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Cowboys Outlook: Words From Wade

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Thursday, Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips addressed the media upon the conclusion of the team’s third week of organized team activities. In general, Wade spoke from an optimistic position, as all coaches do this time of year. Watching the press conference, many things become clear about Coach Phillips’ view of the team. He thinks highly of his pair of sophomore corners Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick, just as he does safety Gerald Sensabaugh. He has a ton of respect of Keith Brooking. He has high hopes for rookie linebacker Jason Williams who is improving daily. He doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about the idea of Felix Jones returning punts.

The bulk of every post-OTA press conference sounds generally the same. Every coach in the league loves everything about their team in June. Still, beyond the rigmarole, Coach Phillips made a few statements that got me excited about the upcoming season.

Coach Phillips on the secondary:

"I think we can play a little bit more man to man this year with the speed we have at corner." -- "Scandrick and Jenkins are both really gifted ability wise. As gifted as any corners I’ve been around."

More press coverage?! Really?! What God have I pleased?! Maybe Wade has been perusing our blog, because we have all been screaming for more press coverage for quite some time. Maybe the big cushion we saw from time to time last year was implemented to protect an aging Anthony Henry, and an inexperienced Mike Jenkins. Either way, Coach Phillips’ comments give the impression that the young corners will be treated like veterans this season. Phillips also spoke glowingly about newly acquired safety Gerald Sensabaugh, and how his coverage skills will allow the team a little more flexibility defensively. Did you hear that "click"? I think Wade just nudged that pass rush dial one more notch to the right.

Coach Phillips on Martellus Bennett:

"You know, he came out as a young player last year…I thought he came along well and you could see his ability in the games he played. And this year he’s continued. That’s what you want to see." -- "I think he’s going to be a real threat. We can play a lot of two tight end offense this year."

Is it my birthday, Wade?! Having Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett on the field together would be a major advantage. On a team with limited over-the-top speed, routing both tight ends into the middle portion of the field would limit safety help to the outsides. Also, having both tight ends on the field gives the defense a more difficult pre-snap read. In passing situations, a defense won’t be able to determine pre-snap who is staying in to block and who will become a receiver. Both could go out. One could go out. Both could stay. The double-tight look also helps in the running game. Most teams run to the strong side (tight end side) of the formation the majority of the time. When the Cowboys go to a two tight end look, there is no longer a true strong side. Just more for a defense to think about.

I know that it is June, and these guys are still in shorts and helmets. Still, Coach Phillips’ comments, at least from a schematic standpoint, have got me all fired up.

Complete Press Conference Here