When Jerry Jones first said it, I admit I was a bit condescending towards him, and his need to state the obvious. I mean, obviously “you need to out there”, right?
Said Jones in greater context,
“It’s kind of a mantra for what’s going to go on here during training camp. You need to be out there. You need to be on the field. You need to be doing your best on every play…”
The more I thought about it the more I found myself in full agreement that it needed to be said. This might not exactly be Wade Phillips’ Camp Cupcake but it’s looking pretty darn close.
Jason Garrett runs a very relaxed and cautious training camp. While few will question this is in the best interests of the long-term health of the team during a 16+ week football season, it is liable to make a team full of pansies (no offense to pansy enthusiasts…err…mom). The slightest tweak causes players and coaches to overreact and play it safe – that must stop.
In recent years the Cowboys have seen their share of training camp injuries. Big ones and small. It’s the small that have been so prohibitive to this team’s development. Lingering injuries that have prevented young players from practicing and developing. Morris Claiborne, I’m talking to you.
After all, becoming a good team starts in training camp and requires practice.
Henry Melton, Tyrone Crawford, Demarcus Lawrence, Anthony Hitchens, Rolando McClain, Morris Claiborne, J.J. Wilcox, Matt Freaking Johnson – all are players who cannot afford to miss time in training camp. They need to integrate and develop.
Again, this is all stating the obvious but it’s the obvious that this team has been missing on. I’m ok with cutting 2-a-days (2 full practices in a day) and limiting contact. League-wide the numbers prove it’s better for the players. I just don’t want to see players sit out practices as precautionary measures.
It’s time to buck up and play through some pain (within reason of course). If Matt Freaking Johnson says his hamstring feels funny – suck it up and play through it. This team isn’t good enough to be conservative. Players need to practice for this team to improve.