Life gets in the way of football


First, DeMarcus Lawrence, when told Kerr criticized the 50 U.S. senators for not doing enough to prevent these killings, the 30-year-old defensive end entering his ninth season in the NFL and father-of-three said: “That’s why we let them sit in these seats, to help us make changes, and if the change isn’t made at some point by having these seats , we might as well run without a law. That’s what we do anyway, isn’t it?”

Then Dak, who almost spoke more about Uvalde than football during this first OTA open to the media, a young man of 29, admitting that these mass shootings in schools make him “scared to have children”. And when told there would be people out there telling him he should stick to talking about sports, the quarterback said: “I don’t think anyone is ignorant enough to tell me.”

And then there’s third-year Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, a father of five, who admitted he didn’t open his media session with a statement about what happened at Robb Elementary because he knew he would be too emotional to talk about it.

Well, McCarthy was right. Because when asked about the murders of these school children and two teachers at the start of this media session, he didn’t get very far into an answer before becoming emotional, starting by saying, “The heavy heart… it’s mind blowing. . . . it’s hard to be a parent and . . . .”

That’s about all the 58-year-old football manager got before he needed a few moments to pull himself together. He would go on to say, “We have to be better,” then “to see this happening in today’s world is unsettling, there has to be a better way…makes me sick like everyone else.”

McCarthy needed another moment before admitting: “I’m Irish, the older you get the more you cry like the devil.”

Same with the Italians, coach.

  • Strange environment: It took me a minute or three to realize that. First, when CeeDee Lamb pointed out that Dak had moved his locker next to him. Well, where was he before, like you’ve been here for two years? He turned to find Dalton Schultz on the other side, next to the walkway to the showers where he had always been. Was not there. No, way down at the other end, near the equipment room. What what ? Then it hit me: this is the first time I’ve been in this locker room with all these veterans since December 30, 2019, before COVID. Security restrictions sent us Zooming all 2020 season, and even last year all player interviews were conducted mostly away in staged setups. The locker room was prohibited. So, there’s a good reason I never knew CeeDee’s locker was the previous two seasons. It had been two years since he had set foot in the Cowboys locker room before rookie minicamp a week ago. Sure, it felt good to be back, to walk over to any player you wanted, if nothing else, for just a little chat. Hoping the privilege lasts.
  • No Bueno: Not a great start for OTAs at receiver, especially since the Cowboys traded Amari Cooper and lost Cedrick Wilson in free agency. First, we knew Michael Gallup wouldn’t be there. His recovery from surgery to repair that torn ACL will last throughout training camp. But was unsettling to see veteran James Washington, signed in free agency, with his left foot in a walking boot. Washington has a tight tendon in his foot, but the Cowboys don’t expect him to stay in the boot long. Then, on top of that, third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert was on the sidelines to work on the resistance cords with associate coach Britt Brown, although McCarthy said the suspected third receiver with Gallup should miss the first month of the season should return next week. That meant that when the team’s first offense lined up, the three receivers were Lamb, Noah Brown and Simi Fehoko, the bottom two representing 16 catches last year, all from Brown.
  • Oh (No) Line: When the team’s first offensive line came out for first-team practice, it was 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 had tightened up a bit, so they held him out of the OTA helmet, jersey and shorts in limited practice. The Cowboys are hoping Waletzko, a fifth-round pick, will lock in the vacant tackle spot. As for left guard, first-round pick Tyler Smith went there with the second team for those unpadded workouts, a normal routine out of respect for a veteran’s position and wanting the rookie to earn his way. .
  • Bell ringing: It didn’t take long for free agent rookie Markquese Bell to put a smile on my face after naming him one of the young guys to “shoot for.” On a situational fourth, Bell popped Cooper Rush’s fast pass to the left for rookie Dontario Drummond for an interception, showing that 4.41 speed, and didn’t stop running for 99 yards . I thought he was going to keep the ball, bringing it back until the end. Now McCarthy said he was out of bounds, but hey, don’t sweat the small stuff. “He’s been impressive,” McCarthy said. “He jumped to rookie camp.”
  • Adult Male: Something seemed different about Lawrence. Maybe lost weight. Much thinner face. Oh wait, he lost the dreads. It’s been ages since he’s seen his hair cut this short. “I turned 30 this year and it’s time for me to change into a grown man,” he said. But here’s a more welcome change. Lawrence is here to help with off-season training because, as he says, “the last five years I was recovering.” Meaning of injuries or surgeries. This meant that the first defensive line, and with Osa Odighizuwa nursing a thigh bruise, consisted of Lawrence at left end, Neville Gallimore and Chauncey Golston at defensive tackles and Dorance Armstrong at right end. The Cowboys are going to make Golston work more on the inside in passing situations.
  • OTA shorts: See where last year’s veteran defensive tackle Brent Urban, who started four of the first six games before landing on injured reserve for the rest of the season, signed a free agent contract with Baltimore. . . But 2020 fourth-round draft pick Reggie Robinson, a corner initially moved to safety and back in the corner but stayed on IR all 2021 season and became a free agent, was signed in the offseason. by Cleveland but ended up being released last week. . . Wideout TJ Vasher rode high with his 6-6 frame to make a really nice catch in one of the drills. . . Gotta love you a little lamb, when told he looked bigger, CeeDee said, “I grew like half an inch,” smiling as he continued saying that he had also put on a few pounds of muscle too. . . How time flies, Dak said the other day referring to what this season will be for him, “I said six about a month ago, and Zeke said, no, we’re on seven” , as the 2016 draft picks enter their seventh seasons. . . already.

It’s never a bad idea to turn to Dak for the final word this week, answering questions about the Uvalde tragedy and how a 90-man football team handles such things in the locker room .

“The locker room is a special place, and I say that because I don’t want to say that we don’t talk about these things, but these things are dealt with day in and day out,” he said, “because that the locker room is built with so many people from different, different backgrounds – everything, religions, race, etc. – because we all have a common goal, we’ve worked, we’ve already worked out some of these things that when something this magnitude is happening, it would be a mistake if we didn’t mention it, we have in attack and defense, but to say that we have to connect, to know each other better, the locker room has that, and that’s why the locker room is special.

“And I think the world needs more locker rooms.”


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