State of the Hogs: Tryout

Quite a few Arkansas players grew up as fans of the Dallas Cowboys. At least a few hope they do enough in the Cotton Bowl to excite the main Cowboy.

Joe Adams and Jake Bequette know there will be much family in Cowboys Stadium when they play their final game of their Arkansas career against Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 6. They may have more family members at the game than when they played their final games in Fayetteville and Little Rock last month.

Adams and Bequette both said it's important to play well in front of those that are so close to them, but they want to play well in front of one very important person: The Head Cowboy.

"I know Jerry Jones is going to be there," Adams said this week. "I want to look good for him. I'm a Dallas fan. My dream is to play for the Cowboys. I hope he likes what he sees and wants to take me in the draft. That would be a dream come true. I've always been a Dallas fan."

Bequette said he was no different than Adams growing up. Dallas games were on the television every Sunday and he probably watched all of them.

"Chalk me up with Joe," Bequette said. "I'm a fan of the Cowboys.

"I sure hope Mr. Jones is there and watching. I know he's a Razorback. I know he loves the Razorbacks. I expect he'll be there and that's motivation for me."

Bequette said he had Dallas gear growing up.

"I had at least two Dallas jackets, Starter jackets," he said. "I wore them all the time. I'm a great fan of the Cowboys."

Bequette was disappointed that he didn't get to play in front of Jones when the Hogs beat Texas A&M in Cowboys Stadium earlier this year. He's glad to get another chance.

"I'd be lying if I told you I didn't think about him watching in all of those games we've played in his stadium," Bequette said. "You just know he's there and you know he sees everything you do. I thought it about it when I was a sophomore and we played there. It is motivation.

"I was upset that I couldn't play this year. I had thought maybe I was going to be ready that week, but it didn't happen. I didn't get back until the next week.

"It was tough watching from the sideline for both me and Tenarius Wright. He was out then. We thought we could have helped our team."

Bequette thinks he's gotten faster and stronger in the last month since the end of the season. He said the hamstring injury that decked him for over one month was pretty severe.

"I feel fortunate that I got back at all," he said. "I'm just now really getting fully healthy. I was playing there for awhile, but I didn't have much strength. Really, I didn't have it all even at the end of the season. I've been better in these (bowl) practices)."

This is the first game under new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes. Bequette said he's been around the new secondary coach to figure out what he's all about.

"His M.O. is to keep it simple and play fast," Bequette said. "I think the players like it. He wants to create pressure with either a three or four-man front. He doesn't believe in blitzing just to blitz. That's what I gather. So it's on us up front. If we can pressure the quarterback, we'll be successful."

What does he see in Kansas State?

"They have some bread-and-butter stuff with the quarterback that is designed to slow you down, those option reads," he said. "And the short passing stuff, the quick game. They try to keep you guessing and that slows you down. We have to stop the run and get them in third-and-long so we can get after the quarterback.

"That's the game. They want to slow us down. We want to play fast."

And if they can play fast, the next goal is to impress Jerry Jones.

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