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Monday, October 4, 2010
Cowboys with inspired practices for Titans

By Calvin Watkins

IRVING, Texas -- After a three-day weekend, the Cowboys returned to Valley Ranch on Monday and conducted a spirited practice.

It was something coach Wade Phillips was looking for, especially after the team saved its season with a Week 3 victory over the Houston Texans.

"I think the players with the time off, mentally, come back a little stronger and we got to utilize that," Phillips said. "We want to still draw from the momentum we had from the last ball game but it's still about how you approach things, and I think today's practice was spirited."

The week off gave the Cowboys time to work on the Tennessee Titans, their opponent for Sunday.

Stopping the run is important in this game with Chris Johnson running around.

He was shut down by Denver on Sunday, for 53 yards on 18 carries, yet he's a dangerous threat.

Dallas has the eighth-best rushing defense in the league and is one of 11 teams that isn't giving up more than 100 yards per game and is one of only two teams (Cleveland being the other) that hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown.

In practice, Tashard Choice will simulate Johnson, though Teddy Williams, the rookie corner, is probably the only player who can match his speed.

"They have the running back that rushed for over 1,000 yards," Phillips said. "The quarterback [Vince Young] really played well this last game, I thought. They could easily be 4-0. We know that they have a good football team, but really it’s about us getting ready to play. That’s the most important thing."