First, DeMarcus Lawrence said when he told Kerr he cracked down on the 50 US Senators who didn’t do enough to stop these killings leaving them in these seats to help us make changes, if any no changes are made, if we have these seats we might as well run around lawless. We’ll do that anyway, right?
Dann Dak, who during this first open-media OTA spoke almost more about Uvalde than football, a young man of 29 who admits to these mass shootings in schools makes him “scared to have children”. And when he was told that there would be some people out there who would tell him to stick with talking about sports, the quarterback said, “I don’t think anyone is ignorant enough to tell me that. “
And then there’s Cowboys head coach sophomore Mike McCarthy, father of five, who admitted he didn’t open his media session with an explanation of what happened at Robb Elementary because he knew he’d be too emotional to talk about it.
Well, McCarthy was right. Because when asked about the murders of these school children and two teachers earlier in this media session, he didn’t get very far in an answer before getting emotional and beginning by saying, “It’s with a heavy heart… it’s stunning… … it’s heavy , being a parent and…”
That’s how far the 58-year-old football coach got before taking a few moments to collect himself. He went on to say, “We need to get better,” and then “to see this happening in the world today is disturbing, there has to be a better way … sickens me as much as anyone else.”
It took McCarthy a moment before he admitted, “I’m Irish, you cry like hell the older you get.”
The same goes for Italians, coaches.
- Strange Environment: It took me a minute or three to realize that. Firstly, when CeeDee Lamb pointed this out, Dak placed his locker next to him. Well where was it before like you’ve been here for two years? Turning around, he found Dalton Schultz on the other side, down the hallway that led to the showers, where he’d always been. Was not there. No, way down the other end, near the equipment room. What the what? Then it hit me: This is the first time since December 30, 2019, BC, before COVID, that I’ve been in this locker room with all these veterans. Safety restrictions kept us zooming all of the 2020 season and even last year all player interviews were largely conducted outdoors in staged setups. The locker room was taboo. So there’s a good reason I never knew where CeeDee’s locker had been for the last two seasons. It had been two years since he’d set foot in the Cowboys’ locker room before rookie minicamp a week ago. Sure it felt good to be back, just going to any player you wanted if nothing else just for small talk. In the hope that the privilege lasts.
- No Bueno: Not a great start for the receiver OTAs, especially since the Cowboys traded away Amari Cooper and lost Cedrick Wilson in the free hand. First off, we knew Michael Gallup wasn’t going to be out there. His recovery from the surgery to repair the cruciate ligament will continue throughout the training camp. But it was unsettling to see veteran James Washington, signed to free agency, with his left foot in a hiking boot. Washington has a strained tendon in his foot, but the Cowboys don’t expect him to stay in the boat for long. Additionally, third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert was on hand to work on the resistance cords with associate trainer Britt Brown, though McCarthy said the suspected at least third receiver with Gallup is likely to miss the first month of the season should come back next week. That meant the three receivers were Lamb, Noah Brown and Simi Fehoko when the first-team offense came on, with the latter two accounting for 16 catches last year, all Browns.
- Oh (no) line: As the first team’s offensive line ran out to the first team’s drill, weas Terence Steele at right tackle, Zack Martin at right guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Connor McGovern at left guard and Matt Waletzko at left tackle. Say what? No Tyron Smith? McCarthy said Tyron had been with the team all morning but his back was a bit strained so they kept him out of the limited OTA training with a helmet, jersey and shorts. The Cowboys are hoping Waletzko, a fifth-round pick, will lock up the vacant swing tackle job. As for the left guard, first-round pick Tyler Smith went to these unpadded drills with the second team, a normal routine out of respect for a veteran’s reputation and a desire for the rookie to earn his way.
- bell ringing: It wasn’t long before free-agent rookie Markquese Bell put a smile on my face after naming him one of the young guys to “draw” for. During a fourth hit in the one situation, Bell skipped Cooper Rush’s quick pass to the left for rookie Dontario Drummond to intercept him, showing that 4.41 speed and not stopping rushing for 99 yards. Thought he’d keep the football and carry it all the way back. Now, McCarthy said he’s stepped outside of the bounds, but hey, don’t sweat the little things. “He was impressive,” McCarthy said. “He dropped out in rookie camp.”
- adult man: Something looked different about Lawrence. Maybe lost some weight. face much thinner. Oh wait, he lost the dreads. I’ve seen his hair this short for ages. “I turned 30 this year and it’s time for me to make a change as a grown man,” he said. But here was a more welcome change. Lawrence is out here participating in the off-season workouts because, as he says, “The last five years I’ve been recovering.” Importance of injury or surgery. That means the first line of defence, and with Osa Odighizuwa nursing a thigh contusion, consisted of Lawrence on the left end, Neville Gallimore and Chauncey Golston on defensive tackles and Dorance Armstrong on the right end. The Cowboys will work more on Golston in temporary situations.
- OTA shorts: See where Brent Urban, last year’s veteran defensive tackle who started in four of the first six games before being placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season, signed a free-agent contract with Baltimore. . . But Reggie Robinson, 2020 fourth-round draft pick, a corner who initially moved to safety and back into the corner but stayed in the IR all of 2021 and became a free agent, was underwhelmed during the Cleveland offseason Taken on contract but was fired last week. . . Wideout TJ Vasher went high with his 6-6 frame to make a really nice catch on one of the drills. . . Gotta love you some Lamb, when CeeDee said it looked like he was taller, he said, “I’ve grown about half an inch,” and smiled as he went on to say he’d gained a few pounds of muscle too. . . As time flies, when referring to what this season will be like for him, Dak said the other day, “I said six about a month ago, and Zeke said no, we’re on seven,” when the 2016 draft picks entered theirs enter seventh seasons. . . already.
Never a bad idea to turn to Dak for the last word this week as he answers questions about the Uvalde tragedy and how a 90-man football team handles things like this in the dressing room.
“The locker room is a special place and I say that because I don’t want to say that these things aren’t actually talked about, but these things are dealt with on a day-to-day basis,” he said, “because this is The Locker Room with so many People of different backgrounds built, differently – everything, religions, races, whatever – because we all have a common goal, we’ve worked, we’ve already worked out some of these things, if something of this magnitude happens, it would be wrong if we wouldn’t mention it, we have offense and defense, but to say we have to dial in to get to know each other better, that’s what the dressing room has, and that’s why the dressing room is special.
“And I think the world needs more dressing rooms.”