Do You Approve Of NFL Lockout Workouts?

Of course you approve of the Cowboys workouts, right?

Jerry Jones certainly sounds like he approves, although I find it a bit difficult to understand his second sentence, and I also have no idea how an interest can be 'proprietary'.

"I think it's a real opportunity in a way for our players to take a proprietary interest on initiating the type of preparation that's usually supervised by coaching," Jones said at the Cowboys Golf Class in Grapevine. "We talk about leadership and basic implementing the responsibility that goes with organizing preparation as well as executing preparation."

But, hey, I'm a foreigner, this isn't my native language, so what do I know? What I do know is that DeMarcus Ware reportedly thinks the workouts are helping the Cowboys defense:

“It’s going really good,” Ware said. “It’s actually a lot better because there’s no pressure of the coaches telling you what to do. We’ve got a playbook. We’re all going off the sheet.”

Even Roger Staubach sees value in the workouts.

"We did the same thing in '74," Staubach said. "We went out and worked out together and practiced together and went out to the fields. So Tony's a great quarterback and he's a leader on offense, and we've got DeMarcus (Ware) and Bradie (James) and a lot of guys on defense. So they're taking over, and that could be really good for the team, actually, to have that little camaraderie, working out together. I'm glad to see them doing it. That's what they should be doing."

And of course Jason Garrett thinks it's a positive thing, and it doesn't come as any kind of surprise that he thinks it's all part of the process anyway.

"I definitely think there are some benefits to doing it. As a player for a number of years, the time that you spend with your teammates out on the practice field, by yourself, working out, is really invaluable.

The relationships you develop, the camaraderie, the cohesion that forms is really critical. And we encourage that with our players in a typical offseason: spend some time after practice, spend some time doing things on your own with your teammates. We believe that's an important part of the process."

So with all those quotes, there is no way not to approve of these workouts, right?

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated provides a slightly different take on the lockout workouts and quotes an unnamed NFL GM who thinks it’s just a matter of time before some players get seriously hurt.

“Quite honestly, I’m waiting for the first ACL tear that happens and then we’ll see if anyone talks about how great this whole workout program is for these young guys,” the G.M. said.

And he's not alone with his view. Bill Belichick isn't sure how productive those workouts really are. The Packers QB  thinks it's unlikely the defending Super Bowl champs will work out together. And if you scan the headlines about the workouts taking place, a lot of them are getting mixed reviews at best. Nattering nabobs of negativism, all of them.

I certainly approve of these Cowboys lockout workouts.

But what worries me is that I may be coming down with a severe case of homerism. Most obvious side effect: complete disappearance of any semblance of critical thinking. Last summer I authored what I thought was quite a good post that dealt with the Cowboys no-tackling policy in training camp, a well-researched post complete with lots of tables, quotes and stats. You should go and read it, it is actually quite funny in a very awkward kind of way. Here's the last sentence of the post:

There is no reason to suspect that the lack of tackling in training camp has had any influence on the tackling performance of the team during regular season games. Wade Phillips' policy of having players tag up instead of tackling seems to be working just fine.

Ouch.

So here's the question again: do you approve of the lockout workouts because they are a good idea, or do you approve because you are a Cowboys fan?

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