In the last six years, it’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys head coaches haven’t been the most demonstrative types. Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett aren’t the guys to get in players’ faces with verbal tirades, or just a cold, stern stare, a la Bill Parcells.
But that “camp cupcake” label that was bestowed upon Phillips’ group is most likely no more. Since Garrett has took the reigns, he has emphasized a more focused, concentrated approach that centers on accountability and doing your job. But in his three seasons as head coach, we may have never heard before of a series of fights occurring during training camp, let alone one practice.
That is exactly what has happened with this group, though, and for a team that according to outsiders and observers has lacked a certain killing instinct in recent years, those fights and more physical approach to practice can only be a good thing.
As Todd Archer reported last night, Tuesday’s practice had no shortage of physicality and testiness. There were linebackers (Sean Lee) going after receivers (Terrance Williams), and running backs (DeMarco Murray) going after defensive linemen (Jason Hatcher). Then Miles Austin and Will Allen — the team’s starting safety — got into it, as did Doug Free with the defensive line.
Ask anyone involved with any of the 32 NFL teams, and they’ll say that fights are just a part of training camp. The monotony gets to the players: two-a-days, going up against your own players for an extended period of time and even the hot weather. Eventually, it comes to a head and the players get testy; they get an edge, and eventually, you’ll get exactly what happened at Cowboys practice on Tuesday.
Commonplace amongst every team, but maybe especially good for a team that has had a “soft” label hanging over its head for last five-plus years.
For the Cowboys, this can only be a good thing.
Jake Carapella is a Dallas Cowboys writer for RantSports. Follow him on twitter @JKCSports1, or add him to your network on Google.