Dallas Cowboys: Earl Campbell

Concussion makes Marcus Spears think

August, 8, 2012
OXNARD, Calif. -- Marcus Spears is 29 and entering his eighth season in the NFL. He has been playing football for most of his life, and he knows there will come a day when he will not play again.

Spears has missed the last few days of training camp after suffering a hit that led to concussion-like symptoms. In recent years the NFL has adopted a stringent return-to-work policy with baseline testing, and Spears took the test Tuesday.

With an off day today, the hope is that he is close to returning to the field.

“In college I’d bang my head, get cross eyed and you shake your head and you’re back in the game,” Spears said. “As a player, you know something could be long term and something that gets you in trouble.”

Spears admits it is difficult at times to see former players handle life with debilitating injuries.

“I saw Earl Campbell before and I was like, 'Wow' with the way he struggled walking,” Spears said. “(Jack) Tatum from the Raiders, knee replacements and stuff like that. That’s the game we play. What has happened over the years, they have made it more of an issue. They’ve brought it up more so guys know what to do to prepare for that situation later. There’s so much you can do for your body to help you kind of fight those things so they don’t catch up to you when you’re 40, 50 years old.”
Let's be clear about this now, the Cowboys are not drafting a quarterback this year.

Jerry Jones said so.

However, the Cowboys like most NFL teams have watched Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. They had several scouts at Florida's Pro Day to watch that new throwing motion of Tebow's.

The Cowboys like Tebow, as they do a lot of players, but not enough to draft him.

"What a tremendous career he had in college," Wade Phillips said. "How that transfers to the NFL we don’t know yet, but if the intangibles mean anything he could have a good career because as a college guy one of the most intangibles that you can have, is certainly [being] a winner. He makes plays to win games so it will be interesting where he ends up."

Phillips noted how when he coached with his father, Bum, with the old Houston Oilers, there was another player many thought was overrated.

"I'm not predicting," Phillips said. "I was with Houston, and I don’t know if it was someone, but Jimmy the Greek said he's going to be a bust."

Who? Earl Campbell?

"Yeah, so I mean, I can't predict those things, if could I would be the draft guru," Phillips said. "You take the ones you know are going to be great players."