That's where we're going gentlemen; forward. Into the future. If you're content with living in the past, be prepared to be passed by. Forward, gentlemen. We move forward here. (not an actual Jason Garrett quote)
We all have to start somewhere. Cole Beasley, Ron Leary and Adrian Hamilton had to start from scratch; literally as they weren't even selected in the amateur draft. James Hanna had to start at the rookie mini-camp while Matt Johnson couldn't start until the next to last day of the veteran's camp. Tony Romo and other vets started with the workouts and the OTA's while Mike Jenkins and Morris Claiborne technically haven't started at all, yet.
Regardless, July 30th is coming and that will mark the start of the trek that will become the 2012 regular season and hopefully more for your Dallas Cowboys. Training Camp in Oxnard, CA is a beautiful thing. I was able to attend an opening day a few years back as I skillfully stretched a business trip an extra weekend and rode the California highway from LA up to Oxnard.
When they do kick off the real work, we'll quickly get much more detailed reports of which players are further along in their development than others; which are a little slow to grasp the concepts and hopefully who the soon-to-be phenoms will be. Of course, while it will be informative than the offseason work, it still won't be a definitive look at what we'll get during the season. We don't truly get a glimpse of that until the action sets off for real on September 5th.
But in lieu of that, I'm sure that Rabble and OCC have an idea of whom they will be focusing their attention on during their visits to camp.
So I decided to help them along, and start up my individual power rankings based on what we know from the past, and the reports we received from the few open sessions of OTAs and minicamp.
Follow the jump to look at my version of the Top 53 Cowboys, with blurbs about the Top 20 and who I believe will be the Starting 25 (based on who's currently on the roster). And seeing how my series and themes are being integrated into Cowboys blogs the web over; please remember, you saw this here first.
|1||OLB||*||Simply the best. If you feel like Tony hasn't had any help over the years, imagine what the Warewolf says in those lonely moments.|
|2||Tony Romo||QB||*||The more one looks at the stats, the harder it is to deny his status as a Top 5 QB in the NFL. He just needs the wins for the eye-testers… and Cowboys Nation of course.|
|3||TE||*||The Senator may be losing a step, but he deserves a benefit of the doubt after a down 2011.|
|4||LT||*||The next "best tackle in the game". Might not be this year, but very soon.|
|5||WR||*||Risky placement, but in the offseason hope springs eternal. Reports of precise route running need to continue with pads on.|
|6||Sean Lee||ILB||*||There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.|
|7||CB||*||The one player that has to live up to the hype for Dallas to make the leap in 2012. No pressure though, champ.|
|8||WR||*||Don't get it twisted,favorite target is hearing everyone call him 1B this offseason.|
|9||NT||*||Hmmm, led all 3-4 NTs in pressures but people say had a down year because low sack total. For a 3-4 NT. Yeah, OK.|
|10||RB||*||Broken leg bones are scary business for runners. If he is fully back, things could get interesting very quickly for this offense.|
|11||PK||*||Hate if you want, but this placekicker wins games for your ballclub and is coming back stronger.|
|12||Morris Claiborne||CB||*||The Rook. Is this too high? Probably, but until I have to believe it's not possible, this is2.0 from the college conference to the pro coaching staff.|
|13||DE||*||The late bloomers late bloomer.|
|14||DE||*||If he maintains production over increased snaps, this front seven will be scary good.|
|15||RB||Back up off me, Felix is my dude and I'll have faith 'til he's not a Cowboy.|
|16||Mike Jenkins||CB||Until there's proof he's not practicing because of trade demands, he gets the benefit of the doubt.|
|17||RT||*||I'm ready for a Project X, pre Flame-Thrower dude, off the rooftop bounce back.|
|18||QB||The world's greatest backup quarterback in the history of the world. Or something.|
|19||OLB||*||How many fifth-year players have farewell tours?|
|20||ILB||*||It's funny how many people watchedprogression, then turned right around and called Carter a bust before he ever got an offseason.|
So what do you think, BTB? Anything outrageous here that you can't let slide by? Tell us about it in the comments.