IRVING - With the after-effects of their loss to the Lions still lingering, the Cowboys are getting ready to take some time off. They haven't exactly earned it, but their bye week with a league mandated four days off starts Thursday.

Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer said he is headed back home to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for a special treat.

The coney dogs, there's a Coney Station that's been there since I was a little kid, so I usually stop there and get some of that, Spencer said. Notice he said coney dogs, not corny dogs.

Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is leaving town too.

Definitely going to relax and take a trip to New York, but I'll be back in time for the game, Murray said.

Another Cowboys rookie will be taking it easy and recovering from an injury.

Just resting up and studying, said Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith. I'll be working a little bit, get some treatment and go see my family.

With as many as 16 players recovering from an assortment of injuries, the time to get healthy is now.

At 2-2, the Cowboys are a team that still hasn't learned how to finish games, and apparently that applies to more than just one unit.

Definitely, said Cowboys linebacker Victor Butler.The offense needs to do more, the special teams needs to do more, the strength and conditioning coach needs to do more. We're not undefeated. I mean, we could tape ankles better, we can get our equipment out better, we're not undefeated. We're not an undefeated team.We all can do more.

While most of the players on the team are happy just to have some time off, there are a handful of guys who are taking a different approach.

Players like Cowboys running back Tashard Choice, who said he will use his time off to get ready for the last 12 games of the season.

It's a long season ahead, you've got to make sure your conditioning and make sure [you're okay mentally,] Choice said. It's okay to get away from football, but physically, you've got to make sure you continue to run and make sure you're ready to go because we've got New England.

Choice won't be the only one working hard.

Nobody works harder than Alan Ball, Butler said. Great quote: He said, 'You can't drown from sweating. I've never seen a man drown from sweating.' Alan Ball!

The Cowboys next game is Sunday, October 16 at New England.


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