Cowboys Hoping New Tricks Break Old Habits - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Cowboys Hoping New Tricks Break Old Habits



    Desperate times call for him desperate measures.

    The Cowboys, coming off three consecutive 8-8 seasons, are certainly in a rut. And, accordingly, they’re throwing everything but the kitchen sink at their woes.

    But don’t be surprised if it’s next.

    Appearing at last week’s minicamp at Valley Ranch: a ballerina bar, knee braces, duck walks and, yep, swim goggles.

    In the aftermath of Sean Lee’s knee injury that ended his 2014 before it even began, the Cowboys custom-fit every linemen with knee braces. Better safe than sorry, right? Even defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was wearing the things, either in a sign of age or unity.

    The ballerina bar near the practice field is for extra stretching, a nod to the Cowboys’ persistent hamstring problems in recent seasons. And then there’s new tight ends coach Mike Pope, who has a unique assortment of drills to help veterans like Jason Witten and promising young players like Gavin Escobar.

    Last week the tight ends were seen throwing medicine balls high into the air to replicate the firing up of their hips off the line of scrimmage. They also duck-walked while carrying the weighted medicine balls to increase balls and quad strength. And the wearing of swim goggles?

    To narrow the field of vision and force players to track passes with their head and not just their eyes.

    The Cowboys may not break the drought and make the playoffs this season. But it won’t be for a lack of desperation and creativity on the practice field.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.