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Cowboys see former Jaguars problem as a defensive leader

Jeremy Mincey

In this Oct. 5, 2014 file photo, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey sits on the bench during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Arlington, Texas. Mincey came to Dallas as the “old man” on the defensive line after an unhappy ending in Jacksonville, where he grew up as an NFL player. He’s still looking forward to seeing and playing against some old friends in London, though. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

AP

It’s been a strange last year for Jeremy Mincey between trips to London.

He was run out of Jacksonville for being a persistent headache, ended up getting a trip to the Super Bowl out of the deal when the Broncos signed him as an injury replacement, and then signed with his favorite team, the Cowboys this offseason.

It’s strange how it all worked out,” Mincey said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Just last year, I was with the Jags, and we were getting ready to play the 49ers [in London], and I was going through kind of a tough time, because I wasn’t allowed to be myself. I’m like, dude, I’m a leader. This is who I am. All the teammates, everybody gravitated toward me. It was just hard for me not to be able to let it all out, because you’ve got a coach who don’t know you, really, genuinely.

“… You’ve got to have players that are willing to die for the cause, and I want to win. I play to win, and that’s my mentality.”

The Jaguars obviously didn’t see him in the role of a leader. Then again, they’ve gone 1-11 since cutting him, while Mincey’s 10-4 with the Broncos and Cowboys since the transaction.

There were reports out of Jacksonville at the time that he was missing meetings and otherwise not focused on football. But he had a different version.

“I don’t think they looked at my positives,” he said. “I was going through a lot. It was tough, man. There are a lot of things I can’t talk about, but there were a lot of things that happened to me that I don’t speak on, and I swallowed that pill, because I’m a man.

“I get knocked down, and I just get up and come back stronger, work harder. You just focus on what I’ve got to do. Right now, I’m trying to be the best Cowboy I can be, and we’re doing a good job.”

The 31-year-old Mincey only has a single sack, but his 19 pressures are tied for the team high. And while the Jaguars didn’t see him as a positive influence, the Cowboys do.