There was some surprising news coming out of Oxnard, California today. Felix Jones, Brodney Pool and Andre Holmes all failed their conditioning tests. It's disappointing that Felix Jones failed his conditioning test, but it isn't really surprising considering he is still recovering from shoulder surgery he had this offseason. Felix Jones has shown throughout his career that he is injury prone, and obviously the surgery he had on his shoulder is still preventing him from taking the field.
Brodney Pool apparently had his back tighten up on him recently, and that could be the reason he failed the conditioning test. Pool may have been brought in through free agency, but he is facing competition from Barry Church, Matt Johnson and Justin Taplin-Ross, so his roster spot is not guaranteed.
Perhaps the most disappointing name to fail his conditioning test was wide receiver Andre Holmes. This is something that really irritated me because this is an undrafted free agent getting the opportunity of his life to become the #3 WR, and he isn't even in good enough shape to pass a conditioning test. Holmes talked about failing the test, and obviously he was disappointed.
"Obviously, I should have worked harder,’’ said Holmes, who will take the test again tomorrow. "I missed the last two sprints."
"Yeah, I was surprised. I didn’t expect to fail it."
"There are no excuses. I’m just going to put it behind me.’’
This is one of the reasons why I am so nervous about this wide receiver position. The inexperience and lack of pedigree is one thing, but when you have a guy failing a conditioning test who wasn't injured, that is a problem. Hopefully Holmes gets into better shape and passes his conditioning test, but he isn't off to a good start in Oxnard.
For the readers out there who are wondering what exactly the players have to do in a conditioning test, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com has a good explanation of what is required.
The team requires running backs, receivers and defensive backs to run two sets of 10 60-yard sprints. The players have to finish each sprint in less than eight seconds.
Now being in the great shape I am in, I would probably pass out from that, but these are professional athletes. If they were injured, which looks like the case for Felix Jones and Brodney Pool, then I really don't have an issue with a player recovering from an injury failing their test. But when a player like Andre Holmes, who has no reported injury, fails his conditioning test, then I have a problem with that.
If I am disappointed, then you know head coach Jason Garrett wasn't too pleased about the results of the conditioning test. Garrett came out and spoke about the situation, but I don't think he is too thrilled about the start of training camp for the players who failed their conditioning test.
"We would anticipate all of our guys being able to pass the conditioning test," said Garrett, adding that the three will take part in "remedial running" drills and other conditioning sessions with strength coach Mike Woicik until they are released to practice.
They will condition with coach Woicik during the walkthroughs and during practice until they prove to us that they’re ready to practice the way we need to practice," Garrett said. "I don’t want to get into the reasons why. It’s just the reality of it. We’ll address it and move on."
Andre Holmes is the guy Jerry Jones raved about during the offseason who could possibly replace Laurent Robinson. Holmes needs all the reps and time he can get, and even though the team isn't even practicing in pads yet, this is a disappointing start for Holmes.
Hopefully Jones, Pool and Holmes take the test again and pass it. We need them healthy, because all three of them could play a big part for the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.