Found September 20, 2012 on
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers
The heroics didn't need embellishing.
When starting center Phil Costa suffered a back injury in the second quarter of the regular-season opener against the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys were forced into using a replacement whose arrival was so fresh he hadn't even snapped a dozen times to quarterback Tony Romo in practice.
Despite those difficult circumstances, Ryan Cook made a seamless transition in helping Dallas post a 24-17 upset. Cook, though, said what he did wasn't nearly as impressive as some Cowboys fans may have been led to believe.
"There's this misconception out there that I'd never played center before, and this guy just hops in and does OK," Cook told FOXSports.com after Wednesday's practice.
"In college, I was a center for five years. I'd only started one (NFL) game at center, but I played a tremendous amount in practice in Miami and even Minnesota as well. I'd rotate in and take reps."
Cook's versatility motivated Dallas to swing a trade with Miami at the end of the preseason to acquire the seven-year veteran for a 2013 seventh-round pick. The move proved fortunate for a Cowboys squad that was lacking interior-line depth. Cook remains with the first-team offense as Costa recovers. Cook, 29, hopes to parlay this opportunity into bigger things.
"I'm trying to be an elite player," Cook said.
To achieve that and become a regular NFL starter again like he was for 40 games at right tackle from 2006 to 2010 with the Vikings, Cook must consistently prove he can handle the NFL's top interior defensive linemen. The next test comes Sunday against Tampa Bay's Roy Miller, who is making a name for himself on an aggressive young defense in his fourth NFL season.
"His assignment is to choke the heck out of the center," Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recently said of Miller. "He does it better than anybody I've seen in a long time."
Giants right guard Chris Snee described Miller, 6-foot-2, 315 pounds, as "a load" before last Sunday's game against the Bucs. Snee wasn't kidding. New York won, 41-34, but was limited to 94 rushing yards after losing running back Ahmad Bradshaw to a neck injury. Tampa Bay was even more dominant the previous week when holding Carolina to 13 yards on 10 carries.
Miller's presence often helps keep Tampa Bay's linebackers clean from blocking. He also creates opportunities for McCoy, who is quicker and more of a disruptive force in the backfield.
"He's a big guy and he's fast," Cook said of Miller. "They move a lot up front. As an offensive line, we have to be prepared for that.
"The linebackers are real fast-flow type of guys, If the defensive line eats up double teams and the linebackers fill the holes, they can make plays."
At 6-6 and 325 pounds, Cook is the NFL's biggest center. Because of his size and athleticism, the Vikings were convinced Cook could make the transition to right tackle. They picked the University of New Mexico product in the second round of the 2006 draft ahead of current NFL starters like Andrew Whitworth, Eric Winston and Jeromey Clary.
The Vikings later decided that Cook wasn't the answer and drafted Phil Loadholt in 2009. Cook, though, is grateful for his five seasons in Minnesota and the lessons he learned from standout veteran linemen like Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson.
"Was I particularly ready at that time to be an offensive tackle? Probably not," Cook said. "I hadn't had a lot of technical work, and there were a lot of things I think I needed in order to make that transition. But it was a great experience for me. It helped me learn more assignments, techniques and other things that only help when you're moving inward (on the offensive line)."
Now that he's shifted inward, Cook hopes his NFL stock is heading upward once again as he bonds with Romo and his fellow Cowboys offensive linemen.
"A lot of teams run the same types of plays, but they're all called different things," he said. "That's the biggest challenge -- learning the different terminology and being able to communicate that so they understand what you're saying.
"I'm working to build continuity with these guys. We're getting used to each other."
If such efforts pay dividends, the Cowboys may very well get used to Cook sticking in the starting lineup.
BEST OF MAXIM
The year was 2008. The Cowboys had finished the previous season at 13-3 but lost the Giants in the playoffs. Nevertheless, many had the Cowboys pegged as a Super Bowl contender.
The team needed a receiver, though, given that Terry Glenn had played his final game. The other receivers were a 29-year-old Patrick Crayton and a 35-year-old Terrell Owens. Miles Austin wouldn’t break...
IRVING, Texas-- For many rookies, their first season in the NFL is all about getting adjusted to the rigors of day-to-day life in the league, whether it's work days that often start before 7 AM and end about 10 hours later, the fact that football is now a job or other aspects of life as a rookie, year one is all one big acclimation process for rookies.
However, for second-year...
IRVING Jason Garrett said Wednesday that Felix Jones will continue to return kickoffs for the Cowboys.
Despite Jones fumbling the opening kickoff last Sunday in Seattle and showcasing little ability to make defenders miss, the Cowboys coach defended his primary kick returner on Wednesday.
"Felix has been such a good player for us," Garrett said. "He's coming...
The Dallas Cowboys floundered in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks leaving many fantasy owners disgruntled and even a bit confused. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten had shaky hands, the ground game was ineffective and Tony Romo wasn’t in sync all night long.
Don’t worry, fantasy owners should expect a huge turnaround in Week 3 when Dallas takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers...
With Felix Jones struggling to hold on to the football during the Cowboys’ loss on Sunday, head coach Jason Garrett made it clear that taking care of the football is very important.
“Line 1 in returning the football in the NFL for me is ball security,” Garrett said.
Garrett admits they’re always looking for other guys to step up and return kicks.
“Well, we’re always looking...
This guy is really upset, I mean REALLY upset, at the Cowboys. After their 27-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks last week, this guy felt the need to express his anger at the Cowboys via YouTube.
I knew I was going to like this video by the 0:12 mark. A few updates from the Cowboys you guys need to be made aware of:
The Cowboys took a big **** on their logo above this guy’s couch,...
After their opening-game win over the Giants, the Cowboys could boast about some nice offensive and defensive statistics. One week and a poor showing later, and the Cowboys’ stats are not looking so gaudy.
Dallas fell to #11 in total offense, averaging 364.5 over two games. In 2011, the Cowboys finished the season ranked #11 with an average of 375.5 yards per game. Those numbers...
(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have had to go a long way to score their touchdowns this season.
Their four touchdown drives have averaged 78 yards, including a 95-yarder for their only score in the last game.
''You have to do a lot of things right to go 80 yards, 60 yards, whatever,'' Romo said Thursday. ''When you have...
IRVING People in both the Seattle and Dallas organizations have been informed that the vicious and illegal crackback block administered to Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate will result in a 21,000 fine to Tate, sources say.
In reviewing the play from Sunday's 27-7 Seahawks win, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said to the media, "I'm sure they will...
I’m available for parties too Juan…
I’m ready for Dez Bryant to live up to the hype. Yes, the guy is a freak of nature that should be unstoppable in the Cowboys passing game. The problem is his lack of consistency and his Houdini act he pulls in games. Will this be the year he breaks out? The jury is still out.
More Gronk And Bibi
Demaryius Thomas Is Fan Friendly
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is ready to move on from the
flattening block he took from Seattle receiver Golden Tate, who has
apparently been fined by the NFL.
A parking lot brawl broke out between fans of the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks, after the Seahawks walloped the Cowboys 27-7 on Sunday.
Here's video (via The Big Lead) of the fight between a bunch of drunken idiots:
Get the latest Thigh updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter.
Each time they head to the practice field, Dallas Cowboys players pass motivational messages posted outside the locker room.
One poster stresses three characteristics that head coach Jason Garrett wants to see from his squad: Passion, emotion and enthusiasm.
Garrett should consider adding a fourth word to the list.
Dallas continues to display none heading into Sunday...