We've finally made it to August folks! Preseason football is only 11 days away, as the Cowboys are set to face off against the Denver Broncos next Thursday night. We have a game next week, ladies and gents! Unfortunately, there are still holes in the roster left to fill, as it's becoming obvious to all that finding a solution to the two safety spots is easier said than done. The realist in me finds this fact to be disheartening; the last line of defense will have the least amount of familiarity with his teammates. We all expect Abram Elam to eventually land a contract, and we're happy that he'll be familiar with Rob Ryan's system. However, just because he can't practice until August 4th even if signed already, he could be in attendance and getting to know the players and coaches he doesn't already.
In the mean time, there has been plenty of other news. The Cowboys have shored up their defensive line rotation, without the big splash some fans were hoping for. Cullen Jenkins moved on to another division rival, who apparently are loading up for a big run. After the entire Cowboys Kingdom was captivated on Friday by the Nnamdi Project, things returned to normal around here. It's funny to see fans who complain about Jerry Jones being fascinated with new shiny toys, when we fell victim to this as well. I didn't give two thoughts about Nnamdi joining the team before Thursday. By 2 p.m. on Friday, I was so swept up in the hype even I started rooting for it to happen; this with a salary cap spreadsheet open on my iMac all day long!
But there is more to this team than it's failed pursuit of the year's biggest free agent names. I've said several times that Jerry has been a frugal free agent player recently and I think that's to the benefit of the team, even if he suffers from fan backlash at his perceived 'failure' to land Asomugha. Think about it, people are perturbed because Jerry didn't sign two 30 something players to five-year contracts. What percentage of players are worth their contracts at that age? A DE who has only started 28 games over the last three seasons? Color me good without him.
The Cowboys have done some good things over the last week, signing various fair-priced options and reportedly running a crisp camp. Let's take a trip down short-term memory lane, and review the weekend that was in Cowboys land through the linkies.
-- TE Martellus Bennett and his maturation process made the rounds in the media yesterday. Cowboys Corner on Star Telegram had the money quote.
"It's weird cause I don't just represent myself," Bennett said. "I have to represent my wife in everything I do. I don't want her to get a bad reflection cause of the things that I do. That is the difference now. I really care what happens. I didn't care what nobody said about me until she started to care. That is the difference."
-- OCC has a transcription of interviews with Dave Campo and Hudson Houck. [BTB]
-- Cowboys WR Coach Jimmy Robinson is recovering from his collision with Teddy Williams, but hasn't yet returned to practice. [ESPN]
-- Good read on new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan [San Antonio Express]
-- If any of the Cowboys receivers needed a kick in the pants, the team has signed WR Tysson Poots. [Cowboys Gab]
-- ESPN's Brian Broaddus breaks down the struggles of Dez Bryant's route running.
-- Dave brings the injury report, including Tashard Choice being out 2-4 weeks with a calf, and Keith Brooking missing up to 14 days. [BTB]
-- Jerry Jones reasons away the injury bug that is hitting the Cowboys and several other teams. As if injuries aren't a part of every training camp. [Star Telegram]
-- P Mat McBriar has been nursing a sore quad from his conditioning test and hasn't started kicking yet. [DMN]
-- Jerry admits he'd like to take the Roy Williams trade back [ESPN]
-- NFLPA recertification has the necessary votes to proceed [AP]
-- The Cowboys will be taking Wednesday off, to regroup in preparation for the new free agents being added to the fold for the 2011 season. [Star Telegram]
-- Details on the Cowboys contract extensions via ESPN: Doug Free, four years $32 million, $17 m guaranteed, $10.3 million signing bonus. Kosier, Spears and Coleman also included.
-- Alan Ball, Jesse 'Mr 4th and Long' Holley and Bryan 'Mr 2 TD Returns' McCann all signed their restricted free agent offers Saturday and will suit up August 4th. [ESPN]