Although technically it is a very slow time of the offseason for the cap-strapped Dallas Cowboys, there are a lot of small things going on of interest. Here are some things you may want to know about but might not have seen.
There was an article about the Cowboys on NFL.com that I would only describe as a hatchet job. It made some arguments that have pretty much already been answered and discarded around these parts, and frankly looked to me like the author sat down and spat out all the old negative memes about the team without doing a lick to update things. Normally, I link to articles I talk about, but here, I am just linking to this: NFL.com's Adam Schein wrote such a terrible article about the Cowboys that even an Eagles fan is going to tear it apart. And then our old frenemy JimmyK goes on to do so, with some biting humor and no mercy for Schein. It's worth the click to read.
It's kind of ironic that one of the things that is used to justify putting the Cowboys at the bottom of the NFC is the hiring of Monte Kiffin. The arguments in the Schein piece look strangely like the ones that came up at the time his hiring was announced - and that most people no longer give credit to, largely because of what people like Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, for instance, is saying about Kiffin and his being reunited with his old partner Rod Marinelli.
"Monte is going to be great in particular, Monte in a combination with Rod, that's a lethal combination," said Tomlin, who worked with the duo from 2001 to 2005 as a defensive backs coach. "These guys are football purists. I imagine they're somewhere in the bowels of that facility right now, man, with trash cans talking about how to defend the A, B, C gap."
On a more sober note, often criticized G/C Mackenzy Bernadeau had shoulder surgery. The hope is that this is early enough for him to be ready for the team OTAs in May. However, he missed most of the offseason last year following hip surgery, and that was the first domino in an ongoing series of issues on the offensive line. His early season performance was almost certainly affected, and there is a good bit of debate about just how well he was playing by the end of the year. He needs to be there for every practice he can.
Finally, Jason Garrett has weighed in on the team getting an early start on training camp courtesy of being in the Hall of Fame game. He is very much in favor of it after the team was, well, given the short end of the stick last year by the NFL schedule. For those that don't remember, the team was one of the last to start training camp and then had to play in the first game of the season, against a team that had three more days of practice. They still won that game, but the rest of the year did not go so well. Hopefully, the early start will be most beneficial to Kiffin and the new 4-3 defense.