Kevin Burnett is having surgery yet again on one of his knees and at one point he thought that maybe it might be time to move on.
"I don't think I would ever just walk away from the game right now," Burnett said. "But at some point in time, you have to ask yourself how long can I subject myself to this kind of punishment and is it really worth it? But that hasn't really crossed my path at this point. I'm looking forward to playing this season."
This will only add fuel to the fire for Burnett being labeled as injury-prone, despite the fact he has only missed three games the past three seasons. He is in a contract year and I am sure he was hoping to be healthy all year as he plays for a big deal next season. I can definitely understand his frustration and there does come a point where you have to consider your long term health. Burnett is hoping for that one big NFL contract that will have him set for life but it will be tough to get one if he stays injured.
He is expected to return fairly quickly and might be ready to go for the season opener against the Browns, but if he does miss significant time the Cowboys have Zach Thomas to pick up the slack.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo struggled dearly in the second game of the season last year, throwing for the fewest yards (186) of the first 13 games. And even though the Cowboys won, 37-20, to Romo, who completed only 14 of 29 passes, finishing with his second lowest QB rating of those opening 13 games - who can forget Buffalo? - this one was no laughing matter.
He blamed most of his frowns on some guy named Zach Thomas. Yep, same guy, just 11½ months younger. To Romo, the 34-year-old Thomas was a pain in the ass to the Cowboys' passing game, be it first down, second down or third when they went into their nickel offense. He never came off the field, that is, not until suffering that concussion which contributed heavily to landing him on IR for the rest of last season.
While the addition of Adam Jones was certainly significant and our draft class should prove to be fairly exciting, I contend the signing of Zach Thomas was our most important offseason move. I think the concerns about his health were a bit overblown, and Thomas' ability not only against the run but also in the passing game will be a huge upgrade for the Cowboys from previous years. His presence alone seems to inspire the play of others around him as well, something you weren't going to get with Akin Ayodele.
It's sad though that we can't say with any certainty, "It's ok if Burnett misses a bit of time, Bobby Carpenter can step in."
The best thing that will come out of the practices against the Broncos is the Cowboys have been forced to get physical. The past two days have featured some hard hitting from both sides, but the Denver players especially have been fired up to go against a high caliber team like the Cowboys.
"I don't think Dallas was used to that type of practice," Broncos cornerback Dre Bly said.
"Those guys finished 13-3 last year, so they probably can afford to relax in practice and coast their way through certain drills. Us, we were 7-9, so we're on the ground right now and we're trying to get back up that hill."
Physical practices have tendency to get a bit testy at times, however.
Cowboys offensive tackle Flozell Adams got into a pushing match with Broncos defender Marcus Thomas, ripped his helmet off and began flinging it at Thomas as they were engulfed by a pile of players from both teams.
"It was a little scuffle that happens every now and then," Adams said afterward. "He just pushed on me and I let it ride like I always do. He pushed again and it was over. I went after him."
Can you imagine a scarier sight than big Flo coming at you all crazy-eyed, swinging a helmet at you?
Wade Phillips is hoping to get a better look at the younger players in the upcoming preseason game and Keon Lattimore is itching for his chance to make some plays.
"Practice is one thing," Lattimore said. "But in the game it's all out. I'm a gamer. I practice hard, but I'm so focused when the game comes. I'm definitely looking forward to everybody seeing me. It's going to be my coming out party."
Lattimore said he's especially excited for the chance to torch Denver, after receiving what he deemed a few cheap shots in the four joint practices Wednesday and Thursday.
In case you didn't know, the Cowboys are looking at rotating Marcus Spears and Jay Ratliff at defensive end and nose guard.
Mac Engel says that Hard Knocks has shown how un-controversial the Cowboys have been so far.
Compared to what was thought to happen or supposed to happen — such as daily confrontation, tension, a devastating injury or maybe even an arrest — Cowboys camp has played out like watching a 9 to 5 office job.