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Cowboys Add DBs to Roster; More Rookies Out

As reported at DallasCowboys.com the Cowboys added two defensive backs today. DeAngelo Willingham was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Bucs and Jeremy Haynes was also picked up.

Willingham was cut by Tampa Bay following its last preseason game. He played cornerback and safety in college at Tennessee.

Haynes played at wide receiver his first two years at McNeese State before moving to cornerback. He was cut by the Titans during training camp.

It’s clear both positions were in need of depth.

 Cornerback Depth Chart

Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, Alan Ball, Mike Mickens

Safety Depth Chart

FS – Ken Hamlin, Courtney Brown, DeAngelo Smith

SS – Gerald Sensabaugh, Pat Watkins, Michael Hamlin

 

Class of 2009

 No. 69 (third round) – OLB Jason Williams – Western Illinois – Out 4-6 weeks
 No. 75 (third round) – OT Robert Brewster – Ball State – Out for the Season
 No. 101 (fourth round) – QB Stephen McGee – Texas A&M – Out 3-6+ weeks
 No. 110 (fourth round) – OLB Victor Butler – Oregon St.
 No. 120 (fourth round) – DE Brandon Williams – Texas Tech – Out For the Season
 No. 143 (fifth round) – CB DeAngelo Smith – Cincinnati
 No. 166 (fifth round) – S Michael Hamlin – Clemson – Out 6+ weeks
 No. 172 (fifth round) – K David Buehler – USC
 No. 197 (sixth round) – S Stephen Hodge – TCU – KNEE (due back this week)
 No. 208 (sixth round) – TE John Phillips – Virginia
 No. 227 (seventh round) – CB Mike Mickens – Cincinnati
 No. 229 (seventh round) – WR Manuel Johnson – Oklahoma

Ouch!

All Work and No Play Makes Wade A Dull Boy

The Boys had their final Alamodome practice yesterday and will be heading back home to Cowboys Stadium for the second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

Word has it the starters could play into the third quarter. Nick Eatman at dallascowboys.com gives good reasons for this unusual plan and it makes complete sense to me.

1. The Cowboys first game in the new stadium. It’s going to be one heck of a celebration.

2. It’s the Titans third preseason game so they are in that mode.

Eatman says Wade Phillips didn’t say how long the starters would play, just that it would be a lot more than last week’s game.

Another interesting story that caught my attention was Wade complaining about the running race between David Buehler and DeAngelo Smith. As posted earlier this week, the two rookies ran a foot race and DB Smith was burned by K Buehler in a 50 yard dash.

Coach surprisingly put his foot down and decided he was not going to allow any more “extracurricular activity” for fear of an unnecessary injury.

Not sure how to feel about that one. I agree we don’t want any injuries from horsing around, but these are athletes and competition is always a good thing. I think I will stay neutral on this because I can understand both sides.

Finally, ESPN’s Matt Mosley posted Three and Out: Cowboys over at this NFC East blog, basically only stating the obvious.

1. Get ready to hear a lot about the two-tight end offense.

2. The Cowboys could be in big trouble if there’s an injury on the offensive line.

3. The Cowboys could have 63 sacks if everything goes as planned.

CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

We have been blessed with two amazing tight ends and we sure plan to use them to the best of their abilities.

O-line, ugh. What can you say? No depth.

Sacks for everyone! Roll call – Ware, James, Spencer, Ratliff…!

***

Big (preseason) game tomorrow! Everyone get your game faces on and hope our ‘Boys break in the new stadium with a outstanding win to remember. I let my boss know that I needed to get done early nearly two weeks ago, and I told him why. I’m setting the DVR anyway but you can imagine how mad I’ll be if I don’t make it home for a live kickoff. The Boys Are Back in Town!

Kickers Get No Respect…Or Do They?

Rookie kicker David Buehler wears many different hats for the Cowboys. He has all but secured a spot on the roster with his kickoffs into the end zone. Something that the Cowboys were lacking the last few seasons. Nick Folk is a great kicker and the confidence is high whenever he lines up for a FG attempt, but his kickoffs were just not good enough. Buehler has also become part of the special teams unit and even was credited with two tackles against the Raiders last week.

Now Buehler has added racing to his resume. This afternoon he faced off with rookie S/CB DeAngelo Smith. And as reported by DallasCowboys.com Buehler didn’t just beat Smith he smoked him by about three yards. Holding out his arms in victory as he finished the race.

“There was a lot of trash-talking in the locker room,” Buehler said. “DeAngelo’s pretty confident in his speed. I knew I was fast, so I decided to challenge him.

“I just got in the locker room today and I felt like racing somebody. All these guys talk about how fast they are, and I just wanted to compete.”

“I was talking trash,” Smith said. “He beat me fair and square . . . He had fresh legs and everything, but there’s no excuse, I should be winning anyway. We’re going to race again, though.”

No camp cupcake

If anyone mentions camp cupcake to Bradie James this training camp he will be the first to disagree with you.

“It was a tough camp. I want everyone to know that,” James said. “We had a whole bunch of practices.

“This camp has been like two of the other camps put together, you know what I mean? I haven’t heard anyone call this one Cupcake. We pretty much put a lot of work in this. Now we are ready to come together and see how it pays off.”

“Look at the practices. Before he was a guy you could go and say we might be tired,” James said. “But he challenged us from the jump, saying no complaining, no excuses. So there’s no need to go in there and ask not to have a two-a-day. This was the last work day, but we still had a two-a-day. It was on the schedule. He’s pretty much sticking to his guns, so that’s been different.”

Switching numbers

Some of the receivers and running backs are having some fun this week as they switch jerseys during practice.Yesterday Roy Williams came out for practice in the morning with Marion Barber’s 24 jersey. Wade Phillips said Williams and Romo had their best session to date. In the afternoon Williams came out for practice with Mike Jefferson’s 81 jersey. Which bought back memories of another 81 who shall remain nameless. Williams and Romo continued to connect with each other during the afternoon practice.

“Once I got 81 on, I got about 50 balls today,” Williams joked.

In other news

Recently waived Mike Hawkins has been claimed by Tampa Bay.

Defensive end Marcus Dixon suffered a strained groin and missed the afternoon practice.

Running back Alonzo Coleman cleared waivers and the Cowboys are looking to work out an injury settlement with him.

Here Are Your Key Position Battles

Former Dallas Cowboys beat writer, Tom Orsborn, takes a look at some of the key position battles heading into training camp.

Cornerback
MIKE JENKINS VS. ORLANDO SCANDRICK
The battle for the cornerback spot opposite Terence Newman took a strange twist late last month when Jenkins declared via his blog that he’s the starter heading into training camp. The truth is the spot is up for grabs and that the two second-year players likely will slug it out well into the preseason. Jenkins is the better athlete and was the higher draft pick last year, but Scandrick’s confidence and football smarts make everyone wonder why he lasted until the fifth round.

Wide receiver
PATRICK CRAYTON VS. MILES AUSTIN
After getting most of the reps in the offseason, Crayton is the frontrunner for the No. 2 receiver job behind lead dog Roy Williams. But Jerry Jones loves Austin’s speed and potential and has even mentioned he believes Austin could approach Terrell Owens-like production. One problem, though: Austin has yet to prove he can stay healthy. His latest injury was a strained hamstring that sidelined him during minicamp.

Offensive guard
KYLE KOSIER VS. MONTRAE HOLLAND
One of the biggest question marks entering camp is whether left guard Kosier can return to form after foot surgery. His injury problems were a big reason why the offensive line struggled at times last season. The Cowboys acquired Holland in a trade with Denver last preseason and he was slow to learn the offense. But the native of Jefferson, Texas, filled in for Kosier late in the season and could make a strong bid to unseat him.

Linebacker
BOBBY CARPENTER VS. JASON WILLIAMS
Widely viewed as a first-round bust, Carpenter has a chance to shine as the replacement for nickel linebacker Kevin Burnett, who signed with San Diego in free agency. Carpenter’s finesse style makes him a natural to defend on passing downs, but Williams is a superb athlete with blazing speed. Still, it will take time for the third-round pick to learn the pro game, the main reason why Carpenter is favored to win this fight.

Here are a few other situations that bear watching.

We drafted kicker David Buehler in the fifth round and I’m sure he’ll be cutting into somebody’s time. I don’t see the wisdom in carrying three kickers on the team between Buehler, McBriar and Folk.  One of them could be traded.

Jerry Jones loves exposure, so don’t underestimate the presence of Jesse Holley in training camp. Not only will his success usher in a new breed of Cowboys fans courtesy of the reality show 4th and Long, but sales and marketing would get a huge boost in revenue if Holley were to make the team. Sam Hurd better be looking over his shoulder.

Lastly, who will replace the departed safety Roy Williams? Who will pair up with Ken Hamlin in the secondary? Some might think that Gerald Sensabaugh is a lock, but the Cowboys have not given up on Pat Watkins yet, and they did select DeAngelo Smith out of Cincinnati in the NFL Draft. I’m thinking that the ending to the story at safety hasn’t been written just yet.

Any way you look at it, there will be no shortage of battles and story-lines at this year’s training camp. So strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

Reactions Following the Collapse of the Cowboys Facility

The day after the collapse of the Dallas Cowboys practice facility, some questions are finally being answered.

Officials say a ‘microburst’ is to blame for the damage. A storm with high winds, just under that of a tornado, swept through the area. However, the only reported damage was to the Cowboys practice facility.

A dozen were injured while 60 people walked away with only scrapes and bruises. New Special Teams coach Joe DeCamillis suffered broken vertebrae in his back and will likely need surgery. Cowboys assistant scout Rich Behm underwent surgery on his spinal cord late Saturday night at Parkland Memorial Hospital, according to Matt Mosley of ESPN.

Here are some reactions following the collapse of the Dallas Cowboys training facility on Saturday, May 2nd: 

Bobby Carpenter “It was kind of unbelievable, seeing the shots from inside and everything. To think that something like that could happen. We’ve been in there when it’s been windy, a little bit of light-shaking, but nothing quite that extreme.”

Dan Reeves on Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis injuries:  “It’s just lucky and fortunate and a miracle really he’s not paralyzed.”

David Buehler: “My initial thought was, how many people are dead in this? I thought I was the lucky one.”

David Buehler:  “I thought I was OK, and then a steel pole hit me in the right side of the head and left a big knot. It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever experienced. We were all in shock. Welcome to the NFL.”

Dave Campo: “I feel like I was in a fight. When it came down, I didn’t have much time to react. What scared me the most was that my son was in the building. Practice was going well. That was a helluva ending.”

An Anonymous Player because the players were instructed not to comment: “It was really loud, the rain, which is normal for a bubble. When the lights really started shaking and the walls beating is when we knew it was getting bad, and then it started to collapse. We just started taking off running. One wall fell toward the middle. We didn’t have anything fall on us. Before we left the structure, we were leaning up against the wall thinking it was a tornado.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Woodall: “The fact that there weren’t more injuries is rather miraculous.”

Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News (Speaking of Josh Ellis and Nick Eatman of dallascowboys.com): “All I saw was blue jerseys. I was trapped. I couldn’t move. Then those guys lifted it up-not very far, but I was able to move from my side to my back. … Once I got out of there, I looked back and the whole thing was down.”

Jim Zorn, Washington Redskins head coach: “I asked our guys, ‘If you’re a praying man, really remember those guys.’ What a tragedy that is. How unpredictable that must be. Fortunately, they didn’t have 115 guys in that bubble at that time because there might have been a lot more injuries. So we’re thankful that there were very few.”

Wade Phillips: “We’re lucky no one got electrocuted with all the water in the building. A couple of players had minor injuries, but they were all right.”

The (Identical) Triplets

Is it just me or could Nick Folk, Jon Kitna and the newly drafted David Buehler be passed off as identical triplets?

Okay, so maybe not Kitna as much but wow Folk and the new kicker Buehler are strikingly similar.

Hey, what’s wrong with a little Monday morning humor? LOL