I got up this morning and headed on over to the Cowboys training camp just to check out what was going on. They have all the booths and other stuff set up beside the practice facility but heavy security is all around the hotel complex so you couldn't really get in to see much. They still had people and equipment setting up the parking facility, seems kind of last second to me.
I couldn't get myself into the State of the Cowboys press conference but I did manage to listen to it on the Ticket. Here are the things that I found interesting.
Parcells didn't seem to interested in discussing the details of the "Keith Davis case" and said he was unaware of the report he lied to police. He did say that he's talked to his players about being in situations that can get you in trouble and paraphrased his dad by saying he used to say, "Parcells, you may not have caused the trouble, but you were there". Said he didn't expect Davis to have any problems physically participating in camp and there were no plans for disciplining him. Parcells wrote it off as Davis was the victim.
On the Greg Ellis issue Parcells was very concise. After saying players do this a lot now (talking about contract issues, etc), he said Ellis can either play here in Dallas or retire. Doesn't sound like any trade options are in the works unless Parcells was just throwing out some camouflage.
Of course the subject of Terrell Owens came up and Parcells answered, but in vague terms again. He said you just need to tell players like that what you want from them and it ususally works out. He said Owens' biggest challenge is learning the new system. When asked if he would change things up to utilize Owens' talents, he said only a fool wouldn't use the talent available to you. Also mentioned that Owens would command the attention of defenses opening things up for other players.
There's more below...
A reporter then asked Jerry Jones if he expects the Cowboys to throw more now that Owens is here. Jerry said no, he expects the team to be a balanced offense.
Parcells stated three areas of uncertainty going into camp; the offensive line, one position in the secondary (just say it Bill, FS) and the transitioning of some linebackers. He also said that this roster was pretty close to the one he would want.
The reporters went back to Owens questions again, drawing Parcells out a little more on the subject. He said that with players that he knew they were talking about (i.e. problem children), that they need to respond to competition or he couldn't coach them. If you show them where the competition is they will respond favorably. I guess what Parcells is saying is you need to get them to channel all that excess energy that gets them in trouble, on to the field, or on to their opponent. He then said that he treats all his players differently, that he tries to get to know them and what motivates them. If he treated everybody like he did L.T., some of them would go into a shell.
Parcells was asked about his expectations for the season and he said in typical Parcells fashion that it was too early to be discussing that. He then dropped a Parcellism on us; "I told the players this morning that no matter the quality of the lemons you have, you still got to go out and make the lemonade". That Parcells, he's a nutty one.
A good question came from a reporter about the leaders on the team now that some of the previous ones have left. He says that usually works itself out but did mention Terence Newman, Bradie James and Roy Williams.
Parcells agreed that the offensive line was vital to the success of the season. He said you can't let things get helter-skelter out there for Drew Bledsoe; that they have to play within what is comfortable for him.
At the end of the press conference he said that he thinks we have more firepower this year and that we have more depth at the skill positions. But he did mention that the team that won the NFL championship last year also threw the least number of passes per game. I guess we aren't exactly going to be Air Parcells even with Owens. (I'm still betting we do pass more often this year, though).
Also, Jerry was asked about Fantasy Football and he said it was good for the league, it lets fans be interactive and focuses their attentions on the players on the field. He said he never has played, but has consulted for teams owned by members of his family. He even gave them tips on Julius Jones in his rookie year. If I was in that league against Jerry's family, I would've filed charges of tampering, or something!