With the upcoming draft occupying about 95% of our mental processing ability, and the other 5% devoted to trying to figure out just what the big deal is with the new uniform design, it is easy to lose sight of other things going on with the players the team already has. So I thought I would offer up a quick survey of some of the Dallas Cowboys in the news today (so far, all fairly good things, which is a little more than the Detroit Lions can say about their players named Fairley, and apparently pretty much their entire 2011 draft class). But this is not about the Lions and the opinion held by some around here whose initials are OCC that "Jim Schwartz is not cool" and also to blame for everything bad that happens to the Lions, and most of the city of Detroit for that matter. This is about the Cowboys.
One of the questions floating around since Brandon Carr was signed was which side he would play. It looks like he is planning on making the move to left cornerback, or at least is getting prepared for that.
Carr told ESPN Dallas he's working out at left cornerback in anticipation of being there when the season opens Sept. 5 at the New York Giants.
It looks like he is truly ready to do whatever the team needs, and it also may indicate a bit of a nod to him being the best athlete the team has in the secondary at this moment. Anyway, his comments in the article are sure to warm a Cowboys fan's heart.
"If you want to be an elite corner you have to play both sides of the field," Carr said last week after a tour of the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn. "And you have to challenge yourself and play outside your comfort zone and play the left or the right, play in the slot or play wherever is needed. That's why this offseason I got [to] adjust to both sides of the field, so come September 5 I can play on both sides and be comfortable. I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and playing on my left side."
What's happening with some other players after the jump.
I don't think it's any secret that most of us who have allegiance to the Star are kind of fond of Sean Lee and his play at linebacker. That appreciation for what he has brought to the team made many of us also like the move to bring his old Penn State teammate Dan Connor to Dallas. Well, based on what Sean had to say about him, we might really be glad to see them pair up again.
The Cowboys' leading tackler in 2011, Lee said not only that he admired Connor, but that he actually tried to model his game after him when the two were teammates in college--a pretty resounding compliment considering Lee's performance in 2011.
"He looks great," Lee said. "We've been working out together at the facility. The knee isn't an issue. I think he's ready to go. I think he did a great job coming off a knee injury and transitioning to the NFL. He's very talented. We need him to step up for us, and I think he understands that. I think he's going to put the work in. It's a matter of time until he becomes a very good football player."
Last year was Ogletree's first real chance to crack the rotation, but Laurent Robinson took his spot with consistency and a strong rapport with quarterback Tony Romo. Things haven't changed much since last summer. Ogletree is back, but he's facing competition on two fronts: the other young receivers behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, as well as every free agent receiver in the league.
After clearly having signed him as a bargain insurance policy (the Cowboys saved $640,000 by not tendering him as a restricted free agent), the team is not exactly committed to his future. The buzz coming from the coaches is all about Andre Holmes and Dwayne Harris. I suspect that this may be the last hurrah for KO, especially if the team happens to find a wide receiver it likes somewhere in the draft.
And if that is not enough, there may be competition from another Cowboy veteran, Jesse Holley. The former reality TV star is optimistic despite not being re-signed by Dallas. He believes he will get a chance somewhere, maybe even back in Dallas.
I'll be honest, if it were up to me, I would have signed Holley and let Ogletree go. I was impressed with Jesse's hands when he saw the field last season, and thought his special teams contributions were what you wanted from a fourth or fifth receiver. I am hoping he gets a chance with someone and that his 4th and Long experience is not over. But that's strictly my completely biased opinion.
Meanwhile, Felix Jones is one Cowboy who is definitely expected to be back - just not quite as much of him.
"I'm a little lighter," he said Wednesday night at a charity event in Grapevine, asked by reporters what he is doing to get himself ready for the season. "Going to try something new this year and just see how it goes."
Jones was listed at 217 pounds last year, and he was listed at 220 going into the previous year. He came out of college listed between 200 and 207 pounds.
I like the idea. DeMarco Murray is a more physical back, and losing the weight may help Felix return to that breakaway, change-of-pace weapon he used to be.
Jason Witten was busy modeling the new Nike uniform for the Cowboys (an event he apparently forgot to bring a comb to), but he found a little time to talk with a New Jersey outlet about another ex-Cowboy headed that direction, Martellus Bennett.
"He's a good blocker, he's a good underneath route runner and he's big so he can catch the ball. I think, more than anything, getting his confidence back and getting a fresh start will do a lot for his career. Definitely a lot of upside."
Witten was a bit vague in his assessment of Bennett but it's clear he was referencing rumblings that have surfaced in the past when he indicated Bennett could benefit from some of the structure the Giants' coaching staff will provide.
Hmm. Maybe there's more to that Senator nickname than I thought, since that was a very PC way of saying things.
While I'm mentioning former Cowboys, I thought Nick Eatman had an interesting take on the problems of one former NFL player.
Guy plays like 5 games ever in Dallas but if he's in trouble ... It's always "an ex-cowboy" ... Crazy twitter.com/nickeatman/sta…— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) April 3, 2012
Finally, would it really be an article about Dallas Cowboys players if someone didn't have something to say about Tony Romo and, you know, the "L" word? In this case, it is the Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin.
"Romo has never been the problem. I think he can be a bigger part of the solution. I think you need more from the quarterback. You see how Eli Manning raises the level of the Giants play. Romo has never been a great leader. I think he has to show some leadership. He's got to do more. He's got the talent. He's got the statistics. He's got to do more as a leader for this team to get over the hump."
Just wanted to throw that in to let everyone know that some things never change.