Truth vs. fiction

The Dallas Cowboys' training camp officially opened Friday with the annual "state of the team" address by owner Jerry Jones and head coach Wade Phillips.

Friday's event, like must such events, was a theatrical presentation more than an actual distribution of information. But mixed in between the double-talk and the coach-speak were a few nuggets that — if exposed by enough digging — contain actual information.

Jerry Jones: "We're celebrating Emmitt's (Smith) Hall of Fame induction going up to Canton (Ohio), and it'll be a nice break."

Translation: "We already had a split training camp, and we'll get in trouble if we complain about the NFL adding a third leg to our travel itinerary, so we're going to claim excitement."

Wade Phillips: "In every position, you want players to be able to compete and feel like they have chance to play. I've said all along at any position we want to play the best players."

Translation: "Welcome to the starting lineup, Dez Bryant."

Jerry Jones: "My perspective, and just observing our staff and players and everybody involved and my own feelings is there's just not a whole lot of things not to like about the upcoming season today."

Translation: "I expect to play a home game in February."

Wade Phillips: "I think it's great for your football team. It puts their focus on what is expected and it's like being in school. What you're expected to do is come home with a good report card but it better be what you expected. So it's the same thing here. There is pressure to do well, and any time you have pressure to do well, I think you do better."

Translation: "Yes, I heard Jerry say he expects to play in the Super Bowl. Pass me a handkerchief … I'm sweating."

Wade Phillips: "I think it's important because this team draws from the past. We want to build on the great winning tradition here and I think that helps your players and your team. But we want to draw on the good things from last year and fix the things we didn't do well. And what we didn't do well was keep going and that's what we would like to do this year but you start all over with a new team and a different schedule and a whole different year."

Translation: "There's no guarantee that we'll make the Super Bowl."

Jerry Jones: "I think the aura and excitement around North Texas and how many thousands of people that are going to be involved in the Super Bowl effort, that has a positive way in sports and it's going to show a real plus relative to helping have North Texas work together. At the center of that is football, and that's the NFL and that's the Super Bowl. All of this is, to me, motivational to the team and the coaches. Especially the veterans. If you're a veteran coach or a veteran player on the Dallas Cowboys, you've gotten used to the things apart from the next play being called that are going to be talked about."

Translation: [Ed: We don't know, either.]

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