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Ramon Richards’ Message on what Makes the 2017 Cowboys Different



As the position groups funneled around coach Mike Gundy to end practice and came together to break for the day, their chant caught my ear.

“I feel like us breaking out on that is just trying to pave a way,” Ramon Richards said. “We gotta have a goal. We can’t just be out here playing blind football.”

The Big 12 Championship Game is a little less than three months away, and the Cowboys are just 1-0, but in early September, they already have the makeup of a team that could win it. At least that is what senior safety Ramon Richards insinuated.

A lot of people hear about how unselfish the chasm-deep group of receivers is, but Richards said that holds water throughout the roster. The secondary is no different. He said when one of them gets pulled off the field for a fresh defensive back, it drives them.

“Now you’re itching to make a play,” Richards said. “And you go in and make a play. Now that next guy who just made a play is itching to make another play. So it kinda builds.

“It creates an un-content team. … Those are the great teams.”

The chemistry only amplifies that. Richards said this year’s team reminds him of his sophomore team (2015). A lot of older guys meshed seamlessly with young, talented players. Although the older talent isn’t necessarily NFL-ready, it’s all tightly bound. Richards, Tre Flowers, Chad Whitener and others have been rolling together for a couple of years now, so there is a large degree of trust at this point, even if it goes unnoticed.

People will talk about the Gundy mullet. TV play-by-play commentators and color analysts will run features and show still images and speculate as to how long they think he will grow it. All fun, but Richards said that’s just Gundy’s swag, and it is only helping his team.

“Everybody has their own swag, and everybody embraces it,” Richards said. “And that’s what makes us such a close-knit team.”

It’s great marketing, too. As a reporter told Richards on Monday, even if the Cowboys don’t get the recognition for what they do on the field, the mullet will always bring eyes back to Stillwater and OSU. Richards said he doesn’t pay any attention to that or care about it, but the more eyes the better when it comes time to pick the final four teams.

And the Cowboys believe they have a legitimate shot to be one of them. Of course, that starts with getting to the conference championship game in Dallas. But at Big 12 Media Days, Mason Rudolph talked about how he and the rest of the guys expect to be back in Dallas.

At that point, fall camp hadn’t even started. That’s confidence. And Richards said that goal obviously hasn’t changed.

“We wouldn’t be out here training like we train if we didn’t believe it,” Richards said. “Guys wouldn’t attack practice the way they do if they didn’t believe it.”

Richards said the goal is understood by all and spoken by none.

“Everyone wants to get — nah, not even ‘want,'” he said. “We’re gonna get there. That’s how we wake up every morning. That’s how we go to sleep.”

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