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May 25, 2010

Practice makes it closer to perfect

The Cowboys have four Organized Training Activities [OTAs] scheduled. Each last three days and they’re in their second session right now. The next two will be June 1-3, then June 8-10. All of these practices are optional, but the minicamp on June 11-13 is mandatory.

 Those 15 days of work are primarily for conditioning, repetition and technique and they have proven to be invaluable. Perhaps the best example is Tony Romo. When he was inserted into the lineup in 2006, he started 10 games and had 13 interceptions. The next two seasons, he had 19 and 14 interceptions, respectively.

But during the last offseason, he worked on technique and his goal during the OTAs, minicamp and training camp was to cut back on those interceptions and make fewer mistakes.

And that’s what he did. He had a career low nine interceptions.

“Start with our quarterback last year and the techniques he worked on in the offseason at this time of year, things that carried him into a better season and playing better,” Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said, “where to throw the ball, how to throw it, when to throw it. Some of those things are instinctive, some of them we worked on a lot. But the techniques of setting up, the timing of the routes, those kind of things, all come at this time of year. We’re really working hard on that kind of stuff.”

Obviously there were dividends last season. And that possibility is what this part of the year is all about.

-- Jan Hubbard

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