“Coach wants to see you. Bring your iPad.” This will be and has been said all around Valley Ranch as the pre-season is finally over for the Dallas Cowboys. The Houston Texans game to end the fake games now gives way to the business of football and the real ones. Many players were playing for their football lives all over the NFL this week. The popular phrase is people expect a “visit from the Turk.”
Legend has it the phrase began with the Rams in the 1950′s. Players would be awakened in the middle of the night by a scout, or someone assigned by the coach. They were about to get cut by the long knife. Since the Turks of the Ottoman Empire were known for raiding and stealing children with their long knives, the phrase just sort of stuck. The only thing that has really changed is that now instead of a playbook, the players bring their team issued iPad. The Turk still comes.
This year the Turk began his mission on the 2012 coaching staff. I really found it ironic that when the Turk came for Rob Ryan he was in the Virgin Islands at Turks and Caicos. Who is the Turk coming for in Dallas? No matter who it is, they end up in front of Jason Garrett who last week told reporters that by far the worst part of his job is ending some young man’s dream of playing for the Dallas Cowboys. As a 3rd string QB for much of his career Jason is more than just a little familiar with what these kids are going through.
The worst part about it for some kids is the window of opportunity will not open in some other NFL city. For some it might. Some players cut in another city might end up here in Dallas too. After football games you are so sore you can barely move without feeling it. I remember days of someone coming up after a game and slapping me on the shoulder and it sending shock waves of pain through me. The physical pain will be replaced by an emotional one for 22 players as the cuts are due to the NFL Offices by 6:00 PM Eastern time today.