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Reading the Tea Leaves -- Minicamp Edition

The Cowboys opened their first and last mini-camp before their training camp in California this August. While there is little of positive certainly to be learned after one practice -- it's impossible to tell who will be the starters after today -- there are some signs to be noted on the negative side of the ledger. Among them:

  • Long snapper Jeff Robinson may be on the block or in danger of being cut. The Cowboys "excused" him from the weekend to get a better look at rookie snappers. Robinson was signed for a huge sum after the Cowboys blew two 2001 games with bad kick snaps. He's been steady, but deep snappers with big contracts are luxuries, even for good teams.

  • RT Torrin Tucker is trying to walk a tightrope -- while eating two Big Macs at the same time. Quick, what's the fastest way to earn Bill Parcells' wrath in late May? Getting fat you say? Good answer. See Raul to collect your prize. According to Parcells, Tucker reported "substantially overweight." Torrin's status wasn't exactly firm to begin with. He had better get in shape quickly or he may not even be on the roster when the team leaves for Oxnard.
  • On the encouraging side:

  • Marco Rivera is apparently ready to go. The guard, who herniated a disc only days after signing a huge contract, was held out of workouts as a precaution. Parcells described him as being "well down the road" of his rehab and proclaimed him fit to play.

  • All the veterans injured in 2004 appear healthy. Dan Campbell and Terry Glenn practiced today, with no lingering effects from their serious foot injuries.

  • Marcus Spears is the anti-Tucker having lost 13 pounds since the rookie camp last month.
  • Other notes:

  • Parcells says he will take only three QBs to camp, to increase the reps Drew Henson and Tony Romo will receive.

  • Even though the right tackle position is unsettled, Parcells is satisfied with the talent on hand and dismissed signing a veteran.

  • Put Kevin Burnett, Al Singleton and Kalen Thornton at the left OLB position. Parcells expressed some disappointment with the lack of size there, but is satisfied that Burnett and Singleton have the athleticism to play effectively.

  • Parcells mentioned Stephen Peterman, Lousaka Polite, Sean Ryan and Kalen Thornton as young players who made significant progress this offseason.

  • Parcells discounted suggestions that Jacob Rogers is behind his peers at OT. Rogers has had a good offseason conditioning himself, but is "a bit behind" on his technique, since he cannot yet take part in contact drills.

  • The Cowboys did not vote for it, but Parcells is confident that the NFL put due thought into the new "horsecollar" rule. He has some concern that it won't be called uniformly, but does not feel Roy Williams' play will be hurt by the rule.
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