OXNARD, Calif. - It is not very often that one of the worst pass defenses in a franchise's history decides to give itself a nickname. But cornerback Kelvin Joseph is a rapper, so he probably has a knack for phrasing. And Joseph is a rookie, so the 2020 Dallas Cowboys were not his fault.
“We’re going to fly around,” Joseph said after Dallas defense sort of "won the day'' in Tuesday's practice session at training camp here in Oxnard.. “'No-Fly Zone.' We’re gonna call it, 'Airplane mode.''
Wait a minute, young man; you really want the world to hear the lowly Dallas defense talk this way?
“When y’all drop this interview, tell them, ‘Cowboys defense,’ Joseph pushed, ‘Airplane Mode.’ You can’t throw. 'No-Fly Zone.”
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Again, new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's guys did have a day here, truly flying around and ball-hawking Dallas QB Dak Prescott into a relatively poor day. Cornerback Trevon Diggs had a red-zone interception in 11-on-11 work. Maurice Canady, subbing for Jourdan Lewis in the slot, got another pick. Vet newcomer Damontae Kazee, trying to hold onto snaps with Malik Hooker now signed, recorded a pick-six.
The Cowboys are hardly the first secondary to attempt to roll with the "No-Fly Zone'' nickname. Maybe this will work out better than a few years ago, when the Dallas D-line nicknamed itself "The Hot Boyz,'' but did not as a group stay "hot'' for very long.
On Wednesday, it's the first padded practice of camp. Prescott and the offense will get a chance to respond. Joseph, with his musical alias "Bossman Fat'' but his football persona being that of a second-round pick bidding for a starting cornerback job opposite Diggs, says his guys are ready.
“We got to. That’s our standard. That’s how we come out. That’s our practice mindset,'' Joseph says. "We make them better. They make us better."