Scout's Notebook: New Roles For The Young Linebackers - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
I think Bryan Broaddus should get some kind of offseason award or something. You may not always agree with what he writes, tweets, or says, and you may not like how how he writes, tweets, or says it, but Broaddus has allowed us all a level of access to the offseason goings-on at Valley Ranch that's been an absolute delight for hardcore and casual fans alike.
With that out of the way, today Broaddus looks at Holloman and Hitchens alternating between the Mike and Will Spots, reviews new arrival Dartwan Bush, wonders about the receiving skills of the two fullbacks, and has nice words for Will Smith:
Will Smith is one of those linebackers that my gut tells me that will be better in camp once those pads get on. I will say this about him, this kid has a nose for the ball. Each chance I have had to watch him practice, his movement and the route that he has taken to the ball has improved because there was some early work in these camps where he didn’t look as smooth and fluid to making the play. He has the traits of a linebacker that has some slippery avoidance of blocks. In college he was very active in the running game. He will bounce off blockers and get to the ball. I also believe that he is becoming more comfortable in pass defense with his drops and his responsibilities of having to carry receivers in his area. You notice him on the field.
Tony Romo cites Joe Montana, Troy Aikman to calm fears about his health | Jon Machota, DMN
Tony Romo points out that Joe Montana and Troy Aikman both had the same type of back surgery he had, and both came back from the surgery.
"I’ll be able to play for a while," the 34-year-old Dallas Cowboys quarterback recently said during an NFL Network interview that will air Friday at 7. "There are way too many cases where you see people come back; Troy Aikman had it – they won a Super Bowl the same season. Joe Montana comes back and wins two Super Bowls. They had the same surgery."
Anthony Spencer has no doubts he will play this season | Jon Machota, DMN
News broke earlier this week that Anthony Spencer has started running on the Valley Ranch practice fields. Yesterday Spencer said he’s hopeful he'll soon start lateral movements, and is confident he'll make a return this season.
"I’m sure other people have their doubts," Spencer said. "I don’t have any doubts."
Cowboys DT McClain brings high motor, versatility | Steve Hunt, FOX Sports on MSN
McClain has been somewhat of an afterthought for many Cowboys fans, who may have gotten caught up in the hunt for Henry Melton and the succession of over-aged and over-priced free agents linked to Dallas in free agency. But the Cowboys signed McClain on the second day of free agency and gave him a three-year contract. That has all the markings of a priority signing, and McClain's play in OTAs has certainly turned heads. In this article, which is well worth checking out, Steve Hunt provides a good profile of McClain and how he's getting ready to play for Dallas. A few quotes from McClain:
"Yeah, I've been playing both of those since high school. My primary spot was the three tech, but once I got to the NFL they said it was good to learn (other) positions," McClain said. "Ever since I've been in Carolina and went to Houston, I've just been learning both positions, the nose and the three."
"I bring high motor. I bring just something unique. It's rare to have a big guy who has good feet. In the NFL, that's rare," McClain said. "I can rush the passer and also play the run. Those are the biggest things right there."
Dallas Cowboys want Sean Lee around team during rehab - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Perhaps one day we'll look back at Sean Lee's injury history and see it as simply an extended apprenticeship for a coaching job. In any case, Lee will be at Valley Ranch throughout the season, regardless of his knee.
"Sean’s had injuries in the past and he’s been on injured reserve and not been one of the members of the 53-man roster and he’s been in meetings at 7:30 in the morning throughout the season," Garrett said. "He’s just one of those guys who wants to contribute. He wants to help our football team anyway he can. First and foremost for him is getting that knee better. That’s the No. 1 thing he has to do every time he wakes up in the morning, but he’s such a positive person, such a positive influence on everybody around him, coaches and players alike, that we want him around as much as we can have him around."
Jason Garrett expects to speak with Kyle Orton soon - Charean Williams, Star-Telegram
Reading this short article makes me wonder whether the Cowboys are simply going through the motions with Orton. Williams writes that "Scott Linehan said Tuesday that Orton does not have a copy of the team's playbook." Even if Orton does show up for mandatory mini-camp next week, what's he going to do, practice holding the clipboard first with his right hand, then with his left? Because that's about all he'll be able to do without a playbook.
Gavin Escobar feeling less stress in second year, trying to show Dallas Cowboys he can be a reliable blocker | Jon Machota, DMN
Jon Machota details some of the things Escobar has done in the offseason to improve as a blocker and improve his overall performance:
Working with a nutritionist, cooking for himself and cutting back on Chick-fil-A have helped Escobar add five pounds of muscle over the last few months. He began working out at Valley Ranch four days a week in February and has been a regular at the facility ever since.
He acknowledges that the added strength has allowed him to gain confidence in all aspects of his game. Perhaps, one day he can become a standout all-around tight end similar to Witten. "That would be awesome," Escobar said.
"Just to hear those words is awesome. Hopefully I’ll get there."
Will Dallas Cowboys let continuity rule? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer looks at the New England Patriots and their owner's strong belief in continuity, and wonders whether the Cowboys could go down a similar route with Garrett. This is a post you'll have to read in full, there's no easy way to summarize it in two or three sentences.
Friendly Practice Battle Carries Over Into Youth Camp - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
The Cowboys had their annual youth football camp yesterday. The part that always interests me about this camp is who the player-captains of the youth teams are, as this always gives an offseason insight into the Cowboys team structure. This year's player-captains were Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Tyron Smith, Brandon Carr, Doug Free, Dez Bryant, Barry Church and Sean Lee. Lee missed the camp as he underwent surgery yesterday, and Orlando Scandrick filled in for Lee. Tyron Smith's team ended up winning the tournament over Tony Romo's team.
NFL's most-tweeted about team lately? Cowboys 2nd to Manziel, Browns | DMN
The DMN staff did a check of topsy.com, a Twitter analytics website, and found that the Cowboys rank second in twitter mentions after only the Browns (and Manziel). If you're interested, they provide an overview of all teams and how many Twitter mentions each had.
Man loses one drone on top of AT&T Stadium, flies another way too high over downtown Dallas | Dallas Morning News
A Dallas-area drone-cam operator is in big trouble with the FAA for flying his drone too high, over populated areas, and losing one on top of AT&T Stadium. But the footage he captured is ... glorious. The soundtrack and commentary are strictly optional though.