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Starting lineup?

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks for moving on to the NBA finals for their first time. I imagine quite a few of you guys out there are Mavs fans, so enjoy.

Lots of non-T.O. stories from today's mini-camp news. takes a shot at naming the starting lineup, as it stands at this mini-camp.

But upon close inspection, the first-team offensive line, at least for now, is looking quite familiar to last year's. From left-to-right, the first-team during the first two days of the three-day mini-camp has consisted of Flozell Adams at tackle, Kyle Kosier at guard, Al Johnson at center, Marco Rivera at the right guard and Rob Pettiti at tackle. There was some question whether Pettiti would run with the first team or give way to veteran tackle Jason Fabini signed in the off-season. Fabini currently is working with the second-team line, followed by Marc Colombo.

Other notables on the second team offensive line are rookie Pat McQuistan at left tackle, Stephen Peterman at left guard, Andre Gurode at center and Cory Procter at right guard.

Defensively, working with the first team up front are Chris Canty, Jason Ferguson and Marcus Spears. The linebacking crew consisted of DeMarcus Ware and Rocky Boiman working outside, with Bradie James and the newly-acquired Akin Ayodele inside. Boiman, though, might give way to Al Singleton when he returns from getting married this weekend. Working behind Boiman is first-round draft choice Bobby Carpenter.

In the secondary, Keith Davis continues to work with the first team at free safety, while Willie Pile (free) and Justin Beriault (strong) are the second-teamers. Rookie Pat Watkins and Abram Elam came in next at safety.

And on the all-important nickel defense Ware and Greg Ellis worked at the ends, with Canty moving inside on the four-man front.

OK so Kosier is lining up at RG, and at the moment Petitti has the inside track against Fabini. Boiman starting ahead of Carpenter is typical Parcells. Keep the rookie from getting a big head. Once Singleton is back, Carpenter and Al will battle for the starting spot. Keith Davis is holding on to his FS spot, Coleman is being evaluated as a corner for mini-camp.

Mickey Spags weighs in on the Greg Ellis situation and sees some smoke, so maybe a little fire.

At the bottom of the article we get a little safety news.

Parcells surprised many by having veteran Marcus Coleman working at cornerback during this mini-camp rather than safety, where some have simply assumed he would start alongside Roy Williams. Not so fast. Evidently Parcells sees Coleman in a dual role, safety and cornerback, as he sees Jacques Reeves. Maybe the two will be competing for a spot on the roster. Anyway, since Coleman hasn't played corner since his first two years with Houston (2002-03) - he played safety these past two seasons - he says, "Got to get my feet right. (Playing) safety is easy."

How about this from safety Justin Beriault. Last year at this time he was fighting to get to 200 pounds, weighing in at 198 when the Cowboys wanted him at 208. Now, after rehabbing from last summer's knee surgery and working out so much, he's a robust 215, but Parcells wants him closer to 212. "This is kind of fun, first time in my life I've had to lose weight," Beriault said.

The offensive line is getting a lot of attention. Kyle Kosier gets his own article from the AP.

Offensive line coach Tony Sparano talks about the "big uglies".

And while the Cowboys will try to make it a fair competition once again, Sparano admitted the team might be better off if Johnson continues to start at center even though they re-signed Gurode in the off-season.

"Andre has played guard before and Al has not played that position," Sparano said. "So the best situation, at the end of the day, would be if Al (starts at center) and we have Andre at the game (as a backup) like we did last year. But whether or not Andre ends up being the best player out of this remains to be seen."

So the job is Al Johnson's to lose. Over at RT, Sparano says they've got three candidates, but it looks like Petitti will get the first look, and has earned it through his offseason work.

And according to Sparano, Petitti has made vast improvements, starting out this three-day mini-camp still working with the first team while Fabini came on with the second team.

"This kid has over a thousand plays on his resume right now," Sparano said. "That's a good problem. For 10 weeks, no one was yelling about Rob Petitti. To the kid's credit, he did some good things out there. But he knew he had to get better. And when he walked out on this field (Friday), I looked over there and I saw a complete different lineman."

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