There are stories in NFL folklore of players and coaches doing odd things in pregame rituals.
The Dallas Cowboys, at least during this epic season, appear to be on the more normal side of those tall tales.
On the whole, players are easygoing when it comes to getting ready to play on Sundays.
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Linebacker Justin Durant said there are just a couple of quirky things he does.
“When I run out on the field, I just like to get out there and do some little spins around the pylons,” he said. “But other than that, none of us really do a lot or even the same thing every week.”
When I run out on the field, I just like to get out there and do some little spins around the pylons.
Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant
From linemen, to receivers, to running back and quarterbacks, each player seems to have a different formula with the consistent idea of not getting too ramped up on game days.
Wide receiver Cole Beasley likes to soak in the hot tub in the morning. Terrance Williams spends the first part of the day laughing it out with Lucky Whitehead. Morris Claiborne spends some moments reflecting spiritually.
The most common thing for all of them, though, is music.
Almost every player likes his tunes, both privately and as a group prior to game time.
“On the way to the stadium, I don’t listen to any ‘turn up’ music — that’s what we call it. For me it’s more R&B and jazz,” Cowboys practice-squad lineman Kadeem Edwards said. “I don’t have a favorite artist or anything, I usually just put it on Pandora and let it play.”
Left guard Ron Leary is also about relaxing, starting with a full dose of the television show Law & Order.
“It’s my favorite show,” he said. “For me, I feel like I’ve done my work getting ready to play and it’s more important to take my mind off of it after that and just step out there and play on game day.”
It’s my favorite show. For me, I feel like I’ve done my work getting ready to play and it’s more important to take my mind off of ... .
Cowboys guard Ron Leary, on watching “Law & Order” to relax before a game
But once the uniform is on and it’s closer to game time, the music starts to flow.
“I just put my playlist on shuffle,” Leary said. “I go from rock to rap to hip-hop, not too much slow music, but just whatever it plays.”
You’ll find Beasley usually stretching with quarterback Dak Prescott, but the former SMU receiver said he hasn’t changed much of his routine from college to the NFL.
“I’m pretty laid back actually,” Beasley said. “I try to save as much energy as possible and kind of do the least amount, except that I pretty much get into the hot tub every game I can.
“Whatever I’m doing that day, I know I need to think about getting my body right, so that’s No. 1 for me, and then on the music side, I’ll listen to everything from metal to rap. I’ll listen to Killswitch Engage and then I listen to a lot of Dr. Dre 2001.”
For defensive lineman Jack Crawford, the routine starts with the music.
“It’s about getting your mind right,” Crawford said. “I listen to different stuff every week, mostly hip-hop and electronic, maybe some Kid Cudi.”
Veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez said the routine definitely changes from college to the NFL.
We wait on Dez to get here and then we go over everything we worked on throughout the week. But then we go out and just goof off, run some fades and throw the ball around.
Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams
“When you’re in college, you’re limber enough to go out there and throw 500 pregame passes and wave at folks in the crowd,” Sanchez said. “But as you get older, you limit that to maybe 50 throws and just whatever gets you into the game, but not into it tired.
“You know Dak goes out there, he does a lot in pregame, but he’s a rookie and that’ll change over time. In your first year, you’re still trying to figure it out, but it’s just what works for each player.”
For Williams, he’s grown fond of his pregame time with Whitehead and Dez Bryant.
“We wait on Dez to get here and then we go over everything we worked on throughout the week,” Williams said. “But then we go out and just goof off, run some fades and throw the ball around.”