With apologies to Lee Hazlewood:
"Some veteran morning when I'm straight,
I'll let the veterans sleep late,
And tell you all about Romo,
And how he throws for six,
But sometimes throws some picks,
Some velvet morning when I'm... straight,"
Ah, where's Nancy Sinatra when you need her?
Wade Phillips in fact gave the veterans their second morning off, bringing the rookies and bubble veterans out for a shirts and shorts session. He even gave special teams coach Joe DeCamillis a break; the special teams workouts were limited to some one-on-one tutoring by kicking guru Chris Boniol for David Buehler.
When the players went 11-on-11, the drills were red zone specific, and run at three-quarter speed. Learning proper assignments, execution and responsibilities were the goals.
Some notes from the sleepy Sunday A.M.:
-- Brandon looks ready: 2nd-year weakside OLB Brandon Williams did his best Demarcus Ware impersonation, recognizing every reverse and boot run to his side. He swatted down a Stephen McGee screen pass aimed over him. The offense Williams sees in practices looks a bit too familiar to him. I'm very eager to see this guy against the Bengals. You should be too.
-- Red zone hints: Dallas has had trouble playing powerball in the opposition's red zone. Jason Garrett's red zone plays suggest a coordinator toiling to overcome this shortcoming. He's throwing a lot of looks at Wade Phillips' defenses. Lots of basic plays from different sets, lots of motion, lots of players moving into odd places -- receivers in the backfield, backs split wide. Garrett hasn't given up on power football, he he clearly wants to keep the defenses guessing too.
-- Every little thing counts: Chris Boniol took David Buehler to the left edge of the field, the one without an upright, and drilled him hard on the smallest and most elemental items of his set-up. The two spent several minutes on Buehler's three steps backwards from the holders spot. This seems inconsequential to us, but the two debated and practiced the fine points of backing up and setting up properly, with Boniol moving Buehler all over the field, from left hashmark to right hashmark, from short set-up points to deep ones, stressing the differences in setting up at each point, and judging from their work, real differences exist.
-- Somebody has to take the bow: The daily crowds go nuts when one of the offensive skill position guys walks out the tunnel. Miles Austin gets a big cheer, as do Jason Witten and Marion Barber. Dez Bryant got a T.O.-decibel-level cheer every time he hit the field. The biggest cheer, of course, is always reserved for Tony Romo.
With Romo and the vets taking room service, somebody had to accept the crowd's pent up cheers. Drumroll please..... here's...... David Bueher!. The crowd gave him a half-sarcastic cheer, since he was the most recognizable player in a white jersey. Buehler played good sport, turning, raising his arms and then bowing in several different directions. What a guy!
Veterans and pads surely to return this afternoon. Meanwhile, Phaedra and I are going to get straight!