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Back In The Saddle Again – Training Camp Notes

Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips are all smiles at the start of Cowboys Training Camp

I skimmed through all the different beat writer reports from today’s Cowboys Training Camp, and summarized all of the information for you.

Training Camp Player Valuations – In terms of talking about players after practice, Phillips doesn’t like to do it. He feels he needs to see some practice tape before talking about how well a player did or how bad a player did. Phillips said it gives him a chance to give better answers to questions.

“You may see a player do something real good in practice and the rest of the plays didn’t play well,” Phillips said. “Like a guy in a game, you think he played well, and he didn’t play well at all.”

Ain’t That A Kick In The Pants – The coach made a note that David Buehler isn’t the only placekicker on the roster. Delbert Alvarado is also a kicker but hardly gets mentioned because after the team released Connor Hughes, it was assumed Buehler had no competition. Even Buehler said he’s competing against himself.

“Alvarado did well, and that’s why we kept him in the spring,” Phillips said.

Safety First – Does Pat Watkins have a shot to become the starting free safety over Alan Ball? Phillips said he does and that there is competition at almost every position. However, Phillips would like to see Watkins, who is a strong special teams player, be more consistent on defense. Watkins did have a nice breakup of a long pass Saturday.

He Ain’t All That – *Dez Bryant, the rookie wide receiver, was impressive in his first practice. Phillips said it’s not the best debut he ever saw.

“I don’t know if he looked any better than Steve Largent when he came in,” Phillips said. “Cris Carter when he came in, I’ve seen some pretty good ones.”

Not To Be Nosy, But – *Marcus Spears is still the starting defensive end, but he will get some snaps at nose tackle during training camp. The Cowboys did some of this last year with him. Phillips doesn’t believe it’s the start of something long term for Spears.

“I would be comfortable with him playing there,” Phillips said of Spears at the nose. “He’s a smart player and he’s a good run player already, and normally nose guard is a run-player position. [Jay] Ratliff has taken it to a different level; you don’t see nose guards getting six and eight and ten sacks. But I think Spears can fill that role as a run player and I think he’ll do a good job there.”

We Kneed You Man – *Linebacker Keith Brooking might miss the second practice Sunday. He’s fine, but Cowboys want to bring him along slowly because he had minor knee surgery in the offseason. Brooking looked pretty good Saturday knocking down a pass and moving around pretty good.

MartyB TV Off The Air – Wade Phillips said he does not expect Martellus Bennett to miss much practice time in training camp with the sprained left ankle he suffered last week while working out. The Cowboys placed Bennett on the non-football injury list because he did not suffer the injury while under the Cowboys’ care.

Emmitt Is One Step Closer to the Hall of Fame

The 25 semifinalists for the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced, and to no one’s surprise the great Emmitt Smith was on the list.

The 25 semifinalists are:

Tim Brown

Lester Hayes

Cliff Branch

Rickey Jackson

Cris Carter

Cortez Kennedy

Don Coryell

Art Modell

Roger Craig

John Randle

Terrell Davis

Andre Reed

Dermontti Dawson

Jerry Rice

Richard Dent

Shannon Sharpe

Chris Doleman

Emmitt Smith

Kevin Greene

Paul Tagliabue

Russ Grimm

Steve Tasker

Ray Guy

Aeneas Williams

Charles Haley

The list will be narrowed down to 15 on January 7th, 2010. The Class of 2010 Inductees will be announced February 6th, 2010, the day before the Super Bowl.

Emmitt Smith will be the 11th Dallas Cowboy to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards in his 15 seasons. He was voted to the Pro Bowl eight times, won NFL rushing titles in 1991-93 and ’95 and helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in four years in the 1990s. On Oct. 27, 2002, he broke Walter Payton’s rushing record with an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter against Seattle.

StarStruck Graphics

Also on the list was Charles Haley who played for the Cowboys from 92-96, however he would be inducted as a 49er. Haley has made it to the semifinals list six times.

For more on the Hall of Fame and to voice your opinion visit http://fanschoice.com/