In sports, how cheap is talk? Ask Jose Canseco, prepping to write a second book, meaning he'll have written twice as many as he's read. Ask Donald Rumsfeld, who swears there was no Pat Tillman coverup, and except for a million of ‘em, I have no reason to disbelieve him. Ask that Beckham character, for whom this U.S. debut stuff is working out bloody nicely, don't you think, gov'ner?
It's a little different in an NFL training camp, though. With the Cowboys, for instance, talk right around this time is the result of anger and frustration and passion and the overwhelming desire to friggin' hit somebody.
Check out a travelogue grouping of Cowboys-related, emotionally-charged weekend talk. … none of which was "cheap'':
IN SAN ANTONIO: Tight end Jason Witten relayed the story of O-coordinator Jason Garrett going before the team and giving a speech about Michael Irvin.
"Because he was with Michael (as a player) for seven or eight years, he was the right guy to explain the hard work that goes into a career like Michael's,'' Witten said. "It was really an inspiration. We took a lot from it, because we're a family, an extended family, and Michael is obviously an important part of that.''
Jason Witten and Jason Garrett using Irvin as a motivational tool? Nothing cheap about that talk.
MEANWHILE IN CANTON: Irvin was still basking from the glow from a Hall-of-Fame acceptance speech that historians are terming one of the greatest ever. On another day, I'll tell you about the corporate world's immediate reaction to Irvin's presentation later (suffice to say that was a million-dollar speech). For now, no one is questioning Irvin's sincerity. And he's suddenly become one of the great Cowboys figureheads of all-time.
Irvin as Icon? Irvin becoming Staubachian? Landryish, even? Nothing cheap about that talk.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN SAN ANTONIO: A couple of the fellas showed up late for a special-teams drill over the weekend. And Wade "Family Guy'' Phillips demonstrated a great truth about himself: He's like your favorite uncle in that he's fun to go fishin' with – and he's also capable of cutting down a switch and whippin' your butt. Wade dog-cussed some of the fellas. Then the offenders were made to stand in front of their teammates to explain their error. Then some veterans felt obliged to pull all the guys together – and one of those lead horses was none other than Terrell Owens.
T.O. being allowed a leadership role? I've been pushing for that since he's been in Dallas. (How better than to challenge a guy who won't "follow'' than to let him think he's in charge? How better to get a goofball to respect himself than to put him in a position of respect?)
Nothing cheap about that talk.
AND MEANWHILE, OUT IN SAN FRANCISCO: Call it a peripheral tie-in, but could it only be coincidence that on a weekend featuring all sorts of emotional Cowboys talk, The Quietest Cowboy – Dallasite-turned-49er Larry Allen – suddenly got mouthy?
LA, mentioned in Irvin's speech as arguably the greatest O-lineman ever, engaged in a practice battle with 49ers teammate Vernon Davis. The men had to be pulled apart, but blows being exchanged aren't a story with Larry. … the fact that WORDS were exchanged is what is notable.
So all across the vast Cowboys Nation, emotional Cowboys talked. Jason Garrett and Jason Witten talked about work ethic. Wade Phillips and Terrell Owens talked about leadership. Michael Irvin talked about everything. … and everyone talked about Michael Irvin. And Larry Allen, maybe feeling some osmosis-like vibe, talked, period.
As they wait to actually hit somebody in something resembling a real game, Cowboys talk is bullish. Cowboys talk is valuable. Cowboys talk isn't cheap.
Emotional Cowboys Talk Ain't Cheap
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