Welker grew up a Cowboys fan

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
1:39
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Growing up in Oklahoma City, receiver Wes Welker's favorite team was the Dallas Cowboys. On Friday, he reflected on cheering for the likes of Troy Aikman (who will broadcast Sunday's game between the Patriots and Cowboys), Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and others.

"I was definitely a big fan," he relayed.

When asked if he would get nervous seeing the Cowboys in their navy blue uniforms, which some have called a jinx, he responded with a joke.

"Not so much. I was more concerned when d-linemen were trying to handle the ball," the witty Welker cracked.

Welker was referring to the unforgettable 1993 Thanksgiving game between the Cowboys and Dolphins played in snowy conditions, when defensive lineman Leon Lett attempted to pick up a blocked field goal at the end of the game but slipped on ice. The Dolphins recovered, giving them a second chance to kick a field goal and win the game.

"That was a little discouraging at the time," Welker said.

Lett also had the infamous return on a fumble recovery in Super Bowl XXVII, in which he was caught by the Bills' Don Beebe after slowing down while approaching the end zone. Lett stretched the ball out, but Beebe punched it out and it went through the end zone for a touchback instead of a touchdown.

To Welker, that one wasn't as painful because the Cowboys had the game in hand.

As for Sunday's game between the Patriots and Cowboys, Welker touched on the similarities between what the Patriots saw last week from Rex Ryan's Jets defense and what he's studied this week from Rob Ryan's Cowboys defense.

"I think they play a lot more coverage in a lot of situations than the Jets did. A little more zone," Welker detailed. "They change it up quite a bit and do a good job of mixing it up on you. You have to be ready for everything.”

As for the Cowboys receivers, Welker said, "They’re obviously big guys, fast guys, and they can really go up and get the ball. They make a lot of plays out there. I think it’s evident every week, if you watch SportsCenter, they’re going to make some big plays. As an offense, we have to make sure we’re coming back and trying to put points on the board."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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