The VRR: Cowboys Beginning to Schedule Pre-Draft Workouts

Yesterday, we found out that Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant will be visiting Valley Ranch on April Fool's Day. Evidently, he is just visiting the Cowboys, not working out.

His agent, Eugene Parker, said that Bryant will not work out for the Cowboys. Players cannot have private workouts without a special waiver from the NFL.

A few other names have popped up on the Cowboys' radar in terms of draft prospects. Kentucky FB John Conner will meet with the team on March 31. Here's a brief scouting report on Conner:

He breaks down well in space, but doesn't exhibit the same body control when asked to cut down defenders. Conner has a tendency to whiff on blocks. He showcases good power as a runner, has an above-average first step and hits the hole quickly, but he can get a bit upright and lacks wiggle to his game. He has the power and body control to make his way as an NFL lead blocker but needs to do a better job using his hands and sticking through contact.

And two Penn State prospects are scheduled to work out with the Cowboys: ILB Sean Lee and OLB Navorro Bowman.

According to pennlive.com, Lee missed the 2008 season recovering from a torn right anterior cruciate ligament and dealt with sprained left ACL last season.

Bowman, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten choice, had a pair of off-field issues - he was involved in an on-campus fight a couple years back and also admitted to using marijuana prior to his senior year.

More VRR after the jump.

More on Bowman's off-field issues:

Bowman was put on probation for one year in 2008 for his involvement in an October 2007 fight at Penn State's student union building. In May 2009, he admitted in Centre County Court that he had violated his probation by smoking marijuana. Not only did a judge extend his probation by one year, but Bowman received a last-chance warning from Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno.

He has endured much in the last two years. His father, Hillard Bowman, died suddenly in June 2008 of complications from a blood clot. Then his high school football coach, Nick Lynch, a father figure, died in a car accident in Maryland a day before Penn State played in the 2009 Rose Bowl.

Either the Cowboys are not interested in Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews, or they are not highly interested in drafting anybody at that position.

Solidifying his already high draft stock, the 5-foot-11, 217-pound runner had a strong Pro Day workout. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 to 4.48 seconds, according to NFL.com.

Per the report, Mathews also had a 34-inch vertical leap and a 4.1 short shuttle.

Every NFL team except for the Dallas Cowboys attended the workout session.

Matt Mosely can see the team trading down if a quality offensive lineman can't be had at 27. But he doesn't see them taking a WR until the later rounds.

In conversations with folks at Valley Ranch, the offensive line is what gets mentioned the most. If the Cowboys can identify a talented offensive tackle or guard late in the first round, that's the direction they'll go. There's also the possibility they'll try to trade down because this appears to be a relatively deep draft. Obviously, place-kicker continues to be a glaring need.

But after that, it's still offensive line, safety, inside linebacker and then probably wide receiver. With the rise of Miles Austin and the intrigue of Kevin Ogletree, I could see the Cowboys waiting until later in the draft to grab a wide receiver. After all, both Austin and Ogletree were undrafted players.

A trade up or trade down out of that 27th spot, Jerry Jones?

"I'd say probably we're less likely to move around this year," Jones said.

In terms of free agent signings, it's the Redskins 9, Cowboys 0.

The Cowboys are the only team that hasn't lost, added, or kept a single free agent, according to the Dallas Morning News. Despite the perception that the Redskins have been quiet, they have actually added or retained the most players with a total of nine.

Patrick Willis edged DeMarcus Ware by 11 votes to take home the 2009 Butkus Award for the league's best linebacker.

Willis was credited with 152 tackles, four sacks, and three forced fumbles in 2009. He also brought down three interceptions for the 8-8 49ers. Ware had 57 tackles, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles, on his way to Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors.

Calvin Watkins predicts the Cowboys hosting the Titans for their annual Thanksgiving game.

The reason I picked the Titans is because of Vince Young's return to the state of Texas as the full-time starter. The Saints would be a pretty good opponent, too, but I'm not sure if Fox or NBC would want this highly anticipated matchup for another day. Not sure about the Bears. Jay Cutler vs. Tony Romo would be a pretty good matchup, however the Cowboys played the Bears on Thanksgiving in 2004 and won, 21-7. The Jaguars have no real sex appeal for Thanksgiving Day.

During next week's NFL owners meetings, the competition committee will consider implementing a "Flozell Adams" rule.

Start with Adams' personal foul after the final play of the first half during a loss at the New York Giants in December. The Cowboys did not suffer for Adams' actions because a dead-ball personal foul against the offense cannot be carried over into the second half or overtime.

McKay said the competition committee wants to close that loophole, which could lead to premeditated cheap shots, by having the penalty be carried over into the second half or overtime.

Hat tip to DC_Fan for the FanShot.

The punting drama surrounding the height of Cowboys Stadium's video board is all but squashed.

Cowboys Stadium saw 91 punts -- excluding those negated by penalty -- during eight regular-season games and one playoff game. No punter, including Oakland's Shane Lechler and San Diego's Mike Scifres, came close to hitting the board.

A new rule will be implemented requiring the Cowboys to declare at least 90 minutes before kickoff whether the sliding end-zone doors at Cowboys Stadium will be opened or closed. It's similar to the rule that requires teams with retractable-roof stadiums to declare 90 minutes before game time whether the roof is to be open or closed.

Manny Pacquiao's successful bout at Cowboys Stadium could very well have earned him another championship fight there. Pacquiao-Mayweather...will it happen?

The 12-round bout won by the Filipino behind a lopsided unanimous decision, attracted a crowd of 50,994, the third biggest in modern day boxing history after the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks rematch at the Superdome in 1977 and the Julio Cesar Chavez-Pernell Whitaker showdown at the Alamodome in 1993.

Free Reign is hitting the metal strong again this offseason.

"Being in a band is more difficult than I ever imagined," Colombo said. "It's demanding. You have to practice if you want to stay sharp. "In football, we do all these things. No one works harder in the off-season or during the season than a football player. It's grueling, but we realize that you have to put some of that same effort into music."

Free Reign will be a presenter at the Revolver Golden Gods awards at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on April 8. They are also a nominee in the Most Metal Athlete(s) category.

The band is planning to work in the studio over the summer before football season kicks in and then return after it ends, so that they can put out another album next year. In between, they will gig when they have time.

Yeehaw! Former Cowboys WR Rocket Ismail has a new gig as a bull riding announer.

Ismail will serve as a correspondent for some of the Professional Bull Riders telecasts on American cable channel Versus. He became interested in the sport when he took part in Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge on CMT.

Miles and K.O. having fun!


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