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Devastating Tornado On Mind Of Cowboys With Oklahoma Ties
IRVING, Texas – The tornado that stormed through Oklahoma hit a little closer to home for some Cowboys than others.
Dan Bailey, Joseph Randle and Dez Bryant went to Oklahoma State, while James Hanna and DeMarco Murray attended Oklahoma. Bailey grew up in Mustang, Okla., just 25 minutes from the town of Moore, which was particularly devastated by the tornado.
“I have a couple of contacts back there that I’m going to try to get some information from and see how I can help out any way I can,” Bailey said. “I can’t do much as far as going up there. I wish I could go up there, but I’m going to see what I can do, whether it’s financially, or just anything I can do to help.”
The Cowboys began their Organized Team Activities, requiring the entire team to gather for practices. Bailey said it’s tough to sit and watch what’s happening.
“It just breaks your heart because there’s just nothing you can do,” he said. “It’s out of everybody’s hands, and like I said, they’ve been through it before, so they know kind of how to deal with it. They’re going to do the best they can and I’m going to see what I can do to help them out.”
As much as Oklahoma residents realize the possibility of tornadoes, it doesn’t make the affects of the storms any easier to deal with.
Bailey’s had some close calls growing up in Oklahoma. His parents have a cellar they go into when a serious storm approaches, and he said he’s been in there two or three times.
“Luckily, we didn’t have any major damage, but it’s a scary feeling,” Bailey said. “Growing up there, you kind of get used to it. It’s kind of expected. You’re going to have tornadoes, but you’re never ready for something like that.”
Hanna feels just as uncomfortable about witnessing the results of the devastation. He went through a series of tornadoes when he was in Oklahoma, including one where roofs of houses in the neighborhood where his grandparents grew up were ripped off.
While that was intense, he said it doesn’t compare to the severity of Monday’s tornado.
“There’s quite a bit of uncertainty about it, which is unsettling,” Hanna said. “I’ve got a job to do here, so I try to be in the moment when I’m doing this, but it’s definitely on my mind pretty heavy.”
The anticipated starting and backup running backs, Murray and Randle, respectively, both went to school in Oklahoma. Randle, who grew up in Wichita, Kan., understands the danger, threat and uncertainty when a tornado approaches.
“That’s a serious issue,” Randle said. “With those tornadoes, there’s nothing you can really do, just take shelter and pray that it doesn’t hit your area. But it’s serious. Prayers out to Moore, Okla.”
As much as the Cowboys need to focus on football, it’s difficult for players who went to school in Oklahoma to get their minds off the storms, and they want to do what they can do help.
“It’s crazy,” Bryant said. “I wish the best. I hope the best. I’ll keep that in my prayers. I really hope they get through it. Anything I can do or any fellow Oklahoma player in here can help, I’m pretty sure we’ll do it.”