Time marches on and that's a good thing in this case. Scratch another date off your calendar, today is the last day of the 2009 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. Think back to those dark days after the loss to the Eagles and remember how far away training camp felt. Feels nice to pass another major milestone on the path to the regular season. Only one biggie to go, the end of preseason - with sub-milestones of roster cuts in between. It's getting so close.
So in honor of another Cowboys training camp about to be in the books, let's go meta and talk about training camp as a whole. We have JFE to thank for the Camp Cupcake moniker hung on the era of Wade Phillips. Now, Gil LeBreton tries to make amends by claiming the press crossed the line and went personal on Wade. Wade agrees.
"The thing that bothers me," Phillips said, "is people are making it more personal.
"If they say, 'Hey, we don’t think you’re coaching well enough,’ that’s fine. But when people start trying to demean you or call you names ...
"I’m a turn-the-other-cheek person. But it’s disappointing. In the world of comedy, they make fun of people and do all those things. It seems people have turned to that rather than just reporting. Maybe they think they’re comics. I don’t know."
Ouch. Nice retort, Wade. I've always thought the Camp Cupcake stuff was wrong, not in tone, but in validity. It was more like Camp Circus, and you can thank Jerry Jones for that, not wade Phillips. This year, that stuff has all gone away. Camp had a very different feel this year. They practiced more, but they also had a different attitude, it felt very focused and all about football. Very business-like.
"It was a tough camp. I want everyone to know that," [Bradie] James said. "We had a whole bunch of practices. This camp has been like two of the other camps put together, you know what I mean? I haven’t heard anyone call this one cupcake. We pretty much put a lot of work in this. Now we are ready to come together and see how it pays off."
But even a serious camp needs a joker every once in a while. It looks like Roy Williams is that guy. From his jersey-number switching scheme to his kagaroo court for the receivers, Roy is the guy trying to keep it somewhat loose. Plus, Roy is becoming the master of the one-liner. Roy describes his practice after switching numbers with Mike Jefferson, donning a very familiar looking #81:
"Once I got 81 on, I got about 50 balls today," Williams joked.
"He’s on steroids," wide receiver Roy Williams joked.
Some fun reading on how we are going to use all three running backs, including quotes from Jason Garrett, Skip Peete, and even the mysterious MB3. The Barbarian actually put together four sentences in response to a question about how he defines his role.
"I don't look at that, man," Barber said. "We've got guys who can make plays running the ball. Whoever is in, treat it like it's your last carry. Take it that way and you can't lose."
You got to love that kid. Never talks to the press, and when he does, he has a strict no BS policy.
Eatman talks to Keith Brooking, and to Wade Phillips about Keith Brooking.
"He still runs well and he's big, fast and plays in a football position all the time," [Wade] Phillips said. "He's ready to break on the ball, he's ready to make a tackle and he's got good timing on blitzing. I see the same guy. "Obviously, he's older and he's probably not as fast as he once was, but he's still fast. He's not slow and you can see he moves well."
The Cowboys could end up running plays out of a two-tight end formation 60 percent of the time -- or maybe more.
Brandon Williams wants to play Friday.
Rookie linebacker Brandon Williams (strained shoulder) practiced Tuesday afternoon for the first time in nearly a week and said he expects to play Friday against Tennessee.
Let's hope he plays. We need to see him and Stephen Hodge in action. Last week, we were really short at linebacker and these two guys need to show what they can do. Can't wait until Friday!