Wilcox drills Cowboys teammate, apologizes for it

BY foxsports • July 26, 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – It sounds strange to hear a coach say a player is tackling too much but that's what Jason Garrett said about Dallas Cowboys rookie safety J.J. Wilcox on Wednesday.

Wilcox has a penchant for knocking teammates to the ground during practice, even when they aren't in pads. He joked Wednesday that his aggression comes from taking so many hits when he played running back at Georgia Southern.

"There's a lot of anger built up," Wilcox said. "I took a lot of hits and a lot of blows in college, so I finally get to dish some back out. It's fun."

The 80th overall selection in April's NFL Draft didn't make the move to safety until his senior year of college. On Tuesday, the Cowboys put on pads for the first time in training camp, marking the first time Wilcox has worn pads since the Senior Bowl.

To no one's surprise, Wilcox laid down one of the best hits of the day, blasting Cowboys running back Phillip Tanner during team drills.

"I take pride in being physical and aggressive," Wilcox said. "I just want to get a chance to showcase that, and I think I did [Tuesday]."

After the play, Wilcox helped Tanner up and apologized for the hit.

"We're all teammates and we're all out here competing and having fun to get better," he said, "so there wasn't no hard feelings."

The Cowboys face the Miami Dolphins to open the preseason on Aug. 4. That will be Wilcox's first chance to knock players to the ground without having to apologize for it.

"I'm looking forward to it," Wilcox said. "It will be very fun to fly around with my teammates and to hit a different color jersey."

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota