Cowboys: It's All About Team

STILLWATER – Brandon Weeden has played on a lot of different teams during his athletic career. But the 27-year-old quarterback says that none of them compare to the 10th-ranked Oklahoma State football team that he will lead onto the field at Boone Pickens Stadium for Saturday night's Bedlam showdown with Oklahoma.

A victory by the 10-1 Cowboys over the 9-2 Sooners will clinch the Big 12 South Division title and qualify them for the Big 12 12 Championship game to be played Dec. 4 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Cowboys were picked to finish no higher than fifth in the six-team Big 12 South in every preseason poll but enter Saturday night's nationally televised game (ABC-TV) as the only team in the conference with 10 victories (the first time an OSU team has won 10 regular season games in the school's 109 years of playing football).

It's no coincidence that the Cowboys get along well together, whether it be senior linebackers Orie Lemon and Justin Gent making a key fourth-down stop on the football field or the players hanging out in the locker room before practice, says Weeden.

"We don't have one person on this team that is an ‘I' guy. It's all about us and about the team. Guys don't care how many yards they have or how many tackles or things. They don't care about that stuff. That's why we're so close like we are," said Weeden.

"I think it rubs off. It's contagious when you're around each other and guys worry about the guy next to them. That rubs off. That's part of the reason why we've had such a successful season. We have no selfish players on our team.

"I've been on teams growing up – baseball, basketball, football – where you have guys who all they care about is how many points they get or what their ERA is and stuff like that. We don't have anybody like that. I know that sounds like a cliché, but that's the best answer I have.

"Guys are not worried about themselves, they are worried about winning football games. They may look back in 20 years and say, ‘I did this, this and this.' But while they're here, it's never ‘I do this,' or ‘I do that.' It's always, we're 10-1 and we need to keeping going," Weeden added.

Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason recently was talking about the "community soul" of the Cincinnati Bengals, and said they may have some of the most talented players in the league but they are not playing as a team.

What's the community soul of the Oklahoma State Cowboys?

"The brotherhood and the unity we have. It's just been amazing. I can't even express to you, and any one of the guys will tell you that that's the difference from last year and years before. We had a lot of talent last year but I think the biggest factor this year is that we believe, and we believe in each other, and we have unity. We're going out to accomplish a goal together and playing for our brothers," said senior cornerback Andrew McGee, who leads the Big 12 with five interceptions.

"That's a good word for it, community soul. Community soul to me on this team really just shows how you speak to your brother, how you relate to them. I want to win for guys like Markelle Martin, Orie Lemon, Brandon Weeden and Kendall Hunter just because we have that feeling of brotherhood. I look at each of them like brothers. I want to do everything I can to win for those guys," McGee continued.

If there's one position group that must be on the same page each and every game it would be the Cowboy offensive line, which has been one of the team's strengths this season.

"We all joke around together. We just mesh and gel real good. It's like a match made in heaven," said offensive tackle Levy Adcock.

OSU head coach Mike Gundy says the 2009 Cowboys had really good chemistry but this year's squad has surprised him.

"You have people who contribute that you wouldn't think contribute and then your team kinda of gels with them. So, the younger players see guys like Shane Jarka, who are steppping up and fighting through a lot of pain, willing to play the game for the right reasons, and it makes a lot of difference," said the Cowboys head coach.

"There's a list of guys on the team ... the injury (Andrew McGee) had last year, and he's got something broken in his hand. He'd have two more interceptions if he'd had two good hands. He's hand his knee drained I don't know how many times. There's just something special about guys like that, and when you have enough of those guys your team ends up winning some football games.

"I've always used the basketball analogy. You have a bunch of guys that will set screens and dive for loose balls, and that's what this team is made of. We've got some guys that can score 40 now, we've got a few skill guys that are big-time players, but we've got a number of guys that are just will to do whatever it takes to win.

"Last year's team chemistry was really good. We had all those issues happen and they were still able to win a lot of games. I had great concerns about this year because I didn't know who was going to step up. We've come through this year and we've had better team chemistry than we had last year. So, we've been very fortunate in that area," Gundy added.


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