ball is coming out."
Also, as Stewart explains, the corners can anticipate better just knowing the call. Example: If the linebackers on the corner's side of the field are blitzing, then he automatically knows the ball will be coming out on time - or early - and most likely to the vacated side. That means he can break on routes since the quarterback likely will not have any time to dilly-dally around. If the pressure is coming from the other side, they know to run with the receiver.
Now these are basic principles of defense, but from the sounds of things, Phillips doesn't let his defense sit still very much. He's either stunting the defensive linemen, zone blitzing or all out blitzing, something the Cowboys under Parcells did on a limited basis.
And look, this is not picking on Parcells, OK? This is just a different style, and even Jones related this story about Parcells and his defensive scheme:
"One thing about (Parcells), he can be critical in some areas, but boy, he self-examined himself. He said, 'You know, I may be a dinosaur,' those types of things. It was frustrating him, too."
See there, not just you.
Now don't expect this mindset transformation with the corners to instantly take place. Football doesn't work that way, especially with corners, who realize their mistakes always are glaring and usually blamed on them.
"Initially, you play your coverage," Stewart says, "but as the season evolves, they start understanding my guys are getting there so I can take a chance more."
Newman absolutely agrees with that, and we're starting to see evidence of this trust, even in training camp practices. The other day, Henry broke on a couple of passes, nearly intercepting one and breaking up another, his aggressive play based solely on knowing what to expect.
Glenn did the same thing on Monday because "he knew he could take a chance," Stewart said.
As for Glenn, he trusts the call when he trusts the player.
"Chances are DeMarcus Ware is going to get there," Glenn said, "so you can sit on the route and break on the receiver. Any team that has a guy of his caliber, there is a good chance he's going to get there."
Now then, while this all sounds fine and good, don't be expecting too much of this Thursday night when the Cowboys open their four-game preseason schedule against the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, 7 p.m. (CDT) at Texas Stadium and to be broadcast live on Fox. Nor in the other three games.
Phillips won't want to be showing his defensive hand in meaningless games so opposing teams in the regular season are handed a blueprint, especially the Giants for the Sept. 9 opener. So the Cowboys likely will be playing their base defense, maybe practicing a few blitzes, but doubtful they will be unveiling any exotic stuff.
"We'll run our base stuff as much as we can," Phillips said. "But things we need to work on, you know, I'm not for keeping everything back. We'll run some stuff."
As for Stewart, he mostly wants to see if his guys are lining up properly, getting in the right place against the few formations the Colts will utilize and then just how well they get to the ball and actually tackle, which hasn't been going on here all out in training camp.
But come Sept. 9, the wraps will be off, and we'll see exactly what Phillips has in mind and how he uses his personnel, because as Stewart says, "Wade is a mastermind at figuring out what people can do best. He's the best at putting people in places they can succeed."
What you're hoping is for Phillips to put people in the face of opposing quarterbacks, hoping that clock in their heads never ticks much past three thanks to either real pressure or anticipated pressure caused by previous results.
Just a one . . . and a two . . . and a three . . .
Yeah man, music to Ike Holt's ears.