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LSS Extra Points: Injury Prone or Extra Precaution

Rookie Dez Bryant was sidelined once again at OTAs, this time due to tightness in his left hamstring.

According to Nick Eatman’s blog at dallascowboys.com:

Since being drafted in late April, Bryant has experienced minor ankle and hip injuries, missed an entire day of OTA practice and meetings with a stomach virus and now the hamstring has kept him out for two practices.

Bryant says its not frustrating, and I’m not sure its time to worry about minor injuries, but it certainly makes one wonder.

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It was uncovered by running back coach Skip Peete that Marion Barber played last season with a torn left quad. The injury occurred in Week 2 last season and Barber only missed one game.

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Keith Brooking could return to practice as soon as Thursday after being held out because of offseason arthroscopic knee surgery.

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Patrick Crayton returned to OTAs yesterday. He agent says Crayton is looking to compete and doesn’t want to be a distraction, its rather hard to do that if you aren’t with the team on the field.

His teammates were happy to see him back with the team.

Kevin Ogletree: “There is a lot more wisdom out there. He has been around a long time. He is just more help for the young guys and more leadership. He is a good player, so obviously we missed him and it’s just good to see him back out there.”

Roy Williams: “He’s not the flashy guy. He is just a guy that comes in and gets the job done. I call him Mr. Consistency. He just plays the same way every time.”

Dez Bryant: “He is a vet. It is nice to have a guy like that. Not only him, but Roy (Williams) and Miles (Austin), who have been through everything. Younger guys (like me) want that. They need someone to follow and it’s great that they are all here.”

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Training Camp will be split this year between Texas and California. This is great news for our friends on the West Coast who will get a chance to see America’s Team live in action getting ready for the upcoming season.

San Antonio, Texas: July 23rd – August 6th

Oxnard, California: August 14th – August 27th

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Breaking Camp And Ready For Some Football

The Boys have left the Alamodome and are now preparing for some football in their new home. The consensus among the players is that this years camp was much tougher, and more focused than years passed, especially after last years circus.

Gone are the likes of Terrell Owens, and Adam “Pacman” Jones who always brought their own distractions wherever they went. And lets not forget about Jessica Simpson … or actually maybe we should. With her around it was clear to every fan that Romo’s head was never truly in the game. Hopefully this year he has his priorities straight, and his focus on the Lombardi Trophy. Oh yea and I almost forgot that other distraction that followed the entire team around last year, the HBO show “Hard Knocks”. It was fun to watch as a fan but if you think what it must of been like for the players being followed around all the time and every detail filmed. “It was a drama-free three weeks in San Antonio” reports KTBB.com, which is what we like to hear.

“This camp has been like two of the other camps put together. I haven’t heard anyone call this one cupcake,” linebacker Bradie James said.

Coach Wade Phillips wanted to push the team a bit more this camp, making sure they stay focused and to help them get stronger as a team.

“I am trying to do what helps this team. It’s a long season and the mental toughness is part of it,” Phillips said. “I say the mental part of it. When you get tired, that’s when the mental process comes in. I thought it was good for our guys. I think they have come through it well.

Phillips will have even more on his plate this season as he is also the teams defensive coordinator.

With camp ended the Cowboys stayed fairly healthy. They will be without Fullback Deon Anderson for some time after he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week. But both corners Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman who have been a little banged up returned to practice and are set to go. Roy Williams wrist is improving and barring any set backs he should be fine as well.

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will have a three headed monster in Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice to get the ball to. The idea is that Barber with use his brute strength to soften and beat down the defense, then have Felix use his speed to fly by and around them. Choice will get a few carries a game as well to give Barber and Jones a break. Garrett is looking to get the ball to Felix 12-15 times a game and doesn’t care if its by air in the passing attack or handing it to the speedster.

With so many weapons, and as long as everyone can stay healthy, the tougher camp and the time spent together could push the Cowboys back into the elusive playoffs, then watch out!!

Terrell Owens: Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

 The nine million dollar question was being asked almost instantaneously after the Cowboys’ futile attempt to make the playoffs. Cowboys fans had not even had a chance to absorb the epic collapse that was the 2008 season and the question was already swirling. Will T.O. be back next year?

My question is this. Should T.O. be back next year?

The cons to a Terrell Owens 2009

Of course the number one thing that comes to mind is distractions. Players dismiss the notion of distractions affecting their performances during games. Well that’s what they say during the season anyway. But how could it not be a distraction?

T.O.’s presence alone can be a distraction. Is that fair? I personally say yes, it’s fair. We all knew when Owens was signed by Dallas in 2006 what we were getting.

The guy simply can’t help himself. He has to have attention. We all know his history and I will not bore you with rehashing all the details. He has been labeled a “cancer” in the locker room. Part of me feels this label is justified.

Take the whole tiff with Jason Witten thing earlier this year. Anytime your three top wide receivers have a closed-door meeting with your offensive coordinator, validity can be given to reports of discord in the locker room. Then suddenly there were grumblings of a “snitch” in the midst. I personally feel like this entire episode was perpetuated by Terrell Owens.  The guy simply can’t help himself.

Whether it’s working out in his driveway, riding a stationary bike in a Lance Armstrong outfit, an alleged overdose, crying, no, weeping after a playoff loss, whining to Deion Sanders on national television or wearing a silly flashing red nose during locker room interviews. The guy simply can’t help himself.

I personally think he needs psychological help.

The pros to a Terrell Owens 2009

Terrell Owens is a phenomenal athlete. A physical specimen. A game changer and a playmaker. He had over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2008. Used properly, Terrell Owens is as good as they get.

There is a sense if comfort knowing T.O. is on the field. You know he can make the difference at any given moment. He can make the best cornerbacks in the game look silly. The man  plays with passion and great enthusiasm. 

I’m pretty excited to see how deadly a Roy Williams/Terrell Owens combo can be with a full training camp behind them. It could be very scary. Well for other teams that is. I get almost giddy thinking about how strong this team can potentially be with Owens and Williams together, and on the same page with Tony Romo.

I’m sure this didn’t clear up the issue any more for you than it did for me. I want to trust T.O.. I want to believe in this guy. But right now I don’t and I don’t. If I honestly thought Roy Williams could shoulder the load I would say trade T.O.. You can’t cut him. The $9 million salary cap hit is just too big. But there are teams that would make the trade.

What’s your opinion? T.O. or not T.O.? Give us feedback.

Terrell Owens: Born-Again Cowboy

I have always had a hard time picking out a favorite player on the Cowboys.  I tend to be a “team” concept kind of guy.  It’s all about the team not the individual.  Terrell Owens, however, is different.  I have to admit that T.O. has definitely become one of my favorite players.

To be honest though, it hasn’t always been this way.  Like many other fans, when I heard T.O. was coming to Dallas, I couldn’t help but imagine all the ways this would screw up our team.  I knew about his problems in the “City of Brotherly Love” and I couldn’t forgive him for his dance of Red and Gold upon our beloved Star at midfield.  For me, the celebration on the Star was a desecration of Holy Ground – the unpardonable sin in Cowboyland.  “You can write this guy off – Don’t like him.  Never will,” I said to myself.

Then……..we bring him to Dallas.  What the…….??????

I was dumbfounded.  I couldn’t believe that a man who once stood on that Star and mocked it would now be wearing it.  As the Bible would say, we had “unequally yoked ourselves together with an unbeliever.”

Training camp of 2006 brought on some drama.  I knew the distraction had come.  I knew I had been right all along.  It passed however, and I continued to wait – all season.  Despite some obvious discontent between Owens and the Big Tuna, everything went fine.  I even began warming to T.O. – not yet a fan, but secretly starting to hope I could be a fan (although I wouldn’t admit it to anyone).

In 2007, somewhere along the way, I admit I realized that I love T.O.  (Hopefully, you won’t take that the wrong way.  I refuse to defend the idea of one man loving another here in this blog.  Ain’t nothin wrong with it.).  It’s not about his stats, which if you compare them to previous years, you can make a pretty decent case that his best year was 2007.  It’s about his attitude.  T.O. has become a real Cowboy.  If I had any doubts about this, they were all completely swept away after the playoff loss to the Giants.  Many wanted to play the blame game.  Not T.O.  “We lost as a team,” he said.  It wasn’t about T.O., Romo, Jessica, Mexico……..It was, is, and always will be about the team.  With that interview, T.O. solidified me as his lifelong fan without any doubt.

Is T.O.’s new attitude for real?  He just said recently that he wants to finish his career in Dallas.  Many have questioned this.  Not me.  I’m a believer.

Personally, I think T.O. was once an unbeliever – holding no respect for the silver and blue or the star under which we play, but like anyone can, he changed.  The man who once was never happy with the teams he played for has now found his calling.  His calling is to be a Cowboy.  He was once discontent due to being surrounded by mediocrity and a lack of dedication.  In Dallas, he has found a place where excellence and tradition come together – a place where dreams are made – a place where Championships are written in the Stars.

Yes, T.O. was once an unbeliever.  Now he is a “born-again” Cowboy.  His sins of the past are behind him now.  He plays for America’s Team.  The team that has a hole in the stadium roof so God can look down and watch His Boys play football. 

This ain’t the same T.O.  He’s a new man, on a new team, headed for a new Lombardi.

Let me say it once more………….I LOVE T.O.

Just admit it – you love him too.

 

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