The Dallas Cowboys Should Draft a New Conditioning Coach

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Aug.1, 2012; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Danny Coale (81) works on conditioning during training camp. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

“With the 16th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select strength and conditioning coach (insert name here).” If things could only be so simple. Imagine a world where NFL teams could draft coaches the way they draft players. Oh, the possibilities. My vote would be to trade up for former Steelers’ head coach Bill Cowher, but alas, I must digress.

Over the course of the past few years, the NFL as a whole has been decimated by injury. Obviously, most of it is simply accredited to the hazard of the occupation. NASCAR drivers crash. Construction workers randomly nail their hand to a wall whilst ogling female pedestrians. NFL players tear, pull, and break body parts. It’s not exactly rocket science or even 3rd grade arithmetic.

That being said, though, even in the current NFL environment of mass injury the Dallas Cowboys are still stealing the show. Our players pull hamstrings signing autographs. It’s inexcusable. Yet, here we are leaving another season with a tremendous injury count and no one being held openly accountable.

I’m not saying that the Cowboys’ current strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik isn’t qualified to do the job. He was the S&C coach during our 90′s dynasty years. What I am saying is that the following number doesn’t lie: 77. No, that’s not the age I’ll be when we finally get Super Bowl ring number 6. That’s how many games were reportedly missed in 2013 when you add up each player’s individual absence.

But wait. There’s more. Approximately 23 of those injuries were hamstring related. There’s just no way to explain this away. It’s also not an anomaly considering we had the same issues the previous year. It makes you wonder if the Cowboys’ players are doing leg presses in training camp or playing Madden 25 for bragging rights.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Conditioning Dallas Cowboys Injuries DeMarco Murray Mike Woicik Sean Lee Tony Romo

  • Earl Robertson

    Man you right on with this story!! Two reasons why there have been so many injuries. 1. Is like you said something has to be wrong with this guy, his methods must be out dated. 2. I don’t think the players do enough on their own to prevent these hamstrings, and that has something to do with No. 1 but also because these players nowdays played for money instead for the love of the game. But no matter what if I was in charge this dude would have been gone a long time ago! This hasn’t been a problem for just one season. Makes me scratch my head why Garrett said just recently he was going to look at what the problem might be. Another minus on Garrett’s head coaching

    • Patrik Walker

      Agreed on all points. The health of a team is basically a marriage between the players taking their own health seriously and the coaches holding them accountable. If the latter doesn’t happen, the players will continue to report out of shape. In the current world of collective bargaining where players have won the right to report to camp out of shape, the onus is even moreso on the coaches to make sure each player is taking care of themselves in the offseason. One can’t succeed without the other. So either get new players or get a new culture of conditioning. You know which one is easier to obtain.

  • Old Frog

    I think they need to recruit a hamstring specialist from the NHL or Soccer League. Those sports need players with healthy hamstrings even more than the NFL.

    • Patrik Walker

      That’s a terrific idea especially if they recruit from the MLS. We would probably never pull another hamstring this century.

      • Old Frog

        Thanks. I submitted it as a “mailbag” question on – We’ll see if the guys over there pick up on it.

  • SmartThinking

    You’ve struck a sensitive chord that is very applicable to this Dallas team with your story. Indeed, there is something wrong with this team and the number of similar injuries to so many key players. Yes. Other teams in the league have suffered key injuries as well and one or two teams have even had more injuries than Dallas (for some reason, last year’s Giants team comes to mind). But, I wonder if any teams have suffered as many injuries to key players in as many back-to-back seasons as this Dallas organization?

    But, here’s the thing: a whole lot of players (Crawford and Bass are glaring examples) come to training camp not completely fit to compete. The league has placed so many restrictions on what coaches can do with players before they report to training camp, unless susceptible players (all players, really) take serious conditioning on by themselves or in unmonitored groups, during the off-season, nobody can make them prepare for their jobs.

    And we can’t have this discussion without pointing out that big Jones and his coaches have drafted several key players with recognized injury histories that have crippled this team’s productivity (Nearly the entire defense, for example). Their inability to stay healthy and on the field is consistent with this team not placing significant emphasis on their injury history before they’re drafted.

    The changes to the game and conditioning before, during and after the season is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Players’ injuries appear to fall into certain categories that can be quantified and, I would think, adjusted for in the training regime– hamstrings and ACL’s are just a couple.

    I’m not going to call this team’s current conditioning coach out for his program failures just yet because I don’t know what he’s doing and if it’s the right thing or not. What I will say is, somebody’s gotta take this string of bad luck, or bad training, and change it. And if conditioning changes contribute to keeping Dallas players on the field, then so be it, whether it requires a change in programs or a change in the coaches who administer the programs. Something’s definitely got to change.

  • Bee™

    I’ve been SCREAMING this!! The Boys have been dropping like flies and fans are left standing there trying to defend…wait for it… excuses!! Our Boys are talented but when they aren’t taken care of as they should be, their performance is compromised. They’re in the hands of people who WE think are qualified for the job but the results tell a different story. Something has to change and this is one of many areas JJ and company should aim their focus. Bravo, sir!

    • Patrik Walker

      Well said, madam. Well said.

  • Trey

    Great article, I have been saying this for the last few years. I always wondered if we just got the short end of the stick every year when it came to injuries or was it our S&C coach? Think about where we could have finished each season if our defense wasn’t totally depleted. The bears game was a joke, we were starting guys that couldnt even make a special teams squad on other teams. If Sean Lee can play a full season, he’s the best linebacker in the league in my eyes.

  • Ced/Big C

    Definitely on point….reasons why I feel building depth is so serious. ….every year it seems the boys get their starters and feel optimistic like injuries haven’t been an ongoing factor….We should be able to have faith in the next man up….not totally dependent on the starter….especially with the given history. ..Jason G claims he likes to create competition at every position…..He always says the right things…but his actions don’t seem to follow accordingly more often than not……hopefully this draft is the beginning of successfully building this defense back up…..i know we got Henry….but if Donald is there at 16…yes I would want him…b/c we need depth….case and point