Well, well, I step away from the computer for half of the day, and I miss the big news.
Starting wide receivers Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn have attended just one each the last two weeks, including none this week. There is one OTA on Friday.
Also, starting running back Julius Jones, Pro Bowl strong safety Roy Williams, veteran cornerback Aaron Glenn, nose guard Jason Ferguson and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware have also missed several OTAs.
Under previous coach Bill Parcells, players rarely missed OTAs unless it was for an injury. Glenn didn't miss any OTAs with Parcells as the coach.
OK, so maybe it isn’t really big news. After all, wasn’t it the philosopher/poet Darren Hambrick who said - What do voluntary mean? Yes, these are voluntary activities being conducted out at Valley Ranch. And veterans have a long history of skipping these things (except for veterans on a Bill Parcells’ team). So you can’t go off all half-cocked and scream that it’s the doom of western civilization because some guys skipped some voluntary workouts.
But, and there’s always a but, couldn’t these guys have showed up and displayed some leadership on a team that seemed devoid of leaders last year? Couldn’t these guys show Wade Phillips some respect by attending the workouts and emphasizing the importance of everybody working out together, as a team? As a family, as Coach Phillips likes to put it?
Normally, it’s not a huge deal, but we have a new coaching staff, a new offense and a partially new defense that we are trying to get in place. You would think it would be important for the even the veterans to show up and get this ship sailing in the right direction.
Like I said, it’s not a disaster, but I expected to see more out of our veterans and star players.
I guess the reason the Cowboys didn’t draft a backup center - I was sure they would – is because they think they’ve got enough candidates in place. But the surprise to me in this article at DC.com is that Pat McQuistan is also working some at center.
The team appears to be taking a more conventional approach to its center depth chart this season, with young linemen Cory Procter and Pat McQuistan working as backups through the first mini-camp and OTA's, along with three-year veteran Trey Darilek. Procter, the third-year lineman from Montana, seems to have the edge, having run with the second team in those practices.
Marco Rivera is the forgotten man. Economics dictated that the Cowboys wait until after June 1st to cut him, if indeed they are going to do that. But you got give the guy credit, even though he’s not practicing and his future is unclear, he’s at the practices helping our younger linemen.
From the first minicamp through the second week of organized team activities, Rivera has been a player/coach of sorts for third-round pick James Marten and fourth-round pick Doug Free. During breaks, Rivera has shown the rookies the finer points of playing the offensive line.
"He knows everything about the position," Marten said. "It shows you what kind of guy he that he's willing to show us. It's great to learn from a guy who's been in the league that long. All the little tricks, he knows."