Cotton Bowl Notebook: Monday

Notes and quotes from Dallas as Oklahoma State prepares for the 2010 Cotton Bowl.

The Cowboys went through a two-hour, 20-minute practice Monday afternoon in Cowboys Stadium that was rather uneventful. NFL highlights played overhead on the huge video boards but the Cowboys are becoming much more adjusted to being in the stadium and some of the "wow" factor has been lost. It is still very impressive.

Quarterback Zac Robinson was asked which players he thought would be most likely to look up at the 60-yard long boards to see their image on the screen. Robinson listed wide receiver Hubert Anyiam, defensive lineman Nigel Nicholas, and then he spied his winner.

"Oh, it would be Keith Toston. Definitely Keith Toston," said Robinson. "I don't know how he would do it while he is running, but he would definitely catch himself on the replay."

Senior star linebacker Andre Sexton envisioned a different purpose for the boards.

"I was joking with the guys earlier that in the game if you get a bad call you should grab the official's arm and point up and say, 'look at the replay, look at the replay,'" laughed Sexton. "I'm sure I would get another flag if I did something like that. It would be funny and I'm sure that is something that you might get away with in the pros but then get fined or something like that."

The Cowboy Radio Network's John Holcomb said at least they can't take any of your money. "I don't have any per diem to give, that is really true," answered Sexton.

The Cowboys practice was smooth and the real heavy work days are ahead with Tuesday and Wednesday practices in full pads.

The team had a good meal at the Hyatt Regency on Monday night, and then headed out to the Main Event indoor amusement center in Grapevine for some fun activities with everything from laser tag to bowling to monster interactive and virtual reality video games.

One subject that had the Cowboys buzzing, especially the coaches late this afternoon, was the suspension of Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach from the Alamo Bowl for his treatment of the son of Craig James, an ESPN and ABC commentator and former SMU All-American running back. The stories have Leach and Tech medical staff having wide receiver Adam James being placed and even locked in a dark storage closet and also an electrical closet after being diagnosed with a slight concussion. James told his parents of the incident and they reportedly complained to Texas Tech officials.

The OSU coaches were buzzing on that one as I'm sure were all coaches throughout the college football community.

One Oklahoma State coach that is really geeked about playing in the Cotton Bowl especially this year is Oklahoma State tight ends coach and passing game coordinator Doug Meacham. The Arlington, Texas native that played his high school ball right down the road at Arlington High before coming to Stillwater and starting at offensive guard for Pat Jones' Cowboys team in the early 1980s.

Meacham has been able to share the trip with his family, wife Kendall and daughter Peyton and sons Cole and Brooks. Meacham also recruits the Arlington and Fort Worth areas of the Metroplex so this bowl stop is huge for his recruiting prospects in the future.

Gil Brandt's scouting expertise helped build the Dallas Cowboys into one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. He stopped by the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic's media headquarters Monday and offered his choices as the top three NFL prospects playing in this year's game, with his comments.

1. Russell Okung, Oklahoma State OL - "He's a size guy that's got really good feet and has been well-coached. I think he's going to be a top pick. Ironically, I don't think he's as good as [former Ole Miss lineman Michael] Oher, but I think he will be drafted higher." (Note: Oher was drafted 23rd overall by the Ravens last spring).

2. Greg Hardy, Ole Miss DE - "When he's healthy and wants to play, he's a pretty good football player."

3. Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State CB - 'He's short (Cox is listed at 6-0) but he plays a lot taller."

And one bonus scouting report from Brandt: "I think the real sleeper in this game is the Oklahoma State quarterback, Zac Robinson. I think he's the kind of guy you're going to take and develop. He's a lot like [Dolphins QB] Chad Henne. He's a smart guy and he moves around well."

Ole Miss got the first crack at the steak and prime rib at a Cotton Bowl tradition in Lawry's Beef Bowl on Sunday evening. The Cowboys will eat at Lawry's on Tuesday evening before the option of going to the Dallas Star vs. Chicago Black Hawks hockey game at the American Airlines Center.

Back in the old days the Lawry's Beef Bowl featured a team of linemen off each team seeing how many pounds of steak and prime rib they could eat and it was a competition. At the encouragement of coaches the competition portion of the Beef Bowl was discontinued.

"I did a lot of damage," Ole Miss offensive lineman John Jerry said. "I ate two-and-a-half [cuts of prime rib]."

Center Daverin Geralds said he was working on a second slice when he hit his limit. "I did my share," Geralds said. "It was big time. The hospitality was awesome. The food was awesome."

Oklahoma State will take its turn dining at Lawry's on Tuesday night. The Beef Bowl is a tradition unique to the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and the Rose Bowl.

But both Jerry and Geralds agreed that if anyone held the team record for the most prime rib eaten, it would be fellow lineman Brandon Green. "I don't know how much he ate," Geralds said, "but Brandon, he puts away some food."

Besides the trip to Lawrys and the optional hockey game on Tuesday, Oklahoma State also has a morning visit to the Texas Scottish Rite Children's Hospital.

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