Cowboys defensive end Stephen Bowen quietly recorded three sacks, 18 tackles and a forced fumble in 2009 even with limited playing time. Bowen came off the bench while starters Marcus Spears and Igor Olshansky saw a majority of the snaps.
Bowen signed a one-year tender this offseason — one worth more than starting DE Spears — but he will not let the money get to his head. Despite being rewarded for his contributions, Bowen plans on going out and competing for more playing time.
“Everybody’s goal if you’re a competitor is to start,” Bowen said. “Of course that’s my goal. But if that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I’ll still go out there and do what I’ve got to do to help my team.”
Bowen has been referred to as a hard-working and well-rounded player. The 6-foot-5, 306-pound end has even drawn praise for defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni.
“Stephen is working very hard,” Pasqualoni said. “He’s a very consistent guy. He’s a smart football player.”
The Cowboys defensive line is also a close knit bunch. The players are all friends, but that doesn’t stop Bowen from giving it his all and attempting to earn a starting role.
“All of us are very competitive,” Bowen said. “We’re friends on the field to an extent, but when it comes to playing, you’re going to try to outdo somebody to try to show that you can do what you can do to get on the field.”
Bowen knows there is no guarantee for more playing time. All he can do is go out and give it his all during training camp and the practices which follow.
He said, “I’ve just got to go out there and play ball and let the chips fall where they fall. You just try to become a better player. Hopefully I can prove that.”