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Going back to Cali: Cowboys head to Oxnard

Cue up Thin Lizzy. The 'Boys are back in town.

That's right. The Dallas Cowboys are heading to my homestate -- Cali-forn-i-a. Calvin Watkins is on the scene and he takes a look at seven pressing questions entering training camp.

He starts off with the guy everyone loves to love when he's good and loves to hate when he's bad: Roy Williams.

The Dallas Cowboys are returning to California for training camp starting Friday. The team hasn't won a playoff game since 1996 but expects to contend for a Super Bowl championship. Like any NFL team, the Cowboys have plenty of issues to address.

Staff writer Calvin Watkins takes a look at seven key questions the team must answer in camp.

How much time will Roy Williams spend on the field?

Williams might play less as Adam Jones and Anthony Henry see more time in pass coverage. Henry worked at safety during off-season practices, where he covered tight ends, formerly Williams' responsibility.

Williams expressed concern with his role in the defense. He said he wants to make impact plays and move closer to the line of scrimmage. But over the last several years, Williams has moved farther from the line. An off-season meeting with defensive coordinator Brian Stewart and safeties coach Brett Maxie eased Williams' concerns about where he fits in. But Williams needs to have more of an impact on the game.  

Sixth-round pick Erk Walden signs a four-year deal.

Hat tip and shout out for Deke and his fanpost here.

Great installment in the Ray Buck Old Boys Club series. Buck details the 'Boys first training camp in Delafield, Wisc. How did it go? Let's just put it this way: there were a lot of bats, lots of mosquitos and the players were not happy about it.

The newborn Dallas Cowboys came out feisty.

Because their first-year training camp conditions were so unpleasant, so shoddy, the players hanged Gil Brandt in effigy for putting them there.

It was the summer of 1960 in Delafield, Wisc., and a group of players secretly fashioned a human figure out of feed sacks, then attached a large "Gil Brandt" sign to it.

Brandt tells the story on himself. The players wanted the upstart personnel director of the upstart Cowboys to catch their drift: They weren’t happy.

As castoffs of established NFL teams from New York to Los Angeles, many of these players felt it was quite punishment enough to be stuck with some expansion outfit from North Texas.

Romo is ready.

Tony Romo understands what it's like to be the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

And he's loving it.

"This is where you want to be, of course," Romo said. "It's a place that every kid dreams about it. I know I did. But at the same time, you can't just be content with that. You have to work hard to get better every day. If you don't, then somewhere else is out there working harder and trying to get better. You can't really rest."

Man. How can you not like that dude?

Jennifer Floyd Engel brings back the "Mr. Fix It" nickname that Wade Phillips hates to admonish him over saying "get the ring finger ready." Her basic point is that he just amped up the pressure on an already pressure-filled situation. 

Here's the thing, folks. Part of the reason it's such a pressure-filled situation is because you guys keep making a big deal out of truly insignificant things. First he was soft because his camp wasn't up to the media's standards, then it was the ridicule that came with the offhand "Mr. Fix It" comment and now this.

I realize JFE and Randy Galloway have a job to do. I also realize that as the coach of America's Team everyone is going to take anything you say out-of-context. It just seems that JFE and Galloway take their sarcasm way too seriously. You wanna be cute and tell jokes go write for "The Daily Show." Otherwise, let's stick to things of substance.

Hat tip and shout out to GimmyJ for his fanpost here.

JJT tells Terry Glenn and Jerry Jones that they shouldn't squabble over something as small as $1.2 million. He then answers questions about Nick Folk's kickoffs and the potential resigning of Marc Columbo. Tim MacMahon posits we might not even need Terry Glenn.

Mickey Spagnola takes us on a tour of training camp, then lists the teams that are favorites to win the Super Bowl, then talks about the Chargers and how they started off slow and then made it to the AFC Championship game, then ... wait. Where are we again?

Shout out to Brandon W and his awesome series. "The Top ten moments of 2007" should've been named "The Top 10 plays where Tuna Helper almost spilled his beer" cause I was a nervous wreck during all of those plays. The No. 1 moment is here.

Great job, man.

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