"It's a huge loss for everybody and he was a close friend of my family," said Gundy of the man that also called much of Mike's younger brother Cale's career as quarterback at OU. "He was a nice man with a great sense of humor and a great guy. I hate that for his family and really all of us. He was truly a sports legend.
"He was always very positive, old school in that he was before radio and TV personalities felt the need to be more controversial," added the Cowboys head coach. "I respect what he was able to accomplish."
What the Cowboys have accomplished is truly special as Gundy commented on the improved play of linebacker Alex Elkins. The weakside linebacker out of Blinn J.C. in Texas led the Cowboys in tackles against Baylor, actually tied with Daytawion Lowe with nine.
"He is playing much better," said Gundy of Elkins. "He was playing at a five earlier this season and ow he is playing at a seven. He made the hit on the goal line and also on the fourth down play later coming off the edge to hit the running back in the backfield. He is in the right spot more now and he continues to get better."
Elkins is really an example of a defense that Gundy said he was very impressed with the fact they kept the number two offense in the nation off the scoreboard the first half and without a touchdown until the fourth quarter when the game was well decided. He agreed that his team overall is more physical, maybe than any team he has had.
"I would say at least as physical as any team we have had," said Gundy. "When we were running the ball we may have been more physical, but our style of offense is deceiving. I'm sure their are fullback dominated and option teams that are more physical. Our team, though, is fresh, in good shape and will play sideline to sideline and be physical."
Gundy said he was very happy with the overall health of his team and he mentioned, when asked, that running back Jeremy Smith's injury was a knuckle on a finger. He also said that freshman linebacker Ryan Simmons (knee) would be back practicing full speed this week.
"We have been very fortunate with (Jonathan) Rush, (Devin) Hedgepeth, and (Hubert) Anyiam being out," said Gundy. "Those three guys we miss, but we are still really healthy and fresh."
Gundy was also asked about Justin Blackmon and whether he could see him coming back for another year. Gundy said the All-American wide receiver would be welcomed and that they would have a party, but he said if Blackmon were his son he would advise him to go estimating that he would be a top five pick. Actually in ESPN Radio discussion of Blackmon's game on Saturday, Mel Kiper said Blackmon was likely a 5th, 6th, or 7th pick in the first round. That is close.
On that note, Gundy was asked if he would consider letting Blackmon be announced on Senior Day or Night?
"I haven't thought about it," he said. "When I took this thing over that was not a problem as we did not have guys that were candidates to go out as juniors. I would say we need to consider that, but we haven't had that conversation yet."
No, but it might be getting close to time, and it is nice to have that problem and it looks like there are other talented young players coming up behind that could be in that same situation. That is actually a good situation for Gundy to have.