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December 15, 2013

Wilcox says new wrinkles for Cowboys defense helped spice up 'dead' practice week

The Cowboys added some wrinkles to the defense, spicing up a “dead” practice week, safety J.J. Wilcox said.

“We did a lot of stuff. We changed up, made it a little more creative, fun,” he said. “Just bringing the life back. It was dead the first couple of days. Coach Garrett does a great job with this team, and do does the staff, with pepping us up, getting us prepared, getting us back the winning edge again.”

The Cowboys’ defense is on track to get better not only because of the scheme tweaks, but also because everyone is trying to make individual improvements, Wilcox said.

“I think it’s more individual,” he said. “I don’t worry about what somebody else does. I know what I’ve got to do and try to fulfill my assignments to the best of my abilities. If I can improve my best, I think it overall will help my team.”

Wilcox said everyone feels the pressure to perform over the last three games, knowing a division championship is possible.

“The clock is ticking, man,” he said. “It’s coming around to the time of the season when it’s win or go home. That’s the kind of vibe we’re getting from the veterans, and feel the pressure. It’s time to win, and they deserve to win.”

Wilcox has not regained much of the playing time he lost to Jeff Heath after going out with an injury at Philadelphia in Week 7 and missing three games. But he is back to playing, and he has not let his playing time or the dispiriting loss to Chicago affect him.

“You have to look at where you at and where you come from,” he said. “That can always be a positive motivation. You can be anywhere else, working anywhere else, but you’re here playing for the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most famous franchises in the NFL. That’s your motivation to come in and work every day.

“I’m a very prideful person myself. I love to win. Coming from a winning organization at Georgia Southern, it’s used to winning. The Dallas Cowboys are, too. I feel the sense of urgency around here.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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