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Dallas Cowboys article roundup

The return of Marc Colombo to the scene makes me happy. We finally have our starting line in place.

"Anytime you can get those guys out there playing together, that's a positive," Cowboys assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tony Sparano said. "The key was to get them all back healthy and it looks like they're pretty healthy right now."

Preach on, brother.

I wrote about Wade Phillips gathering the team in a tight circle and giving them a lecture in my practice report from earlier today. Now we know why.

The scolding, which included profanity and a passionate speech about personal accountability, came after several players arrived late for special-teams drills at the start of the afternoon workout.

And who was one of the guilty ones?

"I didn't realize when practices were starting, and coaches were flipping out," [Deon] Anderson said. "I'm like, '(expletive).' Now coach is pissed off at the whole team because of what I did."

Anderson said he thought Phillips, who replaced the retired Parcells, was going to hit him.

"Then he took a step back and regrouped," Anderson said. "He said, 'This stuff can't happen. You guys have to be accountable for your actions.'"

Nice, I was commenting about the looseness of practice and how the players were milling around during certain periods of practice and seemed to do whatever they pleased at certain times. Thanks Wade for tightening up the ship. In addition, some players also did some talking.

Several key players, including Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Tony Romo, addressed the team after practice about the need to be accountable.

BTB-regular kk218 has another view on this subject in a diary, here.

Maybe Deon Anderson was late for the special teams drill because he was busy eating a snack.

I’ve definitely noticed this change in camp over the last week.

Phillips said he asked the defensive players to scale back their intensity after the first few days of camp. From the beginning, defensive players were getting some good licks in, including Roy Williams' de-cleating of receivers Terry Glenn and Jerard Rabb. Since the middle of last week, however, the hits have been softer. The team's first live tackling exercise won't come until the preseason opener Thursday against Indianapolis.

In fact, we talked about this while sitting in the stands. But we added MB3 to the list, who was punishing defensive players as much as they were punishing him. There has definitely been a ratcheting down of the hitting in camp, and the noticeable lack of any full-time tackling. And before anybody suggests this is absolutely a good thing, and that Parcells was a fool for having some full-contact sessions complete with tackling, remember that Jimmy Johnson had tackling sessions on a regular basis. Johnson also had brutal training camps in the blistering heat of Austin. I wonder if that wore down his teams in December? OK, I had to take one more cheap shot at that theory.

I admit to mixed-feelings about hitting and tackling in training camp. I don't want anybody to get hurt, but tackling is something that needs to be practiced like everything else. It's a dilemma.

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