Dez Bryant Out 4-6 Weeks, May Miss All Pre-Season

Update 7:45 PM

The team announced Friday evening that Dez Bryant will miss four to six weeks. Bryant was injured on the second-to-last play of Friday’s practice in the Alamodome.

An MRI confirmed the team’s fear of a high ankle sprain. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones had expressed hope that Bryant, who had a spectacular start to training camp, would be out for only a few days or a week, but now they are faced with an injury that could have ripple effects to start the season.

With this injury, the Cowboys’ top three picks are all injured. Second-round linebacker Sean Lee has been sidelined since Tuesday with a strained quadriceps, and fourth-round safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, who had shoulder surgery in March, has not been cleared to practice yet.

Geez…

Original Post 3:00 PM

ESPN Dallas reports:

SAN ANTONIO — Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, the team’s first-round selection, was helped off the field by two athletic trainers after suffering a right ankle injury near the end of the training practice Friday.

Bryant stayed on the Alamodome turf after cornerback Orlando Scandrick broke up a pass on a crossing route. Jon Kitna’s pass was thrown slightly behind Bryant, and Scandrick appeared to land on the prized rookie’s lower right leg. He was helped off the field, with Bryant keeping weight off it.

Bryant will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Let’s hope its not as bad as it sounds. All we can do at this point is wait for the MRI results.

Have We Met Somewhere Before?

It was announced yesterday that the Cincinnati Bengals signed Terrell Owens to a one year contract. With the Cowboys and the Bengals playing in this years Hall of Fame game on August 8th, it makes the game a little more interesting. The Cowboys will see Owens on the other sideline for the first time since being released after the 2008 season. Owens put up some productive numbers for the Cowboys while he was with the team from 2006 through 2008. Along with Owens, the Cowboys might just notice some other familiar faces from Cincinnati.

Antonio Bryant was drafted by the Cowboys back in 2002 in the second round. He played wide receiver for the Cowboys during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He also played the first five games for the Cowboys in 2004.

Tank Johnson played for the Cowboys in 2007 and 2008 before being released after the 2008 season.

Adam “Pacman” Jones played for the Cowboys in 2008 and then was released after the season.

Roy Williams was drafted by the Cowboys back in 2002 in the first round. He played seven seasons for the Cowboys before being released after the 2008 season.

Mike Mickens was drafted by the Cowboys in 2009 in the seventh round. He was released before the 2009 season started.

Dennis Roland was signed by the Cowboys back in 2006 as a free agent offensive tackle and then released before the season.

Mike Zimmer was with the Cowboys from 1994-2006. During his time with the Cowboys served as an assistant coach for the nickel defense, defensive backs coach and then defensive coordinator.

It will be somewhat of a mini family reunion when both teams take the field for the Hall of Fame game. As far as playing against each other, I doubt there will be much of that in this game. The starters usually play a series or two and then take the rest of the night off.

In other news…

Injuries

With the start of training camp also come a few injuries. None of which seem very serious.

Felix Jones has been suffering from some swelling in one of his knees. He was held out of the morning practice on Tuesday, but decided he felt good enough to play in the afternoon practice. The team will of course continue to monitor Jones.

Jason Hatcher missed Tuesday’s practice with a hyper-extended elbow. He is expected to miss Wednesday’s practice as well.

Sean Lee also missed Tuesday’s practice with a strained quadriceps muscle. He is also expected to miss Wednesday’s practice.

Martellus Bennett missed his fifth day of practice with a sprained ankle. The Cowboys are unsure when he will return.

Camps first fight

The first fight of training camp broke out between Bradie James and Deon Anderson.

“That’s how you know you’re in two-a-days,” James said.” It’s official when you have that first skirmish. You get the red eye and you just want to go blast somebody. It kills the monotony of practice.”

“I got a little enthusiastic out there,” Anderson said.

The fight was short and both James and Anderson were seen laughing about it afterwards.

Kosier at center

Kyle Kosier took some snaps at center this week. The plan for the Cowboys is for Kosier to backup starting center Andre Gurode. This way the Cowboys can go into games with seven offensive linemen with Montrae Holland and Alex Barron as the backups for guard and tackle.

“It’s definitely different, especially with our defense,” Kosier said. “We’re playing the 3-4 so you’ve got a guy right over you and you’ve got to snap the ball and get the guy and he’s right in his face.”

“Once I get out there in some game situations I think it’ll be fine,” said Kosier

More on Dez

As the media continues to talk about Dez Bryant refusing to carry Roy William’s shoulder pads, it was Bryant telling them exactly what he was thinking on Tuesday.

“You’re trying to turn us against each but it’s not going to happen.”

“No, I didn’t know nothing about no tradition,” Bryant said.” The only thing that bothers me is when I try to do something right, you all (media) try to turn it negative. I don’t feel like that’s right.”

“I’m trying my best to do the right thing. But it seems like I can’t do the right thing because every little thing that I do, you all watch it and try to make a huge deal out of it.”

“It was never an issue. The media made it an issue. It was never nothing.”

“We are fine,” Bryant said.” In fact, it’s not even a situation. Me and Roy are great. Not only me and Roy, but the whole team.”

As Bryant was expressing his feelings towards the media he was signing autographs for fans. The fans then started chanting at the media…

“leave him alone”

Cowboys Haters In Full Effect Already, So What’s New?

When you are the most popular, most storied, most winning sports franchise in pro football history it comes with the territory that you have people who despise you. Call it jealousy, call it envy but its strong and its everywhere we turn.

The latest rants include Cowboys Number One Draft Pick Dez Bryant and the young tight end Martellus Bennett.

Okay maybe I will give them Dez, thats a valid complaint. He got his money and hasn’t even played in one pro game and already thinks he’s better than the veterans. Not cool Dez. So they are calling him “another Diva Cowboy”. Well the guy just scored nearly 12 million dollars, has been given the coveted number 88 and has already been deemed the super star wide receiver for America’s Team fresh out of college. To say expectations for Dez Bryant are high is an understatement.

You can blame Dez, blame Jerry Jones, or blame the media but I got money that says he produces and blows everyone away this season.

So, rumor is Marty B had a bad break-up and his ex posted nude pictures of him online. Who cares? What in the world does that have to do with football? Absolutely nothing. I have my own issues with Martellus’ off-the-field shenanigans but in reality he’s a backup tight end, a backup to one of the best in the league. Is he the future? Only time will tell. But he’s still young, immature and seems to crave a lot of attention. A professional athlete who wants all eyes on him – well thats totally unheard of, what in the world is he thinking?!

Like it or not all of these ridiculous stories sell, whether true or fabricated. People love to hate the Dallas Cowboys. Why do you think ESPN constantly disses the Cowboys? That’s easy, because hating on Dallas sells. It’s stirs up Cowboy followers and it revs up the haters. Personally, I very rarely watch ESPN for that very reason.

It doesn’t matter that there are players who have violated the league drug law or committed felonies. Hell, there have been times men have been suspected in rapes and murders, but if Tony Romo wants to play golf in the offseason or Miles Austin was in Las Vegas gambling and having a few drinks – well thats front page news! How dare they do something without a football in their hands.

Listen, like I said before it comes with the territory. I spent years defending Terrell Owens, because that’s what we do as Cowboys fans. I will admit I have a limit though, I never defended Pacman Jones. He truly was an embarrassment.

Earlier I went to visit my mom and she started talking about an article she read about Dez not carrying Roy’s pads on Yahoo!, and I immediately went into defense mode. It’s like a parent who’s child can do no wrong.

So when I go into work this morning and my boss who loves sports gossip starts telling me the latest, instead of defending Bryant and Bennett maybe I will turn the conversation around and talk about how great Romo and Austin are projected to be this season. Maybe I will tell him how excellent David Buehler is looking, how he’s blowing the experts away with his kicking talent. How about the fact that the Cowboys have a shot to be the first team in history to go to the Super Bowl in their own stadium and win!

When a hater comes straight up to me trashing my team I will defend them to the end. Call me a cheerleader, call me bias… no, you know what, just call me a Cowboys fan and damn proud of it.

Dez Bryant says no to Roy Williams

With training camp finally under way I was happy to finally get some news from the Cowboys this past weekend. All the practicing and the competition at so many positions is under way. I also loved the Kickoff show Friday night. For those who have not seen it you can watch it here.

http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_archives.cfm?id=0349574E-DC9B-2E5A-07C2F9A15D499F94

The one thing that stood out to me this weekend was Dez Bryant refusing to carry Roy Williams shoulder pads after Sunday mornings practice. Bryant does not believe in any rookie initiations.

“I’m not doing it,” Bryant said. “I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player’s pads.”

“If I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing. I just feel like I’m here to play football. I’m here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone’s pads. I’m saying that out of no disrespect to [anyone].”

“I don’t believe in that at all,” Bryant said. “We have a goal here. It’s not about playing games. It’s all about just trying to do the right thing and achieve our goal.”

http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_archives.cfm?id=0C9F2A74-E00D-E1FA-A3E6F28693417F2C

Roy Williams does believe rookies should be doing some things for the veterans just like he had to do as a rookie.

“Everybody has to go through it,” Williams said. “I had to go through it. No matter if you’re a No. 1 pick or the 7,000th pick, you’ve still got to do something when you’re a rookie.

“I carried pads. I paid for dinners. I paid for lunches. I did everything I was supposed to do, because I didn’t want to be that guy.”

I love that Dez Bryant refuses to carry Williams shoulder pads and is saying all the right things about the team being first and working towards a goal. With that kind of thinking from Bryant it won’t be long before Williams is carrying Bryant’s shoulder pads. Maybe Williams should concentrate more on catching the football then bothering the player that is most likely going to replace him.

Other news from camp is that supplemental pick Josh Brent suffered a broken hand in practice Sunday morning. Coach Wade Philips is hoping Brent can return to practice Monday. Any kind of time missed will only hurt Brent for his chances of making the team.

Keith Brooking is only practicing once a day as he recovers from off-season knee surgery. Although Brooking says he feels good, he understands that at his age it will do his body good to be held out a little during training camp.

Who is this man? Nate “The Kitchen” Newton has taken care of himself due to some serious health issues as he approached almost 400 pounds. On April 19th Newton had weight loss surgery and has since lost 132 pounds. He is now down to 263 pounds and is feeling good.

http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_archives.cfm?id=0C11E73B-B8F8-D4C3-7C8709FD1FF644C3

Orlando Scandrick is working through the pain of his broken finger and knows that training camp is even more important because of the work he missed during the teams OTAs.

“I’ve still got some pain but I’m working through it,” Scandrick said. “Just have to be tough. I just need time. I need the practice. I could feel my timing was off. I felt a little rusty out there.”

Getting the Party Started In San Antonio

Training camp signifies the beginning of football season, and the Cowboys always know how to get the party started right!

I’d like to thank my good friend Becky for sharing these pictures via text as she enjoyed memorable moments down in San Antonio. Training Camp is open to the public with free admission so if you are in the area or have the chance to make a road trip down south, as you can tell from these pictures I have no doubt you will have a wonderful time.

San Antonio, Texas Training Camp: July 23rd through August 6th

Oxnard, California Training Camp: August 14th through August 27th

Rowdy on stage at the Kickoff Spectacular

Felix Jones taking some time to sign autographs for fans

Roy Williams signing autographs for fans in the stands

Dez Bryant getting attacked by the media at training camp

Mike Jenkins and others on the sideline at practice

Marion Barber and teammates at practice

Tashard Choice stretching in the endzone

Back In The Saddle Again – Training Camp Notes

Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips are all smiles at the start of Cowboys Training Camp

I skimmed through all the different beat writer reports from today’s Cowboys Training Camp, and summarized all of the information for you.

Training Camp Player Valuations – In terms of talking about players after practice, Phillips doesn’t like to do it. He feels he needs to see some practice tape before talking about how well a player did or how bad a player did. Phillips said it gives him a chance to give better answers to questions.

“You may see a player do something real good in practice and the rest of the plays didn’t play well,” Phillips said. “Like a guy in a game, you think he played well, and he didn’t play well at all.”

Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants – The coach made a note that David Buehler isn’t the only placekicker on the roster. Delbert Alvarado is also a kicker but hardly gets mentioned because after the team released Connor Hughes, it was assumed Buehler had no competition. Even Buehler said he’s competing against himself.

“Alvarado did well, and that’s why we kept him in the spring,” Phillips said.

Safety First – Does Pat Watkins have a shot to become the starting free safety over Alan Ball? Phillips said he does and that there is competition at almost every position. However, Phillips would like to see Watkins, who is a strong special teams player, be more consistent on defense. Watkins did have a nice breakup of a long pass Saturday.

He Ain’t All That – *Dez Bryant, the rookie wide receiver, was impressive in his first practice. Phillips said it’s not the best debut he ever saw.

“I don’t know if he looked any better than Steve Largent when he came in,” Phillips said. “Cris Carter when he came in, I’ve seen some pretty good ones.”

Not To Be Nosy, But – *Marcus Spears is still the starting defensive end, but he will get some snaps at nose tackle during training camp. The Cowboys did some of this last year with him. Phillips doesn’t believe it’s the start of something long term for Spears.

“I would be comfortable with him playing there,” Phillips said of Spears at the nose. “He’s a smart player and he’s a good run player already, and normally nose guard is a run-player position. [Jay] Ratliff has taken it to a different level; you don’t see nose guards getting six and eight and ten sacks. But I think Spears can fill that role as a run player and I think he’ll do a good job there.”

We Kneed You Man – *Linebacker Keith Brooking might miss the second practice Sunday. He’s fine, but Cowboys want to bring him along slowly because he had minor knee surgery in the offseason. Brooking looked pretty good Saturday knocking down a pass and moving around pretty good.

MartyB TV Off The Air – Wade Phillips said he does not expect Martellus Bennett to miss much practice time in training camp with the sprained left ankle he suffered last week while working out. The Cowboys placed Bennett on the non-football injury list because he did not suffer the injury while under the Cowboys’ care.

Dez Is How We Do It In Big D

Many may be worried about his integrity.  Many may be worried about his stamina, having played very little ball in his final college season at Oklahoma State.  But today, Dez Bryant proved his drive by being the first player to take the field for the kickoff of training-camp.

According to the Associated Press, Bryant was on the field 45 minutes early wearing his coveted number 88 jersey. 

He began catching passes soon-after from undrafted rookie QB Matt Nichols.

“I want to help this team. I want to compete. I can’t wait to start playing football again,” Bryant said in a statement that was released by the Cowboys earlier in the week.

Bryant’s willingness to get his deal done and hit the field so readily, stand to backup these statements.

Only time will tell if those double-eights on his shoulders will become too much weight to bear.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

It has been reported by ESPN that the Cowboys and Penn State Linebacker Sean Lee have agreed to a four year contract.

Sean Lee is the last of the Cowboys draft picks to sign, which means there will be no holdouts. The Cowboys first practice is Saturday and everyone will be dressed and ready to go to work.

Good luck to the Cowboys as they open training camp. It’s going to be a fun ride.

Training Camp Kickoff Extravaganza

I can just hear all of the fans loading up their cars and heading to San Antonio as I write this – Road Trip! For those of you lucky enough to go to Training Camp you already know tonight is the big night, the Cowboys will kickoff in style.

Here is the information posted on the Cowboys official website:

2010 Training Camp Kickoff Spectacular

Friday, July 23rd
At the Alamodome
Free to the public
Doors open at 6pm
Event starts at 7pm

Featuring:
Duelo and Bowling for Soup
BAND INFORMATION

Also Appearing:
The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
The Dallas Cowboys Players and Coaches

We are one step closer to football season and we are looking forward to a spectacular year!

If you have made plans to go sneak a peak at the 2010 Cowboys as they prepare for the season and want to share your experience with thousands of Cowboys fans, just send an e-mail to lonestarstruck at aol dot com, or click here to submit a message through our contact form.

Cowboys Reach Deal With Dez Bryant

According to the Associated Press, the Cowboys announced they agreed to terms with first-round pick Dez Bryant on Thursday.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a press conference has been scheduled for 6:45 PM CST by Stephen Jones and full details of the deal should be revealed at that time.

Some rumors have suggested an $11.8 million dollar, 5-year deal including an $8.5 million dollar signing bonus.

Bryant, the 24th pick of the draft, is now expected to report on time for Cowboys training camp on Saturday in San Antonio, and any talk of a hold out has now been extinguished.

I know many were getting uptight about his signing, but check this out. Bryant actually becomes the first first-round pick to agree to a contract. Sam Bradford, who was the No. 1 overall pick, has yet to agree to a deal.

The only draft pick unsigned by the Cowboys is second-rounder Sean Lee, a linebacker from Penn State.

An Early Look at the NFC

We have been waiting and waiting for months. Now the wait is just about over. The Cowboys report to training camp tomorrow and their first practice is Saturday. As the next week goes by all the other teams will also open up training camps and most will have their sights set on Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium next February. It’s the start of a new season with new hopes and dreams. So who are the favorites in 2010 and who will be the disappointments? Here is an early look at the NFC.

NFC Favorites

  1. New Orleans. The Saints need to be at the top of the list simply because they are the defending Champions. Someone needs to knock them off the top of the mountain. As far as talent and leadership the Saints are no different from last season. They are explosive on offense, which helps when it comes to their 25th ranked defense.
  2. Minnesota.They are rated above the Cowboys because of how easily they beat the Cowboys in the playoffs. Most people are tired of the so called “Favre Watch”, but if he comes back they will still have a potent offense. If Favre shocks everyone and retires, then the Vikings as a team fall a few spots in the rankings. Their defensive line is one of the best, if not the best in the league, but their secondary is suspect at times.
  3. Dallas. No major changes for the Cowboys during the off-season. They have the talent in place on offense and defense to go along with some playoff experience. Tony Romo had a great 2009 season, minus the Giants game early in the season. I think the offensive line will be fine with Doug Free taking over for Flozell Adams. The major question is how will Alan Ball be at safety?
  4. Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers has become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He has a lot of offensive weapons to choose from as long as his offensive line can protect him. The defense played very well last season as they went from a 4-3 to a 3-4. A few losses in 2010 on defense like Johnny Jolly and Aaron Kampman may hurt them.
  5. NY Giants.I tried my best to find another team in the NFC I could put at number five, but I kept coming back to the Giants. Eli Manning seems to always find the open receiver when he needs a big play and they Giants have a lot of weapons at receiver. Was Brandon Jacobs really hurt in 2009? That will be the big question for this offense in 2010. The defense just seemed to give up last season as they allowed over 40 points in three of the last four games. That prompted the Giants to hire new defensive coordinator in Perry Fewell.

 

Disappointments

  1. Philadelphia.Franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb was traded in the off-season. No more Brian Westbrook in the backfield. I think the Eagles are going to take a step back in 2010. They are handing the offense to unproven quarterback Kevin Kolb. Their defense is not the force it once was as the Cowboys showed in beating them in back-to-back weeks, outscoring the Eagles 58-14.
  2. Arizona.The Cardinals lost their heart when Kurt Warner retired after last season. Matt Leinart has done nothing that says he can lead this team. They also lost dependable receiver Anquan Boldin to free agency. The defense lost a few pieces as well with the departures of linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Antrel Rolle.
  3. Chicago.I’ve read a lot of good things about the Bears this off-season. How Jay Cutler is going to be better now that new offensive coordinator Mark Martz is there. How the signing of Chester Taylor and Julius Peppers has improved the team. But head coach Lovie Smith likes to run the ball and Mike Martz likes to throw the ball. Could be an issue as the season moves along and the winter weather enters the picture. The question is also whether Peppers really wants to be in Chicago or was it the money that attracted him there?

Interesting

  1. Detroit.I’m interested in seeing the Lions this season. I know they have combined for only two wins the last two seasons, but this team has some talent. Especially on offense with Matthew Stafford going into his second season and Calvin Johnson becoming one of the best receivers in the league. Stafford also has a quality tight end in Tony Scheffler to go to now. The Lions drafted speedy Jahvid Best to ignite the running game. On defense they added cornerback Chris Houston, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and defensive tackle Corey Williams through free agency. The Lions also added defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was the second overall pick in the draft.

AP: Cowboys Offseason Recap, Super Bowl Chances

Interesting read by the Associated Press on the Cowboys and their chances for another title.

Since the end of last season, and even before that, Jerry Jones has constantly reminded his Cowboys that Super Bowl XLV will be played at their own stadium in February.

“Our owner lets us know the game is at Cowboys Stadium and he would love his team to play in it,” Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. “We are doing everything we can get to get there.”

But long before the possibility of being the first host team ever in a Super Bowl, or even playing a 2010 regular season game, the defending NFC East champion Cowboys have quite a summer trip.

Training camp begins Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. That begins a five-week stretch in which the Cowboys will travel more than 6,500 miles, practice in three different cities and play preseason games in four stadiums.

“We’re America’s team, everybody wants to see us,” receiver Roy Williams said.

Dallas will be the first full squad to begin camp, but Cleveland rookies report Friday. Rookies for New England and San Diego report Sunday, and every NFL team will be in camp by Aug. 1.

For the third time in four years, 17 of the 32 teams will conduct training camp at home. Just nine years ago, only five of 31 teams stayed home for preseason workouts.

Super Bowl champion New Orleans opens camp at home July 29. But before the Saints won the title last year, the previous three Super Bowl winners — Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and the New York Giants — had all held camp away from home.

For the Cowboys, the climate-controlled Alamodome will be their base for two weeks before going to Canton, Ohio, to play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. A few days at home and a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium follows that.

Then comes two weeks in Oxnard, Calif., a strech that includes a game at San Diego. They break their West Coast camp and head to Houston for a game before finally getting to settle in at their Valley Ranch facility to prepare for the home preseason finale and the start of the regular season.

“I’ve had some pretty strange years, but not moving like that,” said 13-year veteran Keith Brooking, going into his second season with Dallas. “I played in the Tokyo Bowl, 16-hour flight or whatever it was two weeks into training camp and still having four preseason games to play. But never two weeks at camp, then moving.”

“Nobody cares where we practice. People care about whether we win,” linebacker Bradie James said.

Jones raised the Lombardi Trophy three times in a four-year stretch in the mid-1990s. But the five-time champions have gone 14 seasons without winning a title and didn’t even win another playoff game until last January.

The 20-year owner could think of no better way to end the championship drought than by winning a Super Bowl at his $1.2 billion stadium that opened last season.

“They have the potential to get there,” said NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith, the three-time Super Bowl champion with the Cowboys who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next month. “Hopefully those guys have taken this offseason and said next year should be our time.”

With lofty expectations and their longest training camp in more than a decade ahead of them, it’s good for the Cowboys there are few issues and little drama. Just plenty of motivation.

“I really do feel that we’ve got top talent on the team, but this same talent, the majority of it, saw us fall short last year,” Jones said. “And that keeps anybody from getting too caught up in what this looks like. We’ve got a lot of work to do when we get to training camp.”

Here are some of the top storylines for the Cowboys so far:

• Doug Free gets the first chance to replace left tackle Flozell Adams, the expensive 35-year-old five-time Pro Bowler cut last spring. Free, going into his fourth season, started seven games at right tackle for injured Marc Colombo last year.

The Cowboys also acquired tackle Alex Barron, sending Bobby Carpenter to St. Louis in a trade of underachieving former first-round picks.

• After receiver Miles Austin went from relative unknown to Pro Bowl player and Dez Bryant was drafted in the first round, Patrick Crayton asked for a trade and skipped most voluntary offseason workouts. But Crayton, who could still end up playing for somebody this season, showed up for the final week of workouts and the minicamp, working like he always had.

• Safety Ken Hamlin, a 2007 Pro Bowler who like Adams had a contract through 2013, was also cut. Alan Ball, primarily a cornerback his first two seasons, is the likely replacement opposite Gerald Sensabaugh.

• Hamlin’s departure is the only significant change for coach Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, which allowed the fewest points in the NFC last season and ended the regular season with consecutive shutouts for the first time in the team’s 50-year history.

With Jason Garrett calling plays for Tony Romo and a record-setting offense, and Phillips settling into the dual role as the NFL’s only head coach-defensive coordinator, Jones is excited about the continuity of the coaching staff. He believes that is good for Phillips, who is 33-15 after three seasons in Dallas and finally has a playoff victory as a head coach.

“You can just sense it when you’re talking to him, he’s so comfortable in himself around this team,” Jones said. “I’m not talking about he’s laid back or taking things too easy. He’s just gotten very comfortable, exudes to me when I’m with him, the feel, that feeling he feels about his team.”