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Terence Newman sees division in Dallas Cowboys locker room

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Did any of you guys watch the NFL Replay showing of the Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks playoff game? Yuk, that was hard to watch, especially towards the end. I was thinking about reviewing it, but I’m done with the past. We’re too close to training camp and I’m gearing up for 2007. So an extensive game review would’ve been too much, plus, it would’ve made me hurl. Moving on.

Jen Floyd Engel has an article out that’s actually worth reading. No, I’m not a big fan of her manic and repeated attacks on people she doesn’t like, but this article actually deals with an interesting issue. Terence Newman thinks the Cowboys were not as cohesive a unit as you would want on a team last year. He seems to be saying that the Cowboys offense and defense were a little distant from each other.

"But the thing that I don't know is if we are ready to be together as one unit. We are kind of divided a little bit, I think."

[snip]

"Some of the guys on the team don't know anything about some of the other guys on the team. They don't even communicate with each other, just because they are on different sides of the ball or what have you."

JFE also mentions the incident towards the end of last year when Newman called out unnamed players by saying:

"[players are] pumping up themselves and doing a lot of that when the reality is they come out and just get abused."

That was after the loss to the Eagles in December last year. If you want a refresher on the mini-meltdown that occurred during that week, go here.

We did have Wade Phillips shaking up the locker room to get the offense and defense rooming side-by-side at Valley Ranch. Maybe Newman had some input on that, although Coach Phillips did the same thing at stops with previous teams.

I’m not one of those people who think everybody has to get along for a team to win. History has shown us it’s not always the case. Sure, we’d like to have harmony and winning, but I’ll take winning by any means, well, almost any means. The point is that while Newman is assuming a leadership role here and is being vocal about it, I’m not sure that a perceived division is really what was ailing the Cowboys at the end of last year. So I’m not so sure how important this is in the whole scheme of things.

We know that Wade Phillips wants a family atmosphere; he wants communication between the players and the coaches. His assistants have said communicating with their players is one of the most important things they can do, the players have said the coaches are communicating well with them so far, and now Newman completes the circle by saying the players need to communicate with the players.

It’s hard to gauge how much effect all this will have, but sometimes just the belief in an idea can be as powerful as the actual results of the idea. So if the Cowboys think that communication and good family relations are one key to winning, more power to them.

Personally, I don’t care if they’re the 1977 Yankees, as long as they’re winning.

Do we really need another list ranking depth charts of the NFL? Not really, but here’s one anyway, about NFL QB’s. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys:

11. Cowboys (2006 Rank: 21)
Tony Romo is no half-year wonder. Romo spent three years on the Cowboys bench learning the ropes from Sean Payton before bursting into the spotlight last October. When he's focused, his mechanics are solid, his release is quick, he makes good decisions, and he can make plays on the run. Focus, though, is the key. By December, Romo seemed to be reading his press clippings; he started scrambling around in search of highlight-film touchdowns and carrying the football like it was an overfilled diaper pail. With a season to settle into his role as a starter, Romo will calm down and return to the form he displayed during his nine-touchdown, one-interception November run.

Backup Brad Johnson aged quickly last year. He's a fine sounding board and mentor for Romo, but the Cowboys are in trouble if he plays.