The Valley Ranch Review: Patrick Crayton, Felix Jones Look to Vary Their On-Field Duties; Cowboys Stadium is Set for Inaugural Event

Is the Razorback for real? If so, the Cowboys have both Patrick Crayton and Isaiah Stanback who are capable of employing it. While Stanback has been injured, Crayton has had dibs on being the QB in the Cowboys' modified WildCat formation. Although such a formation would be used more to attack from the ground, it would be nice to be able to have somebody who could throw. If Crayton and/or Stanback can still toss the pigskin like they both did in college, the use of the Razorback may just come to fruition.

Crayton didn't exactly put on a passing clinic yesterday. His two passes both fell incomplete, one a throwaway and the other an ugly throw that landed behind Martellus Bennett's ankles.

Crayton, whose only NFL pass was intercepted, has only worked on throwing in goof-off "quarterback competitions" with fellow receivers during special teams portions of practice since becoming a Cowboy.

[snip]

The coaches wanted Mat McBriar to rest his leg during a training camp practice a couple of years ago, so they had Patrick Crayton fill in as the punter during coverage drills. But Crayton used his arm, not his leg, to fling one 60-plus-yard spiral after another.

So we know Crayton has a cannon. We're just not sure about the accuracy of his right arm.

How the Cowboys split the carries between their three talented running backs, Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, is a mystery for us fans. Felix Jones, as Nick Eatman writes, will be all over the field. Jones will be of the utmost importance for the Razorback to work as he is familiar with the system from his days at Arkansas. Along with his other duties as a tailback and kick returner, "Dash" is opening his repertoire up to include punt returning.

"The first thing is to be able to catch it," said (Wade) Phillips, who added that rookie DeAngelo Smith and Patrick Crayton will also get work at fielding punts. "We'll look at all those people but we'll see what happens with Felix. I don't know that he'd be a punt returner. It takes a lot of work to do that and certainly the most important thing is getting the ball first. Guys that hadn't done it, that's what you worry about first is securing the football."

Felix Jones could recall only one punt return in his college days at Arkansas, but said he'd done it "a few times" in high school.

"I thought I did a pretty good job," Jones said of his one collegiate attempt. "I think I was just filling in for someone. But (right now), it's something I'm practicing on. You never know what can happen. If it does come up, I'll be ready."

Jones also commented on whether he thinks the Razorback could work for Dallas.

"Absolutely, I think we'll get a lot better at it," Jones said. "You'll see a lot more when the time comes. I think it can be even better in the pros."

If the idea is to get Jones the ball more in space, what better time and place to do that than with the Wildcat?

"It will help out a lot. Like at Arkansas, it's much easier to beat a couple of guys than trying to beat all 11 at once," Jones said. "I believe once we get better at it, it will be one of our weapons."

Check out DC.com's video of Felix in the Razorback at this week's OTA.

More VRR after the jump.

Will Greg Ellis be wearing orange and black this season? Don't count on it, says Chick Ludwig at the Dayton Daily News.

There’s a lot of speculation going around that former Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end/outside linebacker Greg Ellis is on the Bengals’ radar and could wind up signing with Cincinnati. But I’ve spoken to enough people in the know — and that includes the Bengals front office — to feel confident that it’s not going to happen.

Just as Jerry Jones hopes, Drew Pearson says that playing in the new stadium will inspire the Cowboys.

"Man, if these guys got any sense, it would inspire them, motivate them to be better players, to give more, to try to do everything they can to stay a Dallas Cowboy throughout their career," Pearson said. "... Hopefully, that translates into victories."

Pearson said Cowboys Stadium, site of the 2011 Super Bowl, would be the envy of the league.

"All you have to do is look at Terrell Owens," said Pearson, referring to the former Dallas receiver released in March after a season in which he was at the center of a locker room drama. "You think he'd rather be here or in Buffalo?

"It tells me a lot about him. He couldn't keep it together enough to make it one more year to be a part of this. Now he's in Buffalo. That's what happens when you sometimes run your pass routes with your lips instead of your legs."

Ouch!

Martellus Bennett brings multi-tasking to an all new level. He's a tight end, a blogger, an amusing interview and now will be...wait for it...a children's author. At least, that's what he told Calvin Watkins.

Watkins: "I hear you're writing a children's book?"

Bennett: "Yeah, it's actually called Wally's World."

Watkins: "What's that about?"

Bennett: "Wally is a kid and he lives in outer space. So it's about kids living in outer space and everyday life as kids but in outer space in the galaxy in Marty B's planet."

Saturday will mark the inagural event at the new Cowboys stadium as George Strait and Reba McEntire take the Stage.

An estimated 60,000 people are expected to be in attendance at the concert. The opening event could give Cowboys fans some idea of the traffic we can expect when going to a game this season.

And, how much is parking at Cowboys stadium for major events? $40!

Wouldn't it be cool to scratch off a lottery ticket and see your favorite Cowboy help you win some fast cash? Texans won't have to wait too much longer.

The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are close to announcing plans for instant-win games through the Texas Lottery. After Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that an announcement would be "coming pretty soon," a spokesman for the Texas Lottery Commission said negotiations are being finalized.

 

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