The end of the offseason and the beginning of camp are overlapping in a messy way. Bill Parcells complained this afternoon that there are at least five things disturbing his preparations. They include:
The big news of day one was the absence of guard Larry Allen. Allen failed a conditioning test and was expected to be placed on the PUP list. However, Allen's predicament does not appear as serious as Campbell's. Parcells informed the press that Allen was not injured. The player was working out in shorts with trainers and could be working with the team as early as Sunday.
Parcells' comments make it sound like the league has beefed up conditioning standards during camp in the wake of Minnesota OT Korey Stringer's heat-stroke-related death a few summers ago. "The league has really mandated us to be very, very cautious in light of some incidents that have happened in the past," said Parcells. "I would say we're erring on the side of caution. That's the best way to put it." It sounds like Allen failed the conditioning standard, which is probably more strict for large linemen, and cannot participate in two a days until he meets it.
Allen's failure is a surprise, since Parcells complemented Allen for his offseason conditioning a few weeks ago. Whatever the case, this does not appear to be a long-term problem. Or so we can hope. OG Stephen Peterman has taken Allen's place at LG in the meantime.
There was one significant positive development Friday evening. LB Kevin Burnett, the Cowboys' second round pick, signed a five year deal and reported for practice Saturday morning.