The bar has been set high. Defensive Coordinator, Rob Ryan is expecting to hear the phrase “Got ‘Em Coach !” from most if not all of his guys each and every time they come off the field in Oakland during the Cowboys’ first pre-season game of 2012.
The Cowboys intend to use the immortal words of the former owner of the Oakland Raiders, the late Al Davis, ”Just win baby !”, as they leave the stadium after a hard fought victory.
Training camp in Oxnard,CA has been in a buzz thus far. The restructured defensive backfield is making headlines with the local Dallas and Ft.Worth media outlets. Standouts include the obviously talented and first round pick, Cornerback Maurice Claiborne, Cornerback Brandon Carr that was acquired in a trade from the Kansas City Chiefs and fifth year Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. These names continue to pop up in headlines and press comments….hmmm ?!! Reports of broken pass plays and interceptions in practice have earned the praise of the Cowboys’ fearless leaders, Head Coach Jason Garrett, Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan and Quarterback Tony Romo.
The leader of the pack on defense seems to be Linebacker Sean Lee. Lee is entering his third year and has created quite a stir as he has not only picked up where he left off last season, but added a little more intensity to his play heading into 2012. He has already been labeled as the emotional leader and a leader by example with his work ethic and passion for the game. Another guy, ”What’s his name ? OH, YEAH…Demarcus Ware !” Less we forget he is only 12.5 sacks away from tying the All Time Sack Leader for the Dallas Cowboys, Jim Jeffcoat. Ware has averaged almost 14.5 sacks per season since he was picked in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll bet on that record getting broken this season. Every offense in the league is still game planning around this guy on game day.
The competitive spirit has filtered through the rest of the team. Second year running back, and as of last season, the Dallas Cowboys’ single game record holder for rushing yards, DeMarco Murray, has stepped up his game as well. The “bull-like” runs and “wrecking ball” hits being exchanged between Lee and Murray is being duly noted at the end of each practice. The banter and competitiveness in their play is getting plenty of attention.
Dez Bryant, aside from his off the field issues, is standing tall once again on the field. The battle between Bryant and Brandon Carr has Coach Jason Garrett admitting publicly that he has been neglecting the rest of the play when these two are up against each other. Coach Garrett recently said in an after practice press conference, “I’ve caught myself stopping and focusing on Dez and Brandon and the competitiveness and athletic ability. It’s really something to see.”
As training camp progresses, the pre-season kicks off and the regular season approaches, it is clearly evident that the anticipation and expectation has no limitation.
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