Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: "New Vibe" at Valley Ranch, Bruce Carter's Breakout, OTAs Start

Bruce Carter showing off some impressive guns. - Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Review of Dallas Cowboys headlines: we look at why Darren Woodson thinks there's a "new vibe" at Valley Ranch, why Bruce Carter is poised for a breakout year in the new defense and what to look for in today's OTAs.

Darren Woodson:The vibe is changing around Valley Ranch - DMN
Darren Woodson offers a very interesting take on what is happening with the Cowboys and compares the current vibe with what Bill Parcells brought to the Cowboys.

"One thing we saw when Bill Parcells came in was an attention to detail. He took a team that was 6-10 for three straight years I think it was, to a team that went — with no talent — to a 10-6 team. I think the atmosphere changed back then. Then they went through a process where they still played very well but I don’t know if the attention to detail was still there. The more I’m around and seeing what Jason Garrett is about, they’re trying to start back and get back to there.

I still think it has a lot to do with the players but I think they’ve done a great job in the last couple of years of drafting guys that are complete football players and good guys on and off the field, guys like Sean Lee and (Bruce) Carter at the linebacker position. That’s where they want to go. That’s the type of character guys they want to have. I think that’s been the great experience for the organization is bringing guys in that are gym rats, bringing guys in that definitely want to play and want to win football games."

Gosselin: Bruce Carter is a 'perfect fit' in Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense - DMN
Rick Gosselin has high expectations of Bruce Carter in Monte Kiffin's defense and compares him to 11-time Pro Bowler Derrick Brooks:

"With his size and speed, he’s a perfect fit for that weak side backer in the Tampa Cover 2 scheme. This is where Derrick Brooks played. The position has cleaned up. He will be put in position to make plays, to make tackles, make interceptions, force fumbles. He’s going to be a key piece in this defense. Derrick Brooks went to 11 Pro Bowls. Only one linebacker in history went to more. The first thing Tony Dungy and Monte did when they got there was flip him from strong side to weak side. They said he was the perfect fit for this scheme, and they’re saying that about Bruce Carter."

8 To Eyeball: What I’ll Watch For At Dallas Cowboys OTAs - CBS Dallas
Mike Fisher lists eight angles worth watching as the Cowboys begin another round of OTAs today. Seven of those angles have to do with specific Cowboys players or position groups, the first one is about the quality of the Cowboys media coverage:

It’s a boon for the marketing wing at Valley Ranch but a drain on the football wing: Tony Romo is recovering from the cyst surgery so he conducts a press conference to address it and the media criticizes the press conference because he didn’t answer their questions in the way they wished.

It’s a vicious cycle of regurgitation, of "the coverage of a story’’ becoming a free-standing "story’’ itself … and it takes away from the business of football.

NFL coaching staff sizes - ESPN Boston
22 of the 32 NF teams have between 20 and 22 coaches on their staffs, and the Cowboy sit smack in the middle of the group with 21 coaches. What is surprising here are the outliers: The Eagles and Seahawks have the most coaches with 24 each, while Steelers have the fewest with 15, followed by the Patriots, Panthers and Falcons, all with 17.

Phillip Tanner: 'I’m really excited to work with Travis Frederick' - DMN
Phillip Tanner talked to 105.3 The Fan recently and gave them some impressions about the recent Cowboys OTAs, including this assessment of Travis Frederick:

"Hard worker. I don’t think I’ve heard the guy talk though. He’s a quiet guy. He gets the job done though. He comes in. He works hard. Goes at it. He listens to Coach (Bill) Callahan. Listens to the offense. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m really excited to work with this guy. Like I said, our whole offensive line as a whole are great guys. They all work with each other, compete with each other and make each other better."

Unheralded rookies poised to make noise - CBSSports
Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com takes a look at the top unheralded rookies on each team, who is standing out early and examines those most likely candidates to emerge as contributors - or legitimate stars. Topping the list is none other than the Cowboys' Brandon Magee:

How badly did the Cowboys want to add Magee to the roster? Not enough to draft him, but enough to offer him a higher signing bonus to sign with Dallas than any seventh rounder received in 2012. Magee has a nose for the ball and thrives with his smarts, digesting information quickly and reacting to make the play. His lack of NFL measureables is the main reason he went undrafted with just 4.7 speed at 5-feet-11 and 223 pounds with arms under 29 inches in length. But Magee has the instincts and positional versatility to not only make the 53-man roster in Dallas, but earn early playing time on special teams and as a key reserve.

Which NFL teams draft from which colleges? FootballPerspective.com
Chase Stuart lists the top five colleges from which each NFL team has drafted the most players. For the Cowboys, it's Tennessee (18 players drafted), followed by UCLA (16), Arizona State (14), Florida (14) and USC (13). The article features nifty, fully searchable tables with lots of infos on colleges, draft picks and team draft histories. The info is organized in nifty, fully searchable tables that allow you to sort by college, by NFL team and links to the draft picks from each college.

Bryce Brown stressing ball security - Philadelphiaeagles.com
Only days after Michael Vick "learned how to carry the football" Bryce Brown looks to be making progress with ball security as well. Brown and Vick combined for 15 fumbles in 14 starts last year.

Giants not sure CB Terrell Thomas can come back from third reconstructive surgery on his right knee - NYPOST.com
The Giants aren't talking much about Terrell Thomas right now. After three reconstructive knee surgeries they don't want to raise any false hopes.

"A knee can only take so much punishment and withstand only so much damage before it is rendered useless for work in the NFL, and Thomas’ right knee has been torn apart three times. He is attempting to come back from a third reconstructive surgery to repair a shredded anterior cruciate ligament."

Mike Shanahan believes Robert Griffin can be an all-time great - SBNation
Maybe he can, but only if Shanahan doesn't cause Griffin's knee to buckle sideways for a third and then probably last time.

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