clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dallas Cowboys training camp roster review: Offense

 

Yeah, yeah, I didn’t post my camp review of the offense last night as promised. Sue me, I’m broke anyway. So here it is today. I dispensed with discussing guys like Romo, Witten, T.O. and MB3 because really, we know what they are and all looked good in camp. It’s mainly about the non-superstars. Also, I’ve marked the guys with an asterisk that would make my 53-man roster right now, based solely on camp. That will change once the preseason games start and we get a better view of each player through the magic of live football. So take these rankings with a grain of salt, they could change quickly starting Saturday night.

Offense

QB

*Tony Romo – Franchise.

*Brad Johnson – His arm looked to be in serious decline to me during camp. I saw three or four bombs that he attempted flutter in the wind and hang up in the air like a punt. A couple ended up in a grateful CB’s hands. I remember distinctly a deep out attempt that ended up a couple of yards short and killed a few worms at the conclusion of its dive bombing run. He’s limited to dinks-and-dunks as his aerial mode of transportation. If he has to QB for a significant stretch we are going to need a great running game, stingy defense and tons of YAC for the receivers. Now prove me wrong Brad and throw a couple of bombs against San Diego.

Richard Bartel – Big, strong looking QB, looks the part, but doesn’t seem to be there yet. He has an arm, he can throw deep and he gets zip on the ball but his accuracy is questionable and he doesn’t read the defense as well as he needs to. Granted, he gets limited reps in practice and is running on the third team but I would say he still needs more time. Unless he lights it up in preseason and they decide he could be the #2, I think he hits the practice squad.

Jeff Terrell – Seriously?

RB

*Marion Barber – Ask LB Tyson Smith if MB3 is ready for action.

*Felix Jones – Everything I saw in practice indicated that he is who we thought he was. Fast to the edges, shifty in traffic, good vision, can catch passes and is willing to mix-it-up with LB’s in pass protection. Now, how does he do in a live action NFL game is the question. With no real hitting in camp and that limiting the speed of the defense as they pull up to keep from killing people, I need to see El Gato get busy against NFL defenders with bad intentions. I think he’ll do very well but I need to see it.

*Tashard Choice – My boy from GT impressed during camp. Coming in, I was bias because I watched him play for my college team and knew how good he was, his problem at Tech was always nagging injuries. So I relied a lot on what other people saw at camp and Choice was universally praised. Fans didn’t know he was that good. His vision and drive are what sets him apart.

Alonzo Coleman – He’s not a bad back and on some days he was quite good. If the Cowboys needed a third back because they didn’t have Choice, I think they would be happy to have a guy like Coleman. There wasn’t a dramatic drop-off in talent when Coleman got reps in practice. Unfortunately he’s caught in a numbers crunch.

Keon Lattimore – Just hasn’t shown enough in camp to warrant consideration. He’s far behind the other four in terms of camp performance.

WR

*T.O. – Uncoverable in camp.

*Patrick Crayton – Very steady, nothing flashy except catching the six punts after AJ showed him how. Crayton runs with the 1’s so T.O. and Witten get a lot of the balls during his reps but he made a fair number of catches and doesn’t drop passes. What you saw last year (minus the playoff game) is probably what you’ll see this year. Steady, not flashy, production.

*Sam Hurd – Had a great camp, especially the opening week. He was constantly getting open in team drills and catching everything that was thrown his way. He looks bigger like he’s added some muscle and he is my solid #3 receiver at this point. He did have a few drops later in camp but for the most part he was as good as Crayton was over the practices I saw. I think this kid may be ready for a break-out type year if he gets enough reps.

*Miles Austin – Started a little slow in camp but by the last week was coming on strong. His physical tools are undeniable but his lack of consistency and continued problem of dropping some easy passes has held him back. Towards the end of camp though he was making plays, a strong preseason could vault him up towards the #3 but he’s got to show it consistently.

*Isaiah Stanback – He’s just not polished enough yet to count on as a regular rotation guy. He can catch but he’s similar to Austin in that he has the physical tools but hasn’t put it all together yet, the route-running, catching the easy ones all the time, that kind of stuff. (Although Austin is far ahead him in becoming all that.) I could see them using him on some specialty plays, maybe a reverse, a hitch/screen, something to get him the ball in space, but I don’t think he’s ready to be the WR we need this year.

*Danny Amendola – Right now, I’m keeping Amendola as a sixth receiver. He was impressive in practice. He’s jitterbug quick, can get separation from the CB’s with sharp cuts where he doesn’t have to slow down going into the cut. He catches the ball well and has a knack for getting open in the holes of the defense. If he can show something on a special teams unit or two, he would greatly enhance his chance at sticking on the 53-man roster. These preseason games are going to be huge for this kid.

Mike Jefferson – He actually had a pretty good camp but the presence of Amendola probably means Jefferson won’t make the cut. He solved his problem from last training camp of dropping everything but I think he got out-played by Amendola and that was his main competition. He made it a close competition but not good enough unless he lights it up in preseason and Amendola is not productive.

Mark Bradford – Showed the most promise of the bottom-rung of WR’s but not nearly enough to warrant a breakthrough to the main roster. Might not even be PS worthy.

Daniel Polk – Just didn’t show much at camp, was mainly invisible.

Todd Lowber – Hey, he has a Super Bowl ring, he should just be happy with that.

OL

*Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, Andre Gurode, Kyle Kosier, Flozell Adams – I don’t believe there will be any change in the starters. Koiser may be the least of this group in talent but I don’t see any backup ready to step in his place. Flozell had a great camp and the rest of the guys were solid.

*Doug Free – I like this kid, athletic with good footwork, the ability to keep up with a speed-rush and push them outside the QB and can stand in tough against the bull-rush or different moves. Quality backup.

*Joe Berger – Yes, he looks better than he has in the past. But I don’t think it was near enough to supplant Kosier; but seeing him play better makes me feel a lot better if he has to fill in for an injury.

*Cory Proctor – Another guy who looks competent if not spectacular. These guys are backups for a reason, they just aren’t as talented or ready to produce like the starters. Still, Proctor looked OK in camp and should be back with the team.

*James Marten – They moved him inside because like McQ he had a lot of problems with the agility needed to play tackle. His footwork just wasn’t sharp enough to cover that much space. He looks a lot better as a guard.

*Pat McQuistan – I admit, after this camp I’m not a huge fan of McQ. I saw him getting beat far too often in the individual drills and sometimes in the team drills. He just doesn’t seem to have the range to cover the tackle spot and his best position might be at guard. I’m not confident that he wouldn’t put Romo in danger if he had to play significant reps. Maybe the preseason will prove me wrong.

Cory Lekkerkerker, Adam Stenavich, Ryan Gibbons – OK, I admit, I didn’t watch these guys much. They are at the bottom and I don’t see any chance of them making the 53-man roster.

FB

*Deon Anderson – He’s the starter and training camp is not the best way to see his skills, I have to watch the ball to report what happens on a play so you don’t see the FB doing much that way. But Deon is the unquestioned starter and might be the only guy at his position to make the 53-man roster from this camp.

Ronnie Cruz – He’s big but moves pretty well. He needs to be a monster on special teams for the Cowboys to keep him on the 53-man roster. Keep an eye on his play in that area during preseason. That will be the telling factor about his future.

Julius Crosslin – No chance.

TE

*Jason Witten – Romo to Witten over the middle is cash money. Candy from a baby.

*Tony Curtis – Solid camp. Catches the ball when it’s thrown his way and moves OK with the ball in his hands. The Cowboys also like his blocking and special teams play, he will probably get the most or at least split the #2 reps during the year.

*Martellus Bennett – A really big kid with nice athleticism, he could become something one day. I just don’t think he’s there yet. On three or four days of practice he caught a lot of passes and was really productive, but there were plenty of days where he turned invisible. He just seems like he’s got a lot to learn. If he does learn it, he has the physical tools to be really good.

Oops, just saw my cut and paste job left off a couple of names at the bottom.

Rodney Hannah - He's tall and athletic but never showed much in camp. PS material at best.

Drew Atchison - Made a few plays but TE is just too full for him to have a chance.