Two bits of Dallas Cowboys news to comment on this afternoon. One directly affects the Cowboys, the other is a NFL story that just won't go away.
At the Cowboys OTA, it looks like guard David Arkin is taking the first shot at replacing the injured Mackenzy Bernadeau. Josh Ellis tweets that Arkin is running with the first team today at the OTA in the right guard slot.
David Arkin is your first-team right guard today. Wonder if that changes from week to week while Mackenzy Bernadeau is out.— Josh Ellis (@DCStarJEllis) May 23, 2012
Ellis makes the obvious observation that this could be indicative of a tryout and that other players may be rotated in as the offseason rolls along. But even if that's the case, it does show the Cowboys coaching staff hasn't lost faith in Arkin, and even may give us an inkling that they think he's got real potential. Never read too much into these things, but for those who are fans of Arkin, this is a good sign.
In other interior line news, Bill Nagy is running at second-string center with Kevin Kolwaski not practicing, and Bruce Carter is the first-string linebacker beside Sean Lee.
In completely unrelated news, the case of the Cowboys and Redskins losing money for violating the spirit of the uncapped year has spawned a new turn. Even though an arbitrator threw out the claims of both teams yesterday, it opened the door for the NFLPA to claim collusion during the uncapped year of 2012. Imagine that.
After signing off on the penalties in exchange for a higher salary cap, the NFLPA now appears to want its cake and it eat it, too.
For the second time in 17 months, the Players Association has filed a collusion claim against the NFL, alleging that owners sought to suppress wages in 2010 when there was no salary cap.
The union is basing its case, in part, on recent legal briefs and testimony from the arbitration hearing involving the Cowboys and Redskins, who unsuccessfully sought to reverse league sanctions that stripped them of $46 million in salary cap over the next two seasons.
Oh my. On one hand, I'm glad that the NFL is getting attacked for it's totally arbitrary ruling of penalizing the Cowboys (and Redskins) for "breaking the spirit" of the salary cap rules. Even the NFL admits they broke no specific rule, but basically circumvented an agreement among the teams not to go over a "secret" $123 million salary cap. The NFL did everything but come right out and admit collusion.
On the other hand, the NFLPA taking the deal and allowing this to happen, only to now go back and try to claim collusion smacks of hypocrisy. Her's DeMaurice Smith now:
"When the rules are broken in a way that hurts the game, we have an obligation to act. We cannot standby when we now know that the owners conspired to collude," said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director.
Ugh. Really? This whole thing stinks. Now it's an argument over legal mumbo-jumbo, with the league maintaining because of clauses in the CBA this should be dismissed. One piece of bad news for the league is that the case will likely end up with Judge David Doty who has never been a friend to the NFL in these cases. The SI.com article has a lot more on the legal stuff and what both sides are claiming, I recommend everybody go read the entire thing.
Get your popcorn ready, this should be interesting.