororities, singing songs in an attempt to promote the football team.
Fourth-round pick B.W. Webb said Escobar did “alright.”
Who was the worst?
“J.J. [Wilcox] was by far the worst,” Webb said. “He sang a Big Poppa song. He was terrible.”
Webb had not yet performed in front of the team at the time he was interviewed, but said he was going to sing “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye. When a TV reporter asked for a preview, Webb responded: “Not happening. I don’t want to embarrass my mother like that.”
Asked if he was a good singer, Webb replied: “Not at all.”
The unofficial preseason opener for the Dallas Cowboys will be Friday against the Oakland Raiders, per coach Jason Garrett.
Only three starters on offense and just one on defense played in Sunday’s official preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins in the Hall of Fame game.
Garrett said the decision to sit stars like quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten, defensive end DeMarcus Ware and linebacker Sean Lee was by decision as the Cowboys took advantage of the extra preseason game to look at young players.
“You always appreciate the extra week,” Garrett said. “We made an effort as a staff to use the extra game to our benefit not to our detriment. Now we can get into the normal rhythm of the preseason starting next week. But any time you get young guys an extra chance to play in a game I think its a positive.”
Garrett said the starters will begin their normal preseason work of getting about a couple of series, maybe a quarter of work against the Raiders, then progress to playing into the second quarterback against the Cardinals in week three before the unofficial dress rehearsal of the season against the Bengals in the fourth preseason game.
OXNARD, Calif. — Typically, if a center is doing his job correctly, nobody is going to discuss his performance.
That was never going to be the case for Travis Frederick, the Cowboys’ first-round selection, in his first preseason game Sunday against Miami.
“It’s a great experience, and I’m glad to have it under my belt,” It was definitely a learning experience — something I can take and hopefully improve on. But I think it went pretty well.”
Frederick was one of the Cowboys’ busiest players in the 24-20 win against the Dolphins. He maintained his spot as the team’s starting centers, and he worked with second-string quarterback Kyle Orton as well as the reserves in place of Tony Romo.
“Assignment-wise, I thought we were pretty good but we need to communicate a little bit better on a couple of things,” Frederick said. “But I think, overall, it was a pretty decent day. I’ll continue to work on the pass protection and a lot of the technique and fundamental things.”
Frederick, as promised by Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, also spent part of his second half as the right guard.
“He’s a physical player in there, he’s smart, he’s tough,” Garrett said. “He played mostly center, but he did play some guard at the end of the second quarter, into the third quarter.”
Guard is a position Frederick has some familiarity with, but it wasn’t quite the same comfort level as his center duties.
“I know I had one big mistake at guard, but I don’t feel like I had a big mistake at center,” he said. “There’s little things I need to work on in all areas of my game, and it’s something I’m committed to doing.”
It was only the preseason opener, but Frederick was asked about the change in speed from NFL practice to NFL game. With the caliber of defensive linemen employed in Dallas, however, Frederick said the transition wasn’t as drastic as he’d expected.
“In practice they do a really good job of making things as hard or harder than it’s going to be in the game. We’re going against great competition,” he said. “Obviously there’s going to be some challenges out there, but you’re also going against some of the best, and it kind of helps you build some confidence.”
The Cowboys’ performance rushing the ball has got to be a confidence boost, as well.
Frederick manned the middle for a line that paved the way for 170 yards on 34 attempts — an average of five yards per carry. He said an improved running game has been one of the coaches’ main points throughout training camp, and it showed Sunday.
“The way we ran the ball, the way we were able to run the ball and the fact that we ran the ball all shows those things,” Frederick said. “We’re improving in that, and it’s something we’re committed to.”
OXNARD, Calif. – Sunday’s preseason opener against the Dolphins could best be described as a game in which the starters didn’t play.
However, when it’s all said and done and five preseason games are in the books, we might look back on the 24-20 win over Miami and remember a starter who took every offensive rep.
Because if the Cowboys had it their way, Ron Leary could very well be the starting guard when the team plays New York in the Sept. 8 opener.
Leary played the entire game Sunday and helped pave the way for a rushing attack that included 170 yards.
After the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked if he was comfortable starting Leary and he was quick to answer with a yes. However, he followed it up with Leary needing to win the job.
But as long as Nate Livings, who had minor knee surgery last week, and Mackenzy Bernadeau, who is expected to finally return in full this week from a hamstring injury, leave the door open for Leary, the second-year guard from Memphis will gladly step in.
“You never want to see a guy hurt or anything,” Leary said. “But the goal is to start. You always want to start. I’m going to keep working hard and try to get to that goal.”
Leary suffered a calf injury at the start of training camp and missed the first 10 days of practice, seemingly wasting a golden opportunity to take first-team reps with the two starters out.
But he has now returned and was more than solid in his return.
“I liked the way we ran the football,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “I think (Leary) did some nice things from what I could tell. But the fact we had some success is a good indication of how played.”
And Leary wasn’t the only guard who stood out Sunday night. David Arkin also played well on the right side. He played most of the game and had plenty of favorable moments.
The guard situation is indeed up for grabs and the injuries to the starters only complicate matters.
But it’s leaving the door open for the young guys. Leary playing the entire game like he did only increases his chances of becoming a starter in Week 1.
“I know I have to keep grinding,” Leary said. “We want to be a physical team. That’s the way I like to play. We were able to do that (Sunday night). But I’m not satisfied. I have a lot of work to do to get better and I plan on working hard to get there.”