ARLINGTON, Texas – Only days removed from their first mini-camp, the Dallas Cowboys rookies got to work helping out the Metroplex community with an NFL Play 60 event administering Fitnessgram, which was recently adopted as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program’s national test. All of the members of the Dallas Cowboys Rookies Club, a yearly outreach initiative from the club and UnitedHealthcare to introduce the team’s newest members to the significance of community outreach, were on hand at Pantego Christian Academy running various physical fitness drills while wearing Cowboys jerseys.
“I’m ready to put on a real uniform,” defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence smiled.
The rookies will get their chance during the organized team activities in the coming weeks, and top draft picks Zack Martin, first round offensive tackle out of Notre Dame, and DeMarcus Lawrence, second round defensive end from Boise State who Dallas traded their second and third to snag, both recognize the Cowboys’ existing talent.
“We got a good group of football players here in Dallas,” Lawrence said. “Some of the best have taken me in and shown me a real nice time, helped me out with my plays, and everything I need to do to fit in.”
Those that have taken in Lawrence thus far are defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford.
Zack Martin has respect for left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick, referring to them as “great players.” Even they, along with the rest of the offensive line, have welcomed the rookie tackle, which he has found most helpful.
“The best part of being down here so far is that O-Line group and that O-Line room have been very helpful, very smart guys who have helped me out the first couple of weeks.”
Perhaps the best compliment laid upon a Dallas Cowboy rookie comes from All Pro tight end Jason Witten, who said over the weekend that picking Martin “speaks volumes” of where the team is headed.
“It’s a huge compliment,” Martin replied. “I know we want to control the line of scrimmage. You know, when we were winning in the ’90s, that’s what they did: they controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. You can tell they are invested in that, and it’s good to be a part of it.”
Martin feels extremely confident in the cerebral side of the Dallas Cowboys’ operation. The plays called at Notre Dame translate well here in Dallas.
As for Lawrence, not only is he thankful to work at defensive end as opposed to converting to outside linebacker, but he is also thankful to work with new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who also still has his influence in the defensive line instruction.
“He’s the guru. If I can stay with him for a long time, I will be one of the smartest football players ever.”
For more information on NFL Play 60 and its Fitnessgram partnership, visit http://www.nflplay60fitnessgram.com/