The Dallas Cowboys traditionally take an afternoon off towards the end of training camp and go to the beach, but Jason Garrett always makes a game of things. This year, it was a game of "who can hit the crossbar", possibly inspired by Alex Tanney and his trick-shot video. But Tanney did not deliver, and it fell on the head coach to "earn" the right for the team to head down to the ocean. Click here for a video of the "contest".
Just in case you missed it, allow me to totally mess up your day.
Wilcox To Return In A Week In Dallas After Mother Passed Away - DallasCowboys.com
A sad reminder that football players are also ordinary people with pain and grief in their lives just like anyone.
J.J. Wilcoxwill rejoin the team next week in Dallas after all arrangements are taken care of for his mother, who passed away after a long battle with Lupus.
Wilcox left camp after the second preseason game against the Raiders to be with his mother, Marshell, and had been excused by the team for as long as he needed. He'll be with his family this week and will not rejoin the team in California.
Keep J.J. and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Scout's Eye: Williams' Toughness, Allen's Experience And More - DallasCowboys.com
Bryan Broaddus gives his impressions from Oxnard. One of the things he saw is how unheralded players like CB Micah Pellerin keep showing up on the field.
In this scheme, corners have to be able to make plays in the running game from the outside. His physical play was a textbook example of how you need to play the run in that situation. Pellerin was also solid in the one-on-one coverage in the reps he took. His length helps him, but he also managed to keep his body in proper position in the routes and that is the real key in order for him to continue grow as a corner.
Scout's Notebook: TE Brings It Daily; Knee A Concern For Leary - DallasCowboys.com
I don't know why Broaddus does two articles out of camp each day with different titles - I suspect it is just to manage the length - but I try to never miss either one. One thing confused me slightly, since he says that Leary's knee issue is not with the same one he has the degenerative condition in, but that contradicts other sources.
Otherwise, he covers some other issues most writers don't, such as offering a little reassurance to some who may be worried about some bad reports on rookie CB B.W. Webb.
Webb has talent and there are times where he is doing his job the right way. If you honestly studied him down after down in a practice, he is not struggling as bad as everyone thinks he is. What Webb is going through now is common for the majority of rookie corners playing in this league.
Camp observations: DeVonte Holloman's pick - ESPN Dallas
Just so you don't think I am on Broaddus' payroll, here is Todd Archer's summary of Tuesday's practices. One thing especially caught my eye.
For the second straight day QB Alex Tanney was the third-team quarterback, taking most of the reps over Nick Stephens
I would like to see Tanney get a chance. Based on the limited information so far, I think he is a better option for a PS spot as a developmental QB. It would be nice to see more evidence one way or another.
Dick Butkus Gives Sean Lee The Seal Of Approval - Blogging The Boys
The legendary Chicago Bears linebacker paid a visit to Oxnard and addressed the Cowboys. Afterwards he spoke one on one with DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee. Our own Archie Barberio gives his take on the meeting between Butkus and Lee. Just because I think it is very cool, here is a picture of the meeting from the Twitterverse, courtesy of another old school guy, Brad Sham.
Butkus & Lee. Wow pic.twitter.com/Hod2Niv8Ql— Brad Sham (@Boys_Vox) August 14, 2013
Breaking Down the ‘Boys: Why Dez Bryant will end up being better than Calvin Johnson - DMN
Well, we know it is because he is so awesome. But if you want something less significant, like statistics and data, you will like this. It shows three measures of effectiveness where Bryant has already exceeded Megatron's numbers in his first three seasons.
Garrett still unsure if Claiborne will practice rest of the week - Star-Telegram
With all the attention to Leary's knee, it is easy to overlook that Morris Claiborne also has been missing practice with a "jammed" knee.
"The week is moving along here, so we'll see if he's able to come back and do anything tomorrow," Garrett said. "If he can't do anything tomorrow, he won't play in the game on Saturday. He might play a little bit Saturday if he responds well in the next 24 hours. But if not, he'll probably get ready to play next week."
Ernie Sims sees starting job in his grasp - ESPN Dallas
Sims is another player most people did not expect much from, but who is making a solid case to not only make the team, but to take the starting job as the Sam linebacker away from Justin Durant.
"I can see it in my grasp. I think it's reachable. The coaches are giving me a lot of praise. Before I tweaked my groin, they were working me into the starting position. I'm excited about that, and I'm just eager to get on the field."
The Cowboys aren't discouraged about Durant, a productive starter in Jacksonville and Detroit before coming to Dallas. They just like what they've seen from Sims, a former first-round pick for the Lions who has extensive experience in this scheme.
No real battle at safety because injuries, absences but Will Allen's strong play has provided comfort - Star-Telegram
With Matt Johnson fighting dings, and J.J. Wilcox still having some rookie issues to overcome, the guy the team brought in as insurance at safety is looking like a very wise investment.
So while the Cowboys may be disappointed in lack of competition at safety, Allen's strong play has allowed them to be comfortable with outcome.
"Absolutely. And that's why we brought him in here," coach Jason Garrett said.
Romo expects more freedom to audible - ESPN Dallas
We have heard so much about Tony Romo's increased role in the offensive planning. Here is a little bit about what we can expect.
Romo sees his role as a significant voice in the weekly game-planning process leading to more leeway for him to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage. That doesn't mean Romo will be like Peyton Manning, who has essentially been his team's primary playcaller for years, but Romo anticipates having more freedom with audibles.
"I think they all go hand in hand together," Romo said. "More than anything, when you're in there and you're part of understanding what we're trying to do, you know what we're looking for and what we're not and what we want to run versus what. So, yeah, I'm sure that I'll probably do a little more from time to time at the line (of scrimmage).
Although I thought he was pretty free with making those calls in the past . . .
The writers of DallasCowboys.com put together their list of the ten players who had the best camp. It is a bit of a surprise in one sense: There is not a rookie to be seen, and a lot of very veteran players are here. No spoilers here, but it is definitely worth checking out.
Forbes: Dallas Cowboys are NFL’s most valuable franchise at $2.3 billion - DMN
And, if you remember when they released their list of most valuable sports franchises of all types, where Dallas was the top NFL team on the list, you are not at all surprised at this.
More from Blogging The Boys:
- Cowboys Crunchtime Podcast Replay: 2013 Training Camp Winds Down
- Dick Butkus Gives Sean Lee The Seal Of Approval
- Will Ron Leary's Knee Hobble Cowboys' Season?
- Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Report: Pounding The Rock
- Cowboys @ Raiders: Freeze Frames Show A Mixed Bag In Oakland (Part III)
- Dez Bryant Unloads On The NCAA In The Johnny Manziel Situation