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The Valley Ranch Review: Coaches, Players, Fans Excited for OTA Week

The Cowboys are set to participate in this week's OTAs at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis is even there!

DeCamillis showed up today for the first day of organized team activities, wearing a neck brace but walking around among the players as they warmed up. He was released from the hospital May 10, just eight days after getting hurt.

The 43-year-old DeCamillis was carrying coaching notes as he made his way around the team's temporary practice facility with another assistant coach.

Hat tip to cowboy78 for the FanShot.

Roy Williams looks forward to being an integral part of the passing game, starting today. So does all-world TE Jason Witten.

"There is a lot of pressure, myself included, to make up that ground," said tight end Jason Witten. "In order for us to be the best team, we've got to be able to make some plays in the passing game. There are going to have to be a lot of guys step up, I know Roy (Williams) embraces that challenge of being the guy."

Per the DMN blog, here are some of the expected absences for practice thus far:

K Nick Folk (recovering from hip surgery), G Kyle Kosier (recovering from foot surgery), CB Mike Mickens (school), OLB Victor Butler (school), DE Jason Hatcher (knee scope), and DT Tim Anderson (toe injury which will require surgery).

More VRR after the jump, including some quick notes on today's practice and a video (thanks to DCFanatic) on Coach Joe's return!

Coach Joe D shows up for OTA's (via DCFanatic8)

Much gratitude to Timmy Mac for his OTA observations today. Below are some quick hits I pulled from his blog. Click here for McMahon's complete rundown.

- While the QBs and WRs were getting their timing down, it sounds like the 'best-hands' battle so far is between Roy Williams and Sam Hurd.

- Jon Kitna's arm looks strong as ever.

- SS Gerald Sensabaugh and CB Mike Jenkins took all the 1st-string reps at their respective positions.

- Tony Romo conducted his first press conference of the season. Todd Archer has more of what QB#9 said here.

Thanks also to's Nick Eatman. I also pulled a few observations off of his blog. Click here for his complete rundown.

- Greg Ellis ran with the first team at OLB; Keith Brooking (as expected) started at ILB.

- Montrae Holland started at LG for Kosier.

- Felix Jones looked to be at full strength. Sweet!

Felix Jones is excited to be working out again with the team.

Jones has gone through only one longer absence, when he broke his ankle as a junior in high school.

"This humbled me a little bit more, led me to be more aware of what is going on," Jones said.

Rehab was slow and monotonous but necessary. And the burst has returned.

"I've tested my body," Jones said. "My body is finally responding the way I want it to respond."


"The vets look at me as a rookie still, but I still have something to prove every time I step on the field," he said. "I just can't wait to get on the field with the same intensity I had when I came in as a rookie. I have it even more now."

Friend of BTB, Tashard Choice, is quickly becoming an even bigger friend to the Dallas community. His charity golf event held yesterday at the Brookhaven Country Club, benefitted the Single Parent Foundation of Dallas and the North Texas Georgia Tech Student Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Jason Garrett won't let last year's disappointments or rumors regarding his Dallas future distract him from his job.

"I think the biggest thing I’ve learned, and it’s from personal experience but also talking to other people, is don’t be distracted by either one," Garrett said. "Don’t believe it when it’s good and don’t believe it when it’s bad."


"They’re going to say great things about you and say things that aren’t so great," Garrett said. "But what you have to do is believe in what you believe in and you try to come to work every day, you try to work hard and put your best foot forward and you go forward."

Former USC Trojan Matt Spanos, who worked mostly at center in the rookie mini-camp, expects to get some work at guard this week.

Former PGA champ Rich Beem has set up a charity for injured Cowboys' asst. scout Rich Behm, calling it the Beem Fore Behm plan.

Beem has pledged $100 for every birdie he makes to the Behm family. With the help of the PGA TOUR and the Cowboys, pledges will be taken at both tournaments, where fans can name their own donation for birdies made by Beem or any other player in the field. Those pledges will be collected, and the donors who come closest to guessing the total number of birdies made each week will win a set of custom-fit Callaway Golf clubs.

In addition, Beem's golf bag, signed by other players, is being offered as a silent auction item in the Cowboys tent at the TPC Four Seasons Resort.

Here are some new pics showing the progress at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.


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