New Cowboys Staffer Adam Henry Has A Message for His WRs: 'I'm Not A 'Players' Coach'

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - Adam Henry recognizes that it's an easy mistake to make. His long-standing relationship with headline-grabbing NFL stars like Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry creates the impression that the recent addition to Mike McCarthy's coaching staff is a "player's coach.''

He hasn't yet told his Dallas Cowboys receivers the truth about that. But in a one-on-one visit with CowboysSI.com, he explained it to us.

"I'm not a 'player's coach,' Henry tells me as we walk down a hall inside the Star in Frisco. "I do have a level of connection with players. But expectations are expectations. There is a level of excellence that must be met. The players play. The coaches coach.

"I'm not a 'player's coach,''' Henry repeats, his tone as firm and steady as his eye-to-eye stare. "I'm a 'coaches coach.'''

Henry, 47, is a native of Beaumont, Texas, who starred as a receiver at McNeese State and then briefly with the Saints. His coaching career has been highlighted by work with Beckham Jr. and Landry at LSU, then later with Beckham with the Giants, and then with the trio reunited with the Cleveland Browns.

The Dallas position group - headed by Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, who produced big but inconsistent numbers in 2019 - was deemed to be in need of fresh leadership. I ask Henry if the biggest part of the job is simply teaching.

"I believe so,'' he says, smiling, "because I have a Master's degree in education.''

And Landry's review of the new Cowboys assistant? He tells NFL Network that he views Henry as someone who players can relate to both as "a father figure'' and a "disciplinarian.''

Another view? People apparently mistake him for the "Luke Cage'' Marvel character.

Henry tells the media-at-large at The Star that he views himself as someone who is "kind of laid back in situations, and when they happen, they happen.'' What's happened here is an "opportunity to come back home to Texas and be closer to my family,'' adding that all of the Cowboys fans in his family tree are suddenly popping up across the state. (You can get a feel for Henry's style of media communication below.)

As of a few days ago, Henry had yet to official talk to any of his Cowboys receivers since taking the job. But eventually? "I’m a guy who likes to get on the grass,'' he said, "get with them, talk to them, talk through things and see what they know and what they don’t know, because you can assume a lot of things on tape.”

Meanwhile, Cooper is among the Cowboys receivers who is so curious about what makes Henry tick that Amari says he'll contact Beckham and Landry for some inside info.

And, what, I ask "Coaches' Coach'' Henry, will they tell Cooper?

"All good things, I'm sure,'' Henry, replies, his tone and his stare softening in intensity, if only for a moment.

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