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LSS Extra Points: Goodbye 2010

After ending the 2010 season a disappointing 6-10, the Cowboys will pick 9th in the 2011 NFL draft. While some would have rather the Cowboys lost the finale and received pick #6, I like what DeMarcus Ware had to say about the situation:

“It’s all about pride. When a fan sees you’re still fighting in the last game of the season and you don’t have anything to play for, you talk about the winning tradition of the Dallas Cowboys.”

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2011 Opponents are as follows:

Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets.

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Sam Hurd, who was sidelined at the season finale game due to a head injury, was chosen as the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. The Ed Block Courage Award is an annual award presented to selected players in the National Football League, who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage (Wikipedia).

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Wide receiver Roy Williams make some interesting comments in the past week.

“I was the go-to guy in Detroit. Coordinators can make who they want to make the star.”

“This is my dream [to stay] here and it started out good. Started out real good, but it fell apart I guess you could say. I love to be here.”

Many believe Williams’ is on his way out of Dallas, and I’m sure he has very few supporters campaigning to keep him a Cowboy. 37 catches for 530 yards and five touchdowns hardly warrants the high priced contract Jerry Jones generously issued back in 2008 (6 years, $54 million).

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DeMarcus Ware won the NFL sack title with 15.5 sacks on the season. With his three sacks in Sunday’s game, Ware beat out Kansas City’s Tamba Hali by one sack. This is Ware’s second sack title in his 6-year career.

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Jason Witten and Miles Austin both finished the season with over 1,000 yards. Witten passed the 1,000 yard mark in the final play of the game, ending the year with 85 receptions for 1002 yards and nine touchdowns. Austin finished with 69 receptions for 1041 yards (down from 1320 in 2009) and seven touchdowns.

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And last but not least…

After the media mania on Sunday morning declaring Jason Garrett the official head coach, Jerry Jones himself denied the rumors.  Jones reiterated that he will honor the Rooney Rule, which states a minority must be interviewed.

“I am really interested in following the spirit of our NFL rules and that’s what this is all about.”

Reports Sunday and Monday say the Cowboys will interview wide receivers coach Ray Sherman to honor that rule. ESPNDallas reports that interview will take place Tuesday. ESPN also believes Jones wants to hire the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys by Friday. Which only leads one to believe that Jason Garrett is Jerry’s man.

Has Roy Williams Gotten A Raw Deal From The Fans?

I came across a link to a story by Charean Williams of the Star-Ledger who takes a look at the relationship between the fans and wide receiver Roy Williams, a relationship that never really got off on the right foot.

Williams begins by suggesting that Roy Williams can’t do anything right in the eyes of most Dallas Cowboys fans. He can’t run the right route. He can’t catch the tough pass. He can’t get on the same page with Tony Romo. He drops too many balls.

But is this the result of the fans being unfairly judgmental, or just the product of less than average performance by a receiver who arrived with very high expectations?

Maybe owner Jerry Jones is partly to blame.

The Cowboys gave up three draft picks, including first- and third-rounders, to the Detroit Lions at the 2008 trade deadline. They signed him to a five-year extension worth $45 million, with $20 million guaranteed. Whenever a team gives up that much guaranteed money, that many team resources, that many high draft picks, and makes that long of a commitment on any player, the player’s overall performance must be on the same level as what was sacrificed to get him.

Roy Williams is the third highest paid player on the team, and yet it would be hard to include him among the Cowboy’s top 15 most valuable players. This isn’t simply a perception or my opinion, it speaks to the reality of the situation.

Cowboys Receivers Coach, Ray Sherman, understands it as well:

“When you give up that much, you’re expected to come in and be this superstar. Then, it didn’t happen. That’s why you come in, keep your mouth shut and just work and let everything else take care of itself. When you go out and perform at a high level, make plays, then you win people over.”

I couldn’t have said it any better.

There’s an old saying in baseball that works just as well in football, “you’re only as good as your last five games.”

If Roy Williams wants to win the praise and admiration of Cowboys fans, it’s well within his power to make it happen.

When the season begins in September, go out there and take our breaths away. Go out there and give it your all. Go out there and make things happen.

For nearly two years you’ve been telling us how great a receiver you are. All we are saying is, prove it. If you can do that, not only will you win the fans back, but you may even get a Super Bowl ring out of it.

When you take the field on September 12th against the Washington Redskins, unleash hell.

50 Years of Cowboys Football Begins Saturday

We are coming up on the day we as Cowboy fans having been waiting for since Emmitt Smith retired in 2005. Saturday the great Emmitt Smith will join the other two Triplets when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s been a long time coming and it will be a very emotional day for all of us.

The current Cowboys team will be there supporting Emmitt and playing the Hall of a Fame game on Sunday. Interestingly enough, they will be facing the Cincinnati Bengals who now house a number of former Cowboys including Roy Williams and Terrell Owens.

Needless to say, this is our last week without football. This weekend the Dallas Cowboys kickoff the football season with a bang starting with Emmitt Smith and the Hall of Fame.

I couldn’t think of a better way to get the 50th year of Cowboys Football started.

Make sure you tune into the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday on ESPN coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. Central time. Followed by the Hall of Fame game Sunday evening on NBC, kickoff at 7 p.m. Central time.

FOOTBALL IS BACK! How Bout Them Cowboys!

You can find this mural and so much more at profootballhof.com.

Have We Met Somewhere Before?

It was announced yesterday that the Cincinnati Bengals signed Terrell Owens to a one year contract. With the Cowboys and the Bengals playing in this years Hall of Fame game on August 8th, it makes the game a little more interesting. The Cowboys will see Owens on the other sideline for the first time since being released after the 2008 season. Owens put up some productive numbers for the Cowboys while he was with the team from 2006 through 2008. Along with Owens, the Cowboys might just notice some other familiar faces from Cincinnati.

Antonio Bryant was drafted by the Cowboys back in 2002 in the second round. He played wide receiver for the Cowboys during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He also played the first five games for the Cowboys in 2004.

Tank Johnson played for the Cowboys in 2007 and 2008 before being released after the 2008 season.

Adam “Pacman” Jones played for the Cowboys in 2008 and then was released after the season.

Roy Williams was drafted by the Cowboys back in 2002 in the first round. He played seven seasons for the Cowboys before being released after the 2008 season.

Mike Mickens was drafted by the Cowboys in 2009 in the seventh round. He was released before the 2009 season started.

Dennis Roland was signed by the Cowboys back in 2006 as a free agent offensive tackle and then released before the season.

Mike Zimmer was with the Cowboys from 1994-2006. During his time with the Cowboys served as an assistant coach for the nickel defense, defensive backs coach and then defensive coordinator.

It will be somewhat of a mini family reunion when both teams take the field for the Hall of Fame game. As far as playing against each other, I doubt there will be much of that in this game. The starters usually play a series or two and then take the rest of the night off.

In other news…

Injuries

With the start of training camp also come a few injuries. None of which seem very serious.

Felix Jones has been suffering from some swelling in one of his knees. He was held out of the morning practice on Tuesday, but decided he felt good enough to play in the afternoon practice. The team will of course continue to monitor Jones.

Jason Hatcher missed Tuesday’s practice with a hyper-extended elbow. He is expected to miss Wednesday’s practice as well.

Sean Lee also missed Tuesday’s practice with a strained quadriceps muscle. He is also expected to miss Wednesday’s practice.

Martellus Bennett missed his fifth day of practice with a sprained ankle. The Cowboys are unsure when he will return.

Camps first fight

The first fight of training camp broke out between Bradie James and Deon Anderson.

“That’s how you know you’re in two-a-days,” James said.” It’s official when you have that first skirmish. You get the red eye and you just want to go blast somebody. It kills the monotony of practice.”

“I got a little enthusiastic out there,” Anderson said.

The fight was short and both James and Anderson were seen laughing about it afterwards.

Kosier at center

Kyle Kosier took some snaps at center this week. The plan for the Cowboys is for Kosier to backup starting center Andre Gurode. This way the Cowboys can go into games with seven offensive linemen with Montrae Holland and Alex Barron as the backups for guard and tackle.

“It’s definitely different, especially with our defense,” Kosier said. “We’re playing the 3-4 so you’ve got a guy right over you and you’ve got to snap the ball and get the guy and he’s right in his face.”

“Once I get out there in some game situations I think it’ll be fine,” said Kosier

More on Dez

As the media continues to talk about Dez Bryant refusing to carry Roy William’s shoulder pads, it was Bryant telling them exactly what he was thinking on Tuesday.

“You’re trying to turn us against each but it’s not going to happen.”

“No, I didn’t know nothing about no tradition,” Bryant said.” The only thing that bothers me is when I try to do something right, you all (media) try to turn it negative. I don’t feel like that’s right.”

“I’m trying my best to do the right thing. But it seems like I can’t do the right thing because every little thing that I do, you all watch it and try to make a huge deal out of it.”

“It was never an issue. The media made it an issue. It was never nothing.”

“We are fine,” Bryant said.” In fact, it’s not even a situation. Me and Roy are great. Not only me and Roy, but the whole team.”

As Bryant was expressing his feelings towards the media he was signing autographs for fans. The fans then started chanting at the media…

“leave him alone”

Dez Bryant says no to Roy Williams

With training camp finally under way I was happy to finally get some news from the Cowboys this past weekend. All the practicing and the competition at so many positions is under way. I also loved the Kickoff show Friday night. For those who have not seen it you can watch it here.

http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_archives.cfm?id=0349574E-DC9B-2E5A-07C2F9A15D499F94

The one thing that stood out to me this weekend was Dez Bryant refusing to carry Roy Williams shoulder pads after Sunday mornings practice. Bryant does not believe in any rookie initiations.

“I’m not doing it,” Bryant said. “I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player’s pads.”

“If I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing. I just feel like I’m here to play football. I’m here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone’s pads. I’m saying that out of no disrespect to [anyone].”

“I don’t believe in that at all,” Bryant said. “We have a goal here. It’s not about playing games. It’s all about just trying to do the right thing and achieve our goal.”

http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_archives.cfm?id=0C9F2A74-E00D-E1FA-A3E6F28693417F2C

Roy Williams does believe rookies should be doing some things for the veterans just like he had to do as a rookie.

“Everybody has to go through it,” Williams said. “I had to go through it. No matter if you’re a No. 1 pick or the 7,000th pick, you’ve still got to do something when you’re a rookie.

“I carried pads. I paid for dinners. I paid for lunches. I did everything I was supposed to do, because I didn’t want to be that guy.”

I love that Dez Bryant refuses to carry Williams shoulder pads and is saying all the right things about the team being first and working towards a goal. With that kind of thinking from Bryant it won’t be long before Williams is carrying Bryant’s shoulder pads. Maybe Williams should concentrate more on catching the football then bothering the player that is most likely going to replace him.

Other news from camp is that supplemental pick Josh Brent suffered a broken hand in practice Sunday morning. Coach Wade Philips is hoping Brent can return to practice Monday. Any kind of time missed will only hurt Brent for his chances of making the team.

Keith Brooking is only practicing once a day as he recovers from off-season knee surgery. Although Brooking says he feels good, he understands that at his age it will do his body good to be held out a little during training camp.

Who is this man? Nate “The Kitchen” Newton has taken care of himself due to some serious health issues as he approached almost 400 pounds. On April 19th Newton had weight loss surgery and has since lost 132 pounds. He is now down to 263 pounds and is feeling good.

http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/multimedia_archives.cfm?id=0C11E73B-B8F8-D4C3-7C8709FD1FF644C3

Orlando Scandrick is working through the pain of his broken finger and knows that training camp is even more important because of the work he missed during the teams OTAs.

“I’ve still got some pain but I’m working through it,” Scandrick said. “Just have to be tough. I just need time. I need the practice. I could feel my timing was off. I felt a little rusty out there.”

Getting the Party Started In San Antonio

Training camp signifies the beginning of football season, and the Cowboys always know how to get the party started right!

I’d like to thank my good friend Becky for sharing these pictures via text as she enjoyed memorable moments down in San Antonio. Training Camp is open to the public with free admission so if you are in the area or have the chance to make a road trip down south, as you can tell from these pictures I have no doubt you will have a wonderful time.

San Antonio, Texas Training Camp: July 23rd through August 6th

Oxnard, California Training Camp: August 14th through August 27th

Rowdy on stage at the Kickoff Spectacular

Felix Jones taking some time to sign autographs for fans

Roy Williams signing autographs for fans in the stands

Dez Bryant getting attacked by the media at training camp

Mike Jenkins and others on the sideline at practice

Marion Barber and teammates at practice

Tashard Choice stretching in the endzone

Can Kevin Ogletree Claim The #4 WR Spot?

As I made my daily trek for Cowboys news on the internet this morning, I cam across this interesting post by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Tim takes a look at wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and ponders his role for the upcoming season. He writes,

Undrafted receiver Kevin Ogletree proved as a rookie that he can contribute to the Cowboys. Now, he’s trying to prove that the Cowboys can rely on him.

After a full offseason, Ogletree feels confident that he has a firm grasp of the playbook. He practiced at all three receiver positions, trying to maximize his chances to get on the field.

The Cowboys don’t have any questions about Ogletree’s ability. They like his speed, quickness, elusiveness and hands. They don’t know yet about his dependability.

I was very impressed with what I saw of Ogletree in limited playing time last season. He seems to have a nose for the ball, a flair for the dramatic, and though it was mentioned in Tim’s post I thought Ogletree showed some explosiveness and burst.

As it stands now, Ogletree is probably ranked fifth on the depth chart behind Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant and Patrick Crayton at wide receiver, but with a solid training camp that could change.

I think that Ogletree’s immediate future is somewhat tied to Crayton’s. It is still uncertain what role Crayton will have on this team if any, especially if he holds to his current demands for a trade or release.

Even so, Ogletree has shown some flashes that would indicate he could pass Crayton up on performance alone when training camp begins. It’s one of the things to keep on eye this pre season as the Cowboys decide who makes the wide receiver corps and who will be on the sidelines when they take on the Washington Redskins for the season opener.

Who do you think will claim the #4 WR spot on the roster?

[polldaddy poll=3463589]

What Will It Take To Get Over the Hurdle?

Let’s list a few names, shall we?

  • Barry Switzer (“We did it!  We did it!  We did it” … no Jimmy Johnson did it Barry!)
  • Chan Gailey
  • Dave Campo (as head coach)
  • Norv Turner (we let him go!)
  • Bill Parcells (also let him go!)
  • Terrell Owens (needed to go!)
  • Mike Vanderjagt (couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn!)
  • Martín Gramática (don’t ask!)
  • Roy Williams (the receiver – sticker shock!)
  • Zach Thomas (is this where old men come to die?)
  • Pac-Man Jones (enough said!)
  • Ryan Leaf (I should be shot for mentioning his name!)
  • Vinny Testaverde (another Social Security player!)
  • Drew (my grandmother could move in the pocket better) Bledsoe
  • Sean Payton (only went on to win a Super Bowl with the Saints!  Under who’s mentoring?  Yes, Bill Parcells!)
  • Bobby Carpenter (how dare he wear number 54!)
  • etc., etc., etc., (yes, we could all go on!)

Two of the best coaches, we let go (Parcells and Payton).  Payton later went on to win a Super Bowl in New Orleans, while Jason Garrett relives his glorious payday and his Thanksgiving game against the Packers.  “Just throw it high to Harper,” he exclaimed after the game.

I am glad that we are not as piecemeal as we used to be!  Those years between ’96 and ’06 reminded us the die-hards that the Cowboys are an every two-decade team.

In this writer’s opinion, the team that takes the field in 2010 will be the best team since the ’92 – ’95 teams, IF, they can play as a team like the dynasty of the 90’s did!  We need one man to step up on offense (Romo, Austin, Barber?) and another to step up on defense (Ware, Newman, Ratliff, Brooking?)  It needs to be someone to keep this team [as] a team – the coach sure can’t do it!  Let’s see less of Jerry on the sidelines this year.

The time to win is now!  Start 88!  Draft him so high and then don’t start him?  Let Dez live up to that number!  The pieces are there, let’s just not hope for an end of season collapse that so many Dallas Cowboys fans have become accustomed to!

Next blog – Left side of the line, and secondary …

Bracing For A New Season: Three Up And Three Down

It has been an agonizingly slow news day for the Cowboys… more like a  week… or better yet, a month…

So I took a quick look at the projected roster for the upcoming season and tried to detect some potential concerns or problem areas. I didn’t see any glaring holes or huge problem areas, but there are a few mild concerns as I see it.

Some Concerns

Alan Ball – Ball will be the first choice to fill the shoes of the departing Ken Hamlin at safety. Nobody expects him to duplicate the former Pro Bowler’s presence on the field and in the locker room, but expectations still will be high for a team that need all aspects of it’s game to be firing on all cylinders. Especially, in the secondary. Ball has shown some flashes in his limited playing time so I remain hopeful, but I’m also realistic and realize that until he actually goes out there and impresses, he is still a question mark.

Marion Barber – The “Barbarian” will most likely see a reduced role this season similar to one he enjoyed when Julius Jones was last here. For a big dude, he seems to wear down easily as an every down back, and with Felix Jones making a strong case for increased playing time, Barber may only get touches in short yardage situations and possibly at the goal line. He may not like his reduced status so keep an eye on the situation. By the way, with a nickname like “The Barbarian”, he sure has been very brittle and it don’t take much for him to get removed from a game. He better toughen up before they change his moniker to “Maid Marion”.

Roy Williams – Yeah I know it sounds like I’ve been picking on RW ever since the Cowboys traded for him, but my concerns were justified and time did prove me right. I’m still bugged by the fact he is still here. Yes, I know he has a boatload of cash coming to him, but winning trumps everything including greenbacks. Whereas before my concern was giving RW a superstar mega-deal for what was just a garden variety receiver, now my concern is how do we get Kevin Ogletree and Dez Bryant the playing time they deserve while at the same time keeping RW from back-biting and inciting turmoil in the locker room?

No Worries

Doug Free – I’m not as concerned as others about Doug Free taking over for Flozell Adams. Adams has been on a downward slope for the last two seasons, and our O-Line was getting a little long in the tooth. Free looked fantastic while filling in for Mark Colombo last season, and I believe he will be an upgrade over Flozell this season. His youth will help recharge an aging O-Line.

Tony Romo – I believe Tony Romo is still going to get better even though right now he’s a Top 10 QB. He has a thirst for knowledge and always shows up better prepared for the season than anyone else on the roster. He has great skills, but is also a thinking man’s quarterback and I believe that will ultimately add up to a couple of Super Bowl rings before he is through.

David Buehler – I’m not at all concerned about David Buehler getting the job done as a placekicker. When he was with the Trojans, he was unexpectedly called into service to kick a filed goal due to an injury. He nailed a 49-yard field goal and the Trojans won the game. For USC, it was the longest successful field goal since 1988, a two decade span. Am I worried about Buehler? Nah… The kid’s a grinder…

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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Dallas Cowboys Offseason Workout Report #1

Dallas hasn’t officially starting the training camp, but voluntary OTAs (Organized Team Activities) are going on, and mini-camp will be coming along.

For starters, we have a serious injury to second-string cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, who “shattered” his finger on the 26th of May. The injury is indefinite for now. Scandrick believes he isn’t going to be catching balls until training camp starts in late July.

He was breaking up a pass intended for wide receiver Manuel Johnson, a seventh round pick from last year, and his hand immediately went numb, but it was a while later before he truly realized how serious the injury was. He had surgery soon after and the pin that was inserted into finger isn’t going to be taken out for a while.

There has been no news about Keith Brooking’s knee surgery, which probably means that his rehab is going according to schedule. He’ll be needed this past season with his amazing leadership and hard tackles.

Roy Williams has stated that he and Tony Romo are now connecting very well, are on the same page, and even made a comparison that I felt wasn’t the most strategic move to Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

That aside, the Cowboys are doing well at workouts. Marion Barber has actually lost ten pounds, bringing his weight down to the 212-215 range in order to gain some speed on the ground. He’s still strong as an ox, but Barber knows that speed is difference in the open field between a 15 yard gain and a 25 yard gain.

Barber is not going to be the starting running back, that privilege has been awarded to Felix Jones now, but Barber is a team player and will try his hardest whenever he gets his carries, so this news is very encouraging.

Dez Bryant has been on fire lately according to most viewer reports. Bryant, the controversial Oklahoma State receiver, was drafted by Dallas because in 1998, the Cowboys passed on another similar receiver named Randy Moss.

Those who don’t know who Randy Moss is just need to watch the highlight films of the 2007 Patriots. Moss accounted for 23 of Tom Brady’s touchdown passes that year.

In fact, Moss had the greatest rookie season a wide receiver has ever had. He had 17 touchdowns, 69 receptions, and 1313 yards; just an unstoppable player.

Dez Bryant is probably hoping to do the same for us. While that is asking a lot of the young man, I’d be thrilled if he did do it. That could be the finishing move for Dallas to win in the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl.

The team is taking a “best player” approach to every position, including quarterback. It doesn’t matter how long you have been the starter, if you are outplayed then you don’t start. It makes the players play better knowing that they have challenges for their jobs.

Linebacker Jason Williams, a third round pick from last year, is very psyched about the opportunity to be the nickel linebacker. The nickel linebacker is the guy who usually comes in on third down when it is an obvious passing down, and the linebacker from first and second down come out to stay fresh.

Since the Cowboys have traded Bobby Carpenter to the St. Louis Rams, they now have an opening at the nickel linebacker, and challenging Williams will be first and foremost, Sean Lee, the rookie linebacker drafted by Dallas in the second round this past draft.

I can’t say for sure who will win in these competitions. I wish I was in Dallas instead of my tiny town in Texas, but I’m sure that the Cowboys are going to take the right steps, and we can only hope that there isn’t a sudden outbreak of injuries on the team. That would be a real problem.

This post was originally posted at: http://www.mtrmedia.com/cowboys/2010/06/dallas-cowboys-offseason-workout-report-1.html

LSS Extra Points: Latest From Cowboys Land

Emmitt Smith

The last thing I want to do is wish summer away before it even gets here, but the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Bengals is less than three months away. It’s not so much the game I’m excited for, it’s the excitement of seeing Emmitt Smith going into the HOF. Emmitt Smith is my all-time favorite player and I’m going to enjoy watching him enter the Hall. There’s going to be lot of tears on that stage because that is how Emmitt Smith is. He is every emotional about things. One of my favorite things to watch is the moment Emmitt Smith and Daryl Johnston shared on the sidelines after Smith broke the NFL rushing record in 2002.

As reported by ESPNDallas.com, Emmitt Smith has chosen Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to be his presenter on August 7th. If Emmitt Smith’s speech is anything like Michael Irvin’s then there won’t be a dry eye in the house. There will be more about Emmitt in the coming months because he deserves all the praise in the world for being the best running back of all time.

Doug Free

The Cowboys new left tackle Doug Free is ready for whatever is thrown his way as the OTA’s begin next week. Especially since the Cowboys traded for Alex Barron this week. What makes players better is competition and Free knows that. Free replaced right tackle Marc Colombo last season for ten games and played very well, but all the so-called experts remember is how Free played in the playoff loss to the Vikings. I tend look at the overall picture and not just the one game. I do not believe that all season the Cowboys offensive line played well and then because of one game they all of sudden became a bad line. Let’s face it, the Cowboys ran into a better team that day in Minnesota. Whatever they tried to do didn’t work and things just kept getting worse for them as the game went on. If anyone remembers the move “The Replacements”, the quote from Keanu Reeves sums up the Vikings game very well for the Cowboys.

“You’re playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong (Adams getting hurt). And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can’t move… you can’t breathe… because you’re in over your head. Like quicksand”

Now Doug Free will move from the right side to the left side and he is ready for the competition that he will be facing as reported on ESPNDallas.com.

“I got a lot of hard work to put in and I’m obviously excited,” Free said. “Last year, getting a chance to play and I think playing pretty well, most people thought stuff like that, they definitely have some faith in me. It’s the other side of the ball [going from right to left], but I think I’ve proven that I can play.”

“The more people we got in the better, the better the competition, the better the offensive line,” Free said. “Like last year, with Marc going down, the more confidence you have, the better it is for your team.”

“Until you get out on the field and in a game situation in the regular season, you really don’t know what you’re getting into,” Free said. “So, getting out there [with] a chance to play was definitely an advantage for me. I couldn’t be more excited. Nobody plays to sit the bench, nobody plays to watch the games, everybody plays. They are working hard to play.”

Keith Brooking

Keith Brooking underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee three weeks ago, but should be ready for training camp come July as reported by ESPNDallas.com. The Cowboys know what Brooking can do and what a leader he has become for the defense, so I wouldn’t think they are worried about him missing the teams OTA’s. This will give the rookies and other young players like Sean Lee and Jason Williams a chance to show their stuff.

Roy Williams

Roy Williams has been saying all the right things when it comes to Dez Bryant and what he will add to the Cowboys offense. Let’s face it, Bryant is the Cowboys future and maybe the competition will do Williams some good after a not so good 2009 season. Williams announced that his dropped passes will be a thing of the past this season. He dropped eight passes in 2009 (Why did it feel like he dropped a lot more than that?). If Williams turns into the receiver that he believes he is and what the Cowboys believe he is, then it will just make things better for the entire offense.

“I bet anybody in this world I won’t be close to that [in 2010],” said Williams about his dropped passes in 2009

Preseason

In another month what will all the preseason magazines say about the Cowboys in 2010? Will they be Super Bowl favorites? Will they be a struggling team in the NFC East in 2010 because of all the changes in Washington or because the Giants are back? All I know is that the Cowboys have put themselves in great position to challenge for a home game in Super Bowl XLV.

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