Rookie ritual returns to Cowboys training camp
It’d be too harsh to call it rookie hazing, since running back Jamize Olawale certainly didn’t seem to mind carry Felix Jones' and DeMarco Murray's pads.
“It's part of the game and part of being a rookie,” said Olawale, an undrafted free agent who was a little-used wide receiver at North Texas. “I take it in stride.”
Nevertheless, it’s a noteworthy sight because this is the first time the decades-old NFL ritual has been seen in a Cowboys camp since Dez Bryant refused to carry Roy Williams' pads a couple of summers ago. That incident, involving two of the Cowboys’ biggest lightning rods, turned into quite a media firestorm.
Former coach Wade Phillips responded by announcing that his team would no longer take part in the longtime tradition.
During his first camp as a head coach a year ago, Jason Garrett declared that initiation rites that demeaned rookies were forbidden for his team. Garrett said he didn’t mind “harmless things,” but no rookies carried shoulder pads in last year’s camp, and the team’s tradition of veteran offensive linemen giving their rookie counterparts ridiculous haircuts ended.
The tradition of rookies singing songs in front of the team has continued for the Cowboys. Olawale said he sang “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song for the team.
And, in Olawale’s case, carrying a couple of extra pairs of shoulder pads was about as harmless as it can get.
“I saw Felix do it, so I said, ‘Hey, go ahead and take mine, too,’” Murray said. “I’m a little tired today, but they’re doing a great job for us. … He just took ‘em. He’s a good guy, a good young guy.”
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he took away from the Dallas Cowboys' rookie minicamp.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Galloway & Company to discuss the latest news from the Cowboys' rookie minicamp.
Play Podcast With the Cowboys opening rookie minicamp, Galloway and Mosley discuss the incoming rookie class and who will make the biggest impact.