The Cowboys will begin the first of their OTAs on Monday. Instead of meeting in Valley Ranch, the team will practice at Standridge Stadium in Carollton, Texas.
The Valley Ranch practice facility is still under investigation and going through the clean up process following the roof collapse earlier this month.
An article at star-telegram.com has listed 5 things to look for during these OTAs and I have added my thoughts:
1. Tony Romo in full control -This will be Tony’s year to shine. As we’ve heard way too much this offseason, Tony will be able to make plays without the pressure to get the ball Terrell Owens. Tony has been extremely quiet and out of the light (except when playing golf) and maybe that’s best for the team. But we need him to speak loudly on the field and lead this team strongly throughout the season.
2. Find an identity on offense - As I just stated Romo is the leader of this team. He needs to take control, learn his offense, and become extremely familiar with his receivers. Show everyone exactly what “Romo-friendly” means.
3. The return of Felix Jones - This is pretty self-explanatory. Our top draft pick of ’08 emerged and impressed everyone immediately. He even earned three “Player of the Week” nods from the NFL in the first 5 weeks of the season. Unfortunately Felix fell in week 6, when he tore his hamstring and was later labeled out for the season. This year we will see if Felix Jones can come back from the injury and continue where he left off.
4. Competition at cornerback -This is a biggie. Looking at the depth chart, other than Terence Newman, we’ve got some young guys fighting for a starting role. Second year players, Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins, proved that they are both capable of being quality starters. Rookies Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith played together at the University of Cincinnati and all eyes will be upon to see where they will fit in.
5. Anthony Spencer replacing Greg Ellis - Spencer will certainly have some big shoes to fill. But based on what he’s done in a part time role, I believe he’s up for the challenge.
Hopefully these practices and activities will bring these players together in a positive light. The loss of Terrell Owens and Roy Lee Williams, followed by the roof collapse tragedy brought negativity and gloom this offseason.
I believe these ‘Boys will grow and bond over the next few months leading up to Training Camp.