Since taking over as head coach, Jason Garrett has done as much as possible to make the Cowboys' eight-man practice squad feel like part of the team.
While not counted on the official 53-man roster, the players serve scout team purposes in practice, and go to work every day just like everyone else. Garrett has emphasized their contributions by designating a scout team player of the week for each win, honoring them right alongside the guys who won offensive, defensive and special teams game balls, and speaking in terms of the 61 players under his control, not just 53.
This week, as an end-of-the-season reward, and for the experience of the biggest game of the year, Garrett has decided the entire practice squad will make the trip to New York with the rest of the players and coaches, a first within recent memory.
"It's just a whole feeling of togetherness," says lineman Rob Calloway, who has been on the taxi squad most of the year. "We put our hearts and souls out there when we're running down for the scout team, or when we're giving the defense or offense a look. So (Garrett) feels like, why not bring us along? We're just as much included in this as anybody else. We're an unseen part of what goes on in here.
"We want to be there to support our team. We're a family, a band of brothers, and we want to be there for our brothers."
Calloway, who says he's been playing the part of former Cowboys defensive lineman Chris Canty in practice this week, is a first year pro from Saginaw Valley State.
The Cowboys practice squad also includes Georgia Tech cornerback Mario Butler, Carson-Newman punter Chris Jones, Oklahoma State linebacker Orie Lemon, UT-San Antonio wide receiver Teddy Williams, Baylor defensive back C.J. Wilson and quarterback Chris Griesen, a 35-year old signed when Jon Kitna was placed on the injured reserve.