No pads doesn't mean easy practice to Jason Garrett

IRVING, Texas -- The next time the Dallas Cowboys can wear pads during a practice will be if they make the playoffs or in 2015.

Today’s practice marked the first time the Cowboys have not worn pads during a Wednesday workout. Their last padded practice came last week.

According to league rules, teams are allotted 14 padded practices during the season. Of those, 11 must be held in the first 11 weeks of the regular season. Over the final six weeks of the season, teams can have three more padded practices.

The rules change for the playoffs.

Wednesday practices are generally focused on the running game, which is why Jason Garrett has had his team in pads those days. He offered a reminder to the players, particularly the linemen, before Wednesday’s session as to the tempo he wanted.

"We always make an emphasis on Thursday and Friday [when they aren’t in pads] about being low and really coming off the ball on both sides and not just standing up and making practice into an assignment check, which is: 'Hey, I got the Mike,' and you kind of stand up and do this with each other," Garrett said. "You've really got to come out of your stance. I think we’ve done a good job as a coaching staff emphasizing that to all the different personnel groups and we have to do that. It’s really, really important that we understand that because by nature you start to raise up when you don’t have pads on. So we've really got to make sure that everybody's on the screws with that and players buy into that, and I think they understand the importance of it."