First Practice Goes Fine, Miles Remembers

Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles renewed old aquaintances with several Dallas Cowboys employees and felt right at home as he put his current Cowboy team through a two hour and 10 minute practice inside the stadium that he used to coach the NFL Cowboys in on Sundays.

"Yes, I did look up at that booth (Dallas Cowboys coaches booth) when I came in, it was easy to spot right down from the Cowboys Spainish radio booth," said Miles. "I had many good memories of working here for the Jones' family and it was good preparation coaching at the highest level of football for being a head coach."

The team covered all special teams, offense, and defense in a light workout in shorts, shoulder pads, and helmets. The practice started with a lenghthy sprint period, obviously aimed at running out some of the turkey and dresing from Christmas Day.

The entire team reported, with just a few players straggling in past the deadline, although they all had suitable excuses for being slighty tardy. The travel party included all players, redshirts, and currently injured players. There was some controversy last week when center Ben Buie's (broken leg) grandmother went on a Tulsa radio station and complained about the injured players not going to the bowl until later in the week. We don't know if it was grandmother or not, but the idea was scrapped.

Offensive tackle Corey Hilliard, defensive end Marque Fountain, tailbacks Tatum Bell and Seymore Shaw all were previously injured players that were back in practice. Defensive end Antonio Smith suited out, but was still held out of drills. Smith hopes to practice by Monday and be able to play in the game.

One interesting note, before practice the Cowboy players and traveling party were treated a concert by one of their own. Safety Jamie Thompson sat down at a piano in the Wyndham Anatole Hotel and began playing everything from classical to jazz. It was really good. When asked about his musician skills Thompson replied, "I'm full of surprises."

Curfew tonight and tomorrow night for the players is 2 a.m., with the bedcheck being cut back considerably on Sunday and the rest of the week. Tomorrow is media day for botht he Cowboys and the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels arrived in Dallas later Friday evening, but did not practice. Both teams will attend the Dallas Mavericks game with Memphis at the American Air Lines Center on Saturday night. A Number Of Guests At First Practice Oklahoma State had just hit town and there were a number of guests at the Cowboys first practice. Because of the "dead" period in recruiting right now, O-State coaches are not allowed to converse with prospects, but they are allowed to let the recruits attend practice at the bowl game.

Among the recruits at Friday night's practice were Denton "king size" offensive tackle Herman Johnson, Garland Rowlett offensive tackle Cody Baker, Garland Rowlett defensive back Andre Mathis, and a group of five juniors including current tailback Tatum Bell's little brother T.J. Bell, a defensive back from DeSoto. His teammates attending practice included wide receiver and kick returner Michael Thompson, linebacker Donald Horton, cornerback B.C. Jackson, and safety Carey Carr.

The freshman trio of Galena Park North Shore quarterback Robbie Reid, North Shore defensive back Stephen James, and Galveston Ball linebacker Roderick Johnson will not arrive until Wednesday of this upcoming week. However, former Denton Ryan and 2003 Oklahoma State signee Phillip Jones was there, and said his recovery from a summer knee surgery has gone very well, and that he will be ready to participate in spring football.

There were also several area high school coaches on hand with many more expected to attend on Saturday. The O-State coaching staff sent out letters encouraging area coaches to attend practice, especially on Saturday.

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