In an earlier post, we mentioned some of what Jason Garrett had to say about the Cowboys and the combine. But he wasn't the only Cowboys coach talking to the press recently, some of his assistants got in on the act.
Dave Campo, who managed to survive as the secondary coach even though Dallas was courting another guy, had this to say about his cornerbacks.
"I've never gone into a season with three corners active - only three guys," Campo said. "Now, we did have Alan Ball able to be the fourth corner. We certainly looked at it that way. But you're changing two positions when that happens. So I think that's something that will have to be addressed, for sure."
I have to agree with Campo there. We made a point of mentioning this last season when the roster came out after training camp, the lack of depth at corner was kind of shocking. One way for the Cowboys to help solve that would be to get a free safety, and shift Alan Ball back to corner. He and Bryan McCann could be viable backups on a short-term basis. Or, of course, they could splurge on a corner with the #9 pick. However they do it, Campo wants more options.
Campo said he thought some of Jenkins' struggles last season involved the midseason switch to Paul Pasqualoni as defensive coordinator, while Newman's play was affected by a rib injury. He thinks Ryan's defense can help both return to their 2009 form, but expects the team to try to build extra depth.
"I think that's something that will be determined by Jason and Rob and how they want to work that situation," Campo said. "Especially at the corner position, we were bare bones, no question about it."
Wade Wilson, the QB coach, talked about the progress Tony Romo has made from his injury. In short, he says Romo is 100%; he's been throwing and all systems are go on that front. He was also asked about something that's been brought up on this site occasionally, and that was did Romo learn anything by taking a seat and watching Jon Kitna run the team. Wilson thinks so.
Do you see any benefit in Romo sitting out and getting a different view?
Wilson: I would think so. We've talked a little bit about that. We haven't gone into great detail about that, but just when you take a step back and it's kind of taken away from you, some of that hunger and desire comes back, just things you can learn from watching, just from a different perspective.
He also reiterates something we've discussed about new wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson. And that's his meticulous nature, and his task-master reputation.
What did you remember from Jimmy Robinson as a coach?
Wilson: He's very meticulous. He's hard on the guys. He's going to coach them and make them accountable. You see the success that he's had everywhere he's been, especially in Green Bay, coming off the Super Bowl year. So I think he'll be a great addition to the team.
Speaking of wide receivers, one Cowboys coach wouldn't mind poaching a WR for some work on his unit. Joe DeCamillis wants all the talent he can get on special teams, and one particular talent, above all.
Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis believes concerns that [Dez] Bryant is more likely to get hurt on kickoff returns is overblown. He wants to see Bryant return punts and kickoffs.
"I like him on both,'' DeCamillis said. "When he played on kickoff returns he was outstanding. We've just got to make sure we've got a really good group blocking for him, that's the main thing.
"Devin Hester (Chicago) has been back there the whole time and really hasn't had any appreciable injuries. I think part of the reason is he's had good blockers.
"Again, it's not my decision. It's a team decision. But if you're asking if I would like to have him back there, sure. He's a game-breaker, man. His average would have been a lot higher if he didn't have several called back.''
This one is always a tough decision. We all saw what Dez can do on special teams last year, he's absolutely a game-changer. But, he's now going to be counted on as a full-time starting wide receiver (he better be a starter, Jason Garrett!), and despite what DeCamillis says about overblown fears of injury, special teams are high-contact plays that do create injuries. Losing a star player because of special teams is highly frustrating. On the other hand, special teams are a very important phase of the game, and not just for the highlight punt returns that go for touchdowns. Field position is based a lot on what special teams are able to accomplish.
So what say you BTB? Dez on special teams, or no way, save him exclusively for the offense?