When the Cowboys hired Joe DeCamillis to coach their special teams, they were hoping to break bigger returns and limit those allowed to the competition. To do that, players have to often put what's best for the team ahead of their own well-being as they barrel downfield at full speed. DeCamillis may have been the right man for the job before he broke his back in the May 2nd collapse of the team's training facility, but he's certainly the right guy now.
DeCamillis got his neck brace off for the first time since the accident on Monday, and will be right on the sidelines when the Cowboys take on the Raiders Thursday night. He's supposed to stay on parts of the bench away from the risk of getting run over by players, but history says that he'll be wherever he needs to be to help his players succeed.
DeCamillis wasn't supposed to be back for June's minicamp, either, but he was there getting his units started on the corrections needed for a more successful 2009 season. So he'll probably be there on Thursday, yelling and screaming at his guys and serving as a walking reminder that there's no reason not to give every ounce of effort on the field.
Last week DeCamillis said that he isn't going to talk about the accident or the injury anymore because he doesn't want to live in the past. He doesn't need to talk about it to remind everyone that there's no obstacle too great to stop you from doing the job at hand. He's living that, and it would take a stone not to notice.
"This is my job. That's what they hired me to do and I'm going to do the best that I can do, no matter what," DeCamillis. "I don't know about an inspiration or anything. I appreciate it. But honestly, whatever gets them to play harder or play better, I don't care what it is."
If DeCamillis can't get the Cowboys to play harder or better, it may be too much of a job for any man.