The Cowboys kick off Organized Team Activities (OTAs) tomorrow, and Jerry Angelo, longtime Bears GM, explains in the National Football Post why OTAs are important.
Angelo writes that OTAs help teams to assess their personnel and determine the specific roles for each player, and if the process is bungled, teams may face transition issues and need extra time later in the year to fix those issues. Also, with over half of the players on the 90-man roster completely new to the Cowboys organization, it's a good time to implement the philosophies, protocols and beliefs of the franchise to ensure everybody is on the same page.
This doesn't really qualify as news, but it's funny nevertheless. We quoted from Barry Horn's article in the Dallas Morning News on Zack Martin in yesterday's news roundup. If you haven't yet read it, you should, though it may be hard to find. Since it was originally published, the article has appeared with five different headlines. In chronological order:
1. Cowboys top pick Martin focused on making family proud since childhood
2. 'Sweet' Zack Martin ended up as Cowboys first-round pick thanks football-saavy family
3. 'Sweet' Zack Martin ended up as Cowboys first-round pick thanks to football-saavy family
4. 'Sweet' Zack Martin became Cowboys draft pick thanks to football-savvy family
5. Is Cowboys' first-round pick 'Mean Joe' or 'Sweet Zack?'
It's a good article regardless of whatever headline it'll eventually end up with.
Neil Hornsby, the head honcho at Pro Football Focus, tried his hand at projecting a depth chart for the Cowboys. The offense doesn't really hold any big surprises, but his take on the defensive depth chart does. Here's what it looks like:
While nobody knows today what the Cowboys' defensive line will eventually look like in 2014, the depth chart does looks a little off on the defensive line, at least from where we are sitting. Tyrone Crawford may see time at left end, but he'll primarily be a defensive tackle, and he's not third on any depth chart, regardless of position. it's also odd to see Terrell McClain so far back at the one-technique spot. But who knows how that roster battle will eventually pan out, on with an increased rotation among players, is up for grabs anyway, as Hornsby concedes.
As for defense, as poor as the Cowboys look on paper it doesn’t seem like there will be much up for grabs in terms of starting battles. I never see the D-line in those terms anyway – there may be starters, sure, but the rotational nature of the position group means that everyone will still get a chance to shine.
Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News offers up a slideshow with who he thinks the defensive starters will be. He's got Carr and Scandrick starting over Claiborne at cornerback. Church and Wilcox are the safety duo. Holloman gets to start alongside Carter and Lee at Linebacker. Selvie, Melton, McClain, and Lawrence get the nod on the defensive line.
To his credit, Calvin Watins of ESPN Dallas graced us with on of the very few new articles about the Cowboys yesterday from one of the regular beat writers. The awkwardly titled "Mike Pope gets adjusted to the Cowboys" is not about chiropractors helping out new tight ends coach Mike Poe. Instead it's about how Pope sees the trio of Cowboys tight ends Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, and James Hanna. According to Watkins, Pope is particularly impressed by Witten, but also likes what he sees from the two younger tight ends.
Pope said he was impressed with Escobar and Hanna two younger tight ends who each have unique abilities. Hanna is more of pass catching tight end and Hanna is a better blocker with the ability to run good routes as well.
I would be impressed too, if I suddenly found out that Hanna is a good receiver and a good blocker.