Actor Denzel Washington had a simple statement for the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.
“You heard it right here, the time is now,” said Washington, the Academy Award-winning actor. “That’s the motto for this year. The time is now.”
The Hollywood star stopped by training camp for the second consecutive season, along with his son John David Washington, and reiterated his allegiance to the team. He listed players from his fandom heyday such as Bob Hayes, Roger Staubach, Randy White and Robert Newhouse.
Washington delivered an inspirational speech to the team after practice, too, and clearly left his mark.
Star receiver Dez Bryant sounded like anyone who would have met a movie star, gushing about his encounter with Washington.
“For me, this is extremely amazing,” Bryant said. “I come from a small town [in Lufkin]. The feeling I’m feeling is, ‘Damn, I can’t believe this is Denzel Washington.’ I can’t wait to tell my mom. I can’t wait to show her. This is a feeling I’ll never forget.”
Washington’s message to the team centered on creating good habits. He told the players if they practice bad habits, then they’ll become good at bad habits.
The speech reminded a few players of Washington’s role as coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans.
“He sounded like it right there when he was talking to us,” wide receiver Brice Butler said. “It was cool. I mean, that was tight.”
Coach Jason Garrett always likes having influential outside voices talk to the team such as Washington. He feels it serves the team well and certainly would have approved of Washington’s message on creating good habits.
As Bryant recalled from Washington’s message, “If you’re not listening to your coach, you’re going to create bad habits. I think that was a good message he spoke to us. I just think that was something that we needed.”
Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson was back at Cowboys training camp Saturday after missing a couple of days due to an infected ulcer on the bottom of his right foot.
“I had an ulcer on the bottom of my foot that I let go too long and get infected,” Wilson said. “I had to go to the hospital and get some antibiotics for a few days.”
Wilson went to a local hospital in Oxnard for treatment and returned wearing a walking boot on his right foot.
“I have to take it easy,” Wilson said. “I can’t really exercise because it’s an open wound. I have to wear this protective boot for about a week and continue some oral medication.”
Wilson said he heard a lot of rumors about his whereabouts and joked that the private workout he conducted with free-agent quarterback Michael Vick went “so so.”
Crawford on mend
Garrett is hopeful that several injured defensive linemen continue to make progress and return to the field soon.
Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford (back) may be able to return early next week, Garrett said. Benson Mayowa (knee) and Maliek Collins (foot) are making progress from off-season surgeries.
“They’re all getting better,” Garrett said. “They’re all rehabbing and doing what they’re supposed to do and making progress. Excited to get those guys back. Again, the reps are valuable. They’re valuable for everybody. But, at the same time, you want to make sure they’re ready for those reps and opportunities.”
Garrett kept on track of giving “veterans” day off to a few players. Doug Free, Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick sat out Saturday.