The VRR: It's a Busy Day for the Dallas Cowboys Down at Valley Ranch

[Ed. Note]: Before jumping into the VRR, here's a quick update on the training camp fundraiser. So far 14 readers have contributed just under $600. That's a pretty good start, thanks guys! Anybody else wanting to donate, just hit the button below.
  -- Dave and Raf

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Day number three of the offseason workout program. Potential draftees making their visits. Valley Ranch is indeed abuzz today.

Obviously, the biggest name arriving is Idaho's Mike Iupati; although, he may not be there when the Cowboys are on the clock. Here are the other players visiting Valley Ranch right now...as you read this!

Indiana (Pa.) defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn
Ohio receiver Taylor Price
Umass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse
Penn State linebackers Sean Lee and Navarro Bowman
Cal defensive end Tyson Alualu
Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett
LSU safety Chad Jones
Wake Forest defensive back Brandon Ghee.

More VRR after the jump.

What could the Cowboys be thinking with Penn State OLB Navarro Bowman?

If the Cowboys draft Bowman, projected as a late first rounder, it adds some pressure to a crowded core of outside linebackers behind Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware.

Jerry Jones will have dinner tonight with OSU receiver Dez Bryant.

Bryant's Pro Day workout is receiving mixed reviews. But it's all good; he just forgot his cleats.

We're told that Bryant forgot to bring his cleats, and that as a result he had to wear a pair of brand-new shoes, which had not properly been broken in. As a result, Bryant was slipping, as NFLN's Mike Mayock pointed out when discussing the workout on the air.

Per a league source, at least one team measured Bryant's times in the 40-yard dash at 4.57 and 4.62 seconds, within the 4.52 to 4.68 range reported by NFL.com. He presumably would have run faster, but for the slipping.

Nick Eatman examines the possibility of the Cowboys drafting Dexter McCluster. Hmmm...

So how's a fourth back going to figure into the mix? Well, he better figure into something else, too. Like he better be able return kickoffs, punts or even both. Or maybe he can be a slot receiver, run the Razorback or even cover kicks on special teams. But the point to all this is that if the Cowboys are indeed going to increase the role for Jones, then maybe adding a player that can at least simulate his skills would be important, too. Anyone out there like that?

Well, the obvious answer is Ole Miss tailback Dexter McCluster. Right now, no one really knows what he is in terms of an NFL player. Is he a running back? A third-down back? A slot receiver? A return guy? The Cowboys know one thing - he's a good football player. And fortunately for them, they're in the business of taking good players first, and then figuring out where to play them.

Echoing Raf's post on the flexibility Alan Ball provides the Cowboys, Todd Archer looks at three prospects who may fit with the Cowboys as players who can contribute at different positions.

Three guys come to mind: Cal defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, Indiana (Pa.) defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Idaho guard Mike Iupati. On his highlight tape we had the other day Alualu played both defensive end spots and nose tackle. Owusu-Ansah is a cornerback by trade but some think he can play safety, and he could also return kicks and punts. Iupati is the best guard in the draft, according to many, but there were rumblings coming out of the Senior Bowl of him having tackle feet.

It's strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek's time to shine with the players right now.

The workloads are equal, but the methods vary a little from player to player. Juraszek and his coaches develop specific plans for each, and they work closely with the Cowboys' medical and training staff to create specialized programs for rehabbing players. Three rookies from 2009 - offensive lineman Robert Brewster and linebackers Stephen Hodge and Brandon Williams - had season-ending injuries last year.

"Early it's real general because we're trying to set general physical preparation for everyone," Juraszek said. "Once we get to a point and we achieve that, then we become specialized - 1) to the individual and 2) to the guys at the position they play and the physical demands of that."

After missing Monday's voluntary workout, Ken Hamlin rejoined the team yesterday at Valley Ranch.

Will one day of lifting and running make a significant difference in Hamlin's prospects for this season? Probably not. But it does send a curious message to a team who, judging by reports, is debating cutting ties with him after three seasons.

With Flozell Adams and Hamlin participating in the offseason program, it's looking less likely that they will be released.

The fact the Cowboys have waited almost a month into free agency without cutting ties with either player is seemingly a good sign for them as well. Typically the club would want to be fair with its players, and give them a legitimate chance to land on their feet. Terrell Owens and safety Roy Williams were released just a week into free agency last year.

The Cowboys haven't shown any urgency to move on from Adams or Hamlin.

The Marion Barber trade talk is all speculation at this point.

We watched Jason La Canfora of NFL Network's report about Barber Monday. He was careful not to say the Cowboys were shopping Barber, just that executives around the league believe Barber could be available. That's hardly a stunner.

Barber is set to make $7.8 million in 2010 and has two cheap, excellent young teammates at running back. With those circumstances, it would be surprising if Barber wasn't available -- whether the Cowboys have shopped him or not.

Nice Q & A here between the Star-Telegram and Roy Williams. Here's a taste:

Quarterback Tony Romo says he still trusts you. Do you believe he has confidence in you?

Of course if I throw to a guy in the game and he is tripping by not catching the ball I would lose confidence in him, too. He won't say it publicly, but what quarterback wouldn't lose trust. I'm going to try to get in good with him and be his buddy. You have to make plays in the game to get the ball and get plays drawn for you. I have to make plays.

Remember Bill Parcells' 11 Commandments to being a successful NFL quarterback?

I - Ignore others' opinions
II - Clowns can't run a huddle
III - Fat QBs can't avoid the rush
IV - Know your job cold
V - Know your own players
VI - Be the same guy every day
VII - Throwing the ball away is a good play
VIII - Learn to manage the game: clock, clock, clock
IX - Get your team in the end zone
X - Don't panic
XI - Don't be a celebrity quarterback

JJT reviewed how Tony Romo has progressed in each. These two stood out to me:

V Know your own players: Miles Austin had one of the best seasons in franchise history, and Jason Witten continues to be among the best tight ends in the league. Patrick Crayton was a solid contributor, and Kevin Ogletree looks like he's ready to find a niche in the offense.

The only player Romo failed to consistently connect with is Roy Williams, who caught just 38 of 86 passes (44.1 percent) directed his way. Austin caught 81 of 124 passes (65.3 percent), and Crayton caught 37 of 67 passes (55.2 percent), so it certainly seems like the issue is more with Williams than with Romo.

VI Be the same guy every day: Romo has never been a moody guy. Or a player who pouts when he has a bad game. He's already figured out not to get too high or too low after a game.

If Romo is a celebrity quarterback, then he uses his "celebrity" well, as portrayed here in this story about #9 connecting with one of his young fans.

Tony, who was having lunch with his father and some friends, invited Robbie and Jim to sit down and join them while they had lunch. For the next 30 minutes, Tony and Robbie talked football and golf, with Robbie offering Tony a few football tips and recounting some Cowboys history.

"He tells Robbie that the Cowboys are going to have a better year next year," Jim said, "And Rob jumps up and shows him how you throw the ball. Tony is a very young man, but he's a super human being because he took time with Robbie. He is a gracious gentleman. They were finishing up and he told Rob, 'I've got to have another hug.' He got up and gave him another hug and then Tony asked him to give his dad a hug, too. So he had hugs all around. It's really hard to imagine how it could have been any better, particularly from our side. It was a once-in-a-lifetime deal."

The DMN is running a poll where you can Vote for the best Dallas Cowboys draft pick of all-time. Currently, Troy Aikman is matched up against Harvey Martin.

Once Texas Stadium is imploded on April 11, what will the city of Irving do to fill that void?

Texas Stadium, built for the Dallas Cowboys in 1971, "was what people saw as the main entryway to Irving," said Maura Gast, executive director of the convention and visitors bureau in Irving, which has a population of 201,000.

"We're literally changing the face, the front entry, of the city."

Exactly how remains to be seen. It is likely redevelopment of the site won't begin for another one to two years, until the Texas Department of Transportation completes an overhaul of the highway intersection. And a new public rail line to the site won't be completed until the end of 2011.

DC.com profiles Martellus Bennett.


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