A lot of the attention this offseason that has been on the Dallas receiver corps has been focused on Terry Glenn's knee, the hands of Patrick Crayton and if Miles Austin will break out. Meanwhile, Sam Hurd has been steadily making play after play in training camp and impressing everyone in attendance.
While the consensus is that Miles Austin still has a fair shot at the #3 spot, Hurd has been nothing short of spectacular so far and it seems the roster spot is his to lose at this point. Something that has gone overlooked a bit is that Hurd has been moved in the offense this year.
Before the start of camp, coaches moved Hurd from the X side (where Owens starts) to the Z spot (where Patrick Crayton is currently the starter.)
While they are both fighting for potentially the same starting spot, Hurd said Crayton hasn't held anything back.
"Patrick is helping me a lot because Z is a lot different than X," Hurd said. "After every play, whether I do good or not, I've got to come back and ask him what could I have done better. That is what training camp is for, to get better, not to be satisfied."
One thing I have always liked about Hurd is that he is willing to do anything it takes to get on the field and make plays. While he only had 16 catches last year he was able to make his presence known as a gunner on special teams. He also is getting noticed for his willingness to throw his body into a block. Who can forget this great block last year against Chicago?
One thing that has helped Hurd improve so much is he has steadily built his body up over the past few years, thanks to help from resident fitness guru Terrell Owens.
Determined to stop that trend, he consulted with Owens, the team's resident expert on nutrition. The result was a nearly 10-pound increase of what Crayton calls "solid muscle."
"It's helping me hold the weight and gain consistently," Hurd said of Owens' diet. "When I lose weight here during practice, it helps me put it back on. It's eating a lot of carbs and proteins, and it keeps me energized."
I can not wait until the preseason games start!
Here is the DMN story on Terence Newman's injury. Like I said yesterday, keeping Newman out for 3 weeks or so is not that bad a thing as it gives plenty of time for the injury to heal. The only concern is Newman once again doesn't get the chance to get back into game shape during training camp.
Newman did an interview yesterday with KTBB (which will be broadcast today) and he says he's really not all that worried about it.
Newman, “I’m not worried at all, it’s not that severe of an injury, it’s more right now, being so early you don’t want to rush to get back and then have to deal with something else down the line. A lot of times, one injury can lead to another injury if you do rush back because you’re compensating one way or another, so we’re just taking our time, letting it heal, and trying to get ready towards the end of camp.”
One thing that always bothered me during Bill Parcells' tenure as the Cowboys' head coach was that he never embraced the history of the franchise. He never made an effort to show the players on his team what it meant to be a Dallas Cowboy, in fact it seemed he went out of his way to show them that the franchise's history means diddly-squat. It was shameful to see ex-Giants players on the sideline of Cowboys training camp talking the young players, but thankfully we now have Wade Phillips.
This year a number of Cowboys legends have graced the Cowboys practice fields, including Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Gil Brandt and Duane Thomas.
Hat tip to Far Rider for the story in his Fanpost.
On top of having a head coach who knows what this franchise means to people, Jerry Jones believes this is the best overall coaching staff he has ever had. It was interesting to see how so many high profile coaches would be able to work together (including one former head coach working as a position coach), but so far everything has run exceptionally smooth.
"It's good everyone puts it aside," Sherman, a former offensive coordinator, said of the egos. "Just got to know your role. That's when you have success, is everybody knowing their role. And nobody has hidden agendas – that's where you've got to be." The coaching staff is close. "We won't leave the meetings until 11:30," Campo said. "We're talking, telling stories and having a good time. That's how you do it. That's how you win as a team. Everybody likes each other and everybody is happy. When one of the other team's units does well, everybody feels good."
"It's good everyone puts it aside," Sherman, a former offensive coordinator, said of the egos. "Just got to know your role. That's when you have success, is everybody knowing their role. And nobody has hidden agendas – that's where you've got to be."
The coaching staff is close.
"We won't leave the meetings until 11:30," Campo said. "We're talking, telling stories and having a good time. That's how you do it. That's how you win as a team. Everybody likes each other and everybody is happy. When one of the other team's units does well, everybody feels good."
While we all have our little qualms about Coach Wade, one thing is for certain: he really knows how to manage his staff.
Mickey Spagnola says that Zach Thomas is here and better than ever, and no sign of the concussions that cut his season short last year have shown up.
While Martellus Bennett is finally starting to show some improvement, Tony Curtis has taken advantage and locked down the #2 TE spot.
Anthony Spencer is having a great camp and it is a certainty he will see more playing time this year as he pushes Greg Ellis for snaps. DeMarcus Ware says that everyone needs to make sacrifices for the good of the team.
"Our group is all about sacrifices," Ware said this afternoon. "If somebody can cover better than another guy, we're going to do that. If somebody can pass rush better than another guy, we're going to put him in that situation.
"Greg knows the situation, and I know the situation. Whatever we need to do to get to the Super Bowl, that's what we're going to do."
I heard an interview with Greg Ellis yesterday on The Ticket, but I haven't been able to find a transcript of it. Basically I was impressed with what he had to say. A few months ago he was pouting and sitting out practice because of lost playing time, but now he says he understands that you have to do whats good for the team. This just doesn't feel right to me; a training camp without a complaining Greg Ellis is a new concept.
Danny Amendola might be the resident "long-shot underdog" for the HBO Hard Knocks series.