Is it just me (usually) or has it been more quiet this year at Valley Ranch than in years past? The Dallas Cowboy’s OTA’s went off without much of a hitch and the mandatory mini camp is right around the corner. After that, its a month of not much (that’s gonna suck) until July 28 when the Cowboys head out to Oxnard, CA. to open training camp. Its this time of year that all the chatter starts swirling about any drama that can be drummed up concerning the Dallas Cowboys. This year, however, it’s been a stretch to find drama – and that’s a good thing.
Oh, there have been some story-lines this year. When a promoter like Jerry Jones owns the team, he sees to it that the Dallas Cowboys stay relevant – like drafting Morris Claiborne and the subsequent Mike Jenkins fallout, or the infamous ‘window’. We also made much of Jason Hatcher and the leadership void and even Lawrence Vickers’ ‘ants in the pants’ (slow news week anyone?).
Most recently there was news that DeMarcus Ware is somehow overrated and needs to prove the doubters wrong. Really? A consensus top player by… well, every single person I’ve ever talked to or heard talk about him, has doubters? I seriously doubt that. Only discouraging word I’ve heard is that some of Ware’s sacks are garbage sacks. That’s not really doubting, more like nit pikin’. The only thing I can figure why DeMarcus Ware would say that is to give himself motivation to improve or stay great, not get complacent. Athletes do this all the time, the great ones in particular. Is this news? This year it is. Again, that’s a good thing.
D Ware also talked about team camaraderie and cutting down on mistakes. These are things that you want to hear from your teams best player. Things a leader might say. I didn’t say he was one of the teams leaders, because up to now he really hasn’t been - by example, yes – but not by inter-action or vocally. This year he speaks more like a leader. So does Jason Witten and Tony Romo (Sean Lee is emerging as a defensive leader as well, and that is great for the long term, I’m just focusing on the old guys).
See, leaders can be anyone on the team, but its best when they are also the best players on team. That being said, the biggest news, to me, that’s coming out of Valley Ranch this year is that the best players are finally talking the talk as leaders, stepping up, removing excuses and motivating each other and the team as a whole. That doesn’t make the news cycle or get reported because there’s no drama to it, but, I believe, that’s a good thing.
Don’t get me wrong here, I like hearing and reading about anything Dallas Cowboys. This year, though, this off season (or second season, whatever you like to call it) has been a relatively quiet one. All the news seems to be ‘much ado about nothing’ and I hope it stays that way. That would be a really good thing.