SAN ANTONIO -- The topic of discussion during Wednesday's news conference with Wade Phillips was a discussion he held with the young players in the early stages of the morning practice.
Phillips had given most of the veterans the morning off because the coaching staff and scouts wanted to see how the young players performed with increased snaps.
But things didn't go so well, as offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, linebackers coach Reggie Herring and Phillips himself were irked by some mental and physical mistakes.
"Reiterated what I wanted to do, and they're going to do it," Phillips said. "You try and let them know when you’re not happy about things, and I think that’s the difference between a holler and screamer. I think they know when I'm not happy with something and hopefully they respond to it, and I think they do."
Phillips doesn't use much profanity, and none was heard when he gathered the players at midfield for a little talk. In 2007, Phillips' first year as coach, he used profanity to address the players who were late to a special teams meeting.
*There is some concern at defensive line. The Cowboys have 10 defensive linemen on the 80-man roster, but only six are healthy. Tackles Sean Lissemore and Josh Brent, are hurt and end Lorenzo Washington re-injured his hamstring and his status with the club is in doubt.
*Running back Felix Jones didn't miss Tuesday's second practice because his slightly swollen knee didn't bother him too much. "Felix was fine," Phillips said.
*Doug Free is the projected starter at left tackle, yet the club traded for Alex Barron in the offseason to get a swing tackle with experience. But Free is doing fine. Phillips said Free's confidence is growing with each practice and he just has to work on his consistency.
*Phillips got into a discussion regarding when to cut veteran players, or progress stoppers as Jerry Jones calls them, so young players can get more time on the field. Phillips said it's hard to do sometimes but you have to have "try and get the best players on the field." The Cowboys got into that situation in 2007 when they drafted Anthony Spencer as a potential replacement for Greg Ellis. Eventually it happened, and Spencer is one of the stars on the defense.