Cowboys notes: Special teams will get more special attention

The Dallas Cowboys are going to build more special teams work into the regular practice at training camp, and they could look to use starters more, coach Jason Garrett said. It’s part of the influence of new special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.

“Really deferred to him on that,” Garrett said. “If you’ve been around football, you’ve done it every single way possible. You can start with regular practice, do all your special teams before practice, some in the middle, some before, some after. Joe D liked doing it all before practice and then having a little segment in practice. So we’ve done it lots of different ways.”

Last year at training camp in California, the Cowboys had a 30-minute special teams period before the regular practice. The special teams players came out at 2:30 p.m., and the regular practice began at 3.

This year, the Cowboys pushed back the start of practice to 4 p.m. and will start with 15 minutes of special teams work.

“Everybody will be out there,” Garrett said. “It’ll be a 15-minute segment, and we’ll have some special teams segments within practice.”

Ware on Deacon

Even though DeMarcus Ware arrived in the world eight years after Deacon Jones played his last game, the Cowboys defensive end has a great appreciation for what Jones accomplished in his 14-year career with three teams.

“I think he’s the best ever,” Ware said Thursday.

Jones died Tuesday at 74. He is credited with 173.5 career sacks, though sacks did not become an official NFL statistic until 1982. Jones, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, finished his career in 1974.

Jones is credited for coining the phrase “sack.”

“That’s where it [sacks] started. It started with him,” Ware said. “Just being able to see his tenacity and how he played in the game, he’s really going to be missed.”

Ware met Jones at an NFL awards banquet in 2008, and the two formed a mutual admiration society. Former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan later showed Ware video of Jones.

“I think [Ware] is potentially one of the great football players to come around in a long time,” Jones told the Star-Telegram in 2009.

Charity hoops

Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant and wide receiver Jesse Holley, along with Denver Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller, will participate in the Dessie Brown Celebrity basketball game at Greenville High School on Saturday.

Durant’s involvement didn’t come through the Cowboys community relations department but via outreach through his own marketing team. He credits his mother for helping him realize the importance of getting involved in the community and giving back.

“She brought me back to what she raised me to be. She is real big in the community,” Durant said. “She loves to help people out. I’m trying to do the same.”

The celebrity game, which benefits the Billy and Eddie Stiggers Scholarship fund for Greenville High School seniors, begins at 5 p.m.

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Staff writers Clarence E. Hill Jr. and Charean Williams contributed to this report.

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