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Cowboys mini-camp approaching as NFL season creeps closer

There’s a mini-camp this week, Tuesday through Thursday in case you’d forgotten. Woo hoo! One step closer to what we all want – actual NFL football being played again. It won’t be long until we’re talking about training camp, position battles and who is getting way too much face time on Hard Knocks. I actually got a little pumped this weekend when I was watching the U.S. Open. Why? Because they showed some promos for Sunday Night Football on NBC. It really started to hit home that football season isn’t that far away. It was especially nice because one of the clips on the promo was Jason Witten’s Headless Horseman impression. 

Yes, I’m ready for some football.


The Cowboys’ rookies visited Canton, Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame tour last Friday. Since we open the season with the Cleveland Browns, a local Canton paper took the time to talk to some Cowboys players about their expectations for the season and what they knew about the Browns.

First round draft pick Mike Jenkins had this to say about the Cowboys defense.

"I feel like it can be one of the best defenses that ever played the game," he said. "We're filled with talent at each position, starters and backups."

Whoa big fella. One of the best defenses that ever played the game? Another Doomsday? Or Steel Curtain? Or the Ravens from earlier this decade? That sure would be nice but let’s take it one step at a time and create a defense that is at least the equal of the Cowboys offense. Mainly, a team that can create timely turnovers and that can get off the field on third down. If we can just do that, in addition to stopping the run like last year, then this team should have no problems winning big. And when I say win big, I mean in December/January, not just a 13-3 regular season record.

This was an interesting line from the author of the article.

[Bobby] Carpenter, a No. 18 overall draft pick in 2006, a backup? That's depth.

That’s one way of describing it. Another way might be bust.

But you got to like what Felix Jones had to say. They asked Mike Jenkins what he knew about the Browns team this year and he admitted that it wasn’t much. But El Gato had a different take.

The Cowboys' other 2008 first-round pick, Felix Jones, apparently knows a lot about the Browns. He said he has watched the Browns' last three 2007 games in anticipation of the opener.

"The Browns are a pretty good football team," Jones said while touring the enshrinees gallery. "But I'd rather talk about the Cowboys. We're gonna come up here and we're gonna play 'em hard."

Nice to hear he’s watching film, and not just Iron Man .


Sam Hurd is trying to climb the depth chart and the absence of Terry Glenn in OTA’s so far has meant more opportunity for Hurd. 

"It's an opportunity for me to move into the limelight," said Hurd, 23. "It's an opportunity for me to become a No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 receiver. Terrell (Owens) and Terry always tell me work hard, go for that No. 1 spot. Don't settle for less. Don't settle to be in the back seat."


Over at the Boston Globe they noted that the first batch of draft picks in the 2005 draft hasn’t exactly worked out. Sure there are a few like Braylon Edwards who have emerged and others like Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams who have shown talent but have fought injuries. But some others have been total busts. And then there’s the tricky one who is considered a bust but for the wrong reasons, #6 pick Pacman Jones. He’ll be trying to resurrect his career in Dallas and if he does, the 2005 draft might be a forgettable one for some franchises but it won’t be for Dallas. The article makes this notation.

In a do-over, Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (No. 11) would probably be the No. 1 pick.

Nice. If Pacman returns to form then the Cowboys will have two players out of the top of that draft anchoring our defense. For the record, here was our 2005 draft class.

Demarcus Ware
Marcus Spears
Kevin Burnett
Marion Barber
Chris Canty
Justin Beriault
Rob Petitti
Jay Ratliff

I think it’s safe to say that the Cowboys hit the jackpot in 2005. Take a look at those names. Ware is our all-world pass-rushing linebacker. While disappointing in my eyes, Spears is a starter at defensive end. Burnett came on last year and found a niche at inside linebacker. Barber just re-upped to be our starting running back for years to come. Canty came on last year at defensive end and hopefully will be signed to a long-term contract soon. Beriault’s career was cut short by injury and Petitti was let go. But Ratliff was just singed long-term and has been a terror on the defensive line. Add Pacman Jones to that list and the 2005 draft was one sweet haul for the Cowboys.


The Cowboys and Seahawks in the NFC Championship game? I don’t know, I kind of see Seattle starting to slip but they could rebound this year. Then again, they’re depending on Julius Jones so I have my doubts. has 10 records that they think will never be broken. One of them involves the Cowboys. Can you guess what it is without looking? I’ll give you a hint – Jerry Jones put an end to this record. 

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