Dave Campo's last 24 hours or so have been spent at the Cowboys' night-before-the-game hotel, the massive Gaylord Texan. It's easy to get lost in this place - in terms of size, it's the hotel version of Cowboys Stadium - but I somehow locate Campo, the Dallas secondary coach who is filling the time before Monday night's kickoff against Carolina by watching football, grabbing a quick meal, watching more football, prepping for meetings ...
"Our secondary needs to play with a greater sense of urgency,'' Campo tells me as we stand in front of a faux Alamo inside the theme hotel. "I hear everybody talking about how Carolina is a ‘desperate team' and all this, because they are 0-2. But we're desperate. We're desperate to not be 1-2. We're desperate to be the good team we think we are. We're desperate to not start 1-2. We're desperate to get that first win at the new place.''
Campo has seen most everything in his 20 years as an NFL coach, from winning Super Bowls as a Jimmy Johnson lieutenant to being fired as Jerry Jones' head coach and then re-hired to work with this era of Cowboys. And he's excited to see something else new on Monday night.
"We need a win in that building,'' says Campo of Cowboys Stadium. "We need to put all the hoopla behind us and just make the whole thing about football.''
Campo thinks some of that starts with improved play from the secondary, which in last week's home-opening loss to the Giants especially struggled in man coverage against a group of receivers that, on paper, are not as gifted as the Panthers' Steve Smith.
"We're anxious to go prove ourselves,'' Campo says. "Our guys are up to the challenge. The hardest part is waiting to go do that. A Monday night game makes for a long wait at the hotel. You feel like you're ready ... we're anxious to get out there and prove something.''