Cowboy Practice Report: Aug. 15

Football, like life, is about responses. How you respond often determines your outcome. As he has done the past couple of fall camps, head coach Mike Gundy gave the Cowboys a little R and R instead of a two-a-day practice. After Thursday's first workout, which was delayed by a thunderstorm, Gundy told the squad it had the afternoon off and after dinner they would take in a movie as a team.

The response Gundy was looking for from his team was a renewed spirit and enthusiasm and a good practice on Friday night in Boone Pickens Stadium. It sounds like he got it.

"Had a good practice today, very spirited, very enthusiastic," said Gundy. "I thought the coaches did a really nice job of getting their message across to the players. Guys really moved around well. Defense had a really nice day, put a lot of pressure on the offense. (We) got better today in a lot of areas, but I thought the defense really performed well."

During the nearly two-hour, 20-minute practice the offense and defense worked against each other and worked against scout teams. Strong safety Ricky Price said the players were ready to get back after some time off and that it was a really good practice, especially for Price and the defenders.

"It was a good day, very exciting and very enthusiastic," said Price describing the day the defense had more in terms of attitude than the actual physical playing. "A day like that is always going to be a great day for the defense, all riled up and excited. You can just see everybody is playing comfortable out there and everybody is excited and relentless. It is fun being out there with these guys."

Gundy has said at times during fall camp, perhaps joking, that he is rooting for the defense. It really is no joke. The offense has confidence and it can easily be fixed after a bad practice. The defense needs to build physically and emotionally. So, yes, Gundy is rooting for the defense.

"I'm picking the defense and I'm glad they are performing well and developing some confidence and enjoying being around each other," said Gundy. "Success breeds success and the more success they have the more they feel comfortable with each other out on the field and communicating.

"They'll play well this season and they'll get better. I don't think there is any question that we are faster and we have more depth and I would think that would attribute to more success on that side of the ball."

More success on defense, I don't have to tell you what that would mean, easily more wins. It could account to as many as two or three more wins this season depending on how much better the defense could be.

Now the offense also had a good day, and according to co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer the offense is developing its personality.

"I think with what Coach Wickline has been able to develop with a little depth up front and our mentality to run the ball, obviously big plays will come from play action," said Brewer. "I think we'll be able to line up and get some positive yardage with having as many weapons as we have and then with the ability to throw it out on the perimeter and make the defense stretch side to side our big plays will come with patience and being able to run the ball. That will be kind of our personality."

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