From The Coordinator: Balancing Act

Nobody was more adamant after the Kansas State loss about this team and the players on defense needing a physical break than Glenn Spencer. In a meeting with the radio crew a few days before the loss at Kansas State, Spencer got emotional speaking about how weak side linebacker Seth Jacobs was playing through a painful injury. He was one of several Cowboy defenders playing with pain.

"It’s just one of those things that you have to do," Jacobs said on Monday to the media. "You have to look to the guys next to you. There are guys hurting as well. It’s more about everybody else rather than just myself. That’s what it comes down to."

However, Jacobs is better now with the rest that came from the open week. While he was held out of most everything there was still some serious work going on in the Wednesday and Thursday practices, work that needs to get done in advance of Texas and the Longhorns downhill running game that can't be accomplished in a walk through like the Cowboys had on Friday morning.

"We got two really physical practices last week," Spencer explained. "We got to concentrate on Texas's favorites and their run game. We put a lot of emphasis on playing physically, so I think it was a good fundamental week."

It's a balancing act that had to be weighed last week. You want the break and you want the players to get the chance to heal up but you also want to make good use of the time to get prepared for a game that if won will send the Cowboys into a bowl game.

"Yeah, it's kind of a double-edged sword. You want to get back on the field as soon as you can and compete again, because the last time we were out there we weren't successful. But in the long run, I think they benefitted from it," Spencer said.

The players and coaches also had the chance to watch Texas beat West Virginia 33-16 on Saturday afternoon.

"They are (playing better). They're getting confident in what they're doing," Spencer said in the scouting mode. "They didn't abandon their run game. They stuck with it. You see them getting movement up front and finding creases, and to be honest with you, a lot of times there are guys there to make plays and they have good running backs that will make you miss. They'll power through you or around you.

"I think the play of (Malcolm) Brown and (Johnathan) Gray have really picked up, and I think those guys are saying, 'We're going to put this on our shoulders to grind this out.' Those are two really good tailbacks."

Two backs that several of the Cowboys have had a chance to hit before and look forward to hitting again in the chilly November cold on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.

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