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Dallas Cowboys Rookie Minicamp Day 1 Wrapup

Early returns on Dallas Cowboys third round draft pick Tyrone Crawford (70) are looking good.
Early returns on Dallas Cowboys third round draft pick Tyrone Crawford (70) are looking good.

Camp RKG has started. For the first time in his head coaching career, Jason Garrett is getting a minicamp to work with his new rookies, and a select few players from last year, to try and mold them into his Cowboys Way. That's why I am calling it Camp RKG. And for the first time, these new players are more than just a bunch of scouting reports and video clips. The coaches get to actually start evaluating and figuring out which of these young players get to earn their Star.

Related: Cowboys Rookie Training Camp: Mix Of New And A Few Old

Speaking of which, Jason Garrett has confirmed that he is continuing the practice of having the rookies earn the Star for their helmets.

"They told us we didn't earn it and I definitely respect that," fourth-round pick Kyle Wilber said. "I definitely respect that. We didn't earn our stars yet. This is our first day and just because we were drafted doesn't mean we've earned stars. So we've got to go out there and compete like everybody else, like the veterans have and get our star."

Just looking at some of the pictures, like this gallery from the mothership, gets me all pumped up. Can you smell the football in the air?

More news, highlights, and general giddiness after the jump.

First off, here are some tweets from some Cowboys beat wrtiers in attendance today, in order.

Bryan Broaddus

It's good to see these players that I studied on tape live and actually moving around. Fresh legs here early on special teams drills. Quicks

Calvin Watkins

Terence Newman's jersey number 41 belongs to Troy Woolfolk

Rob Phillips

Morris Claiborne dressed out (No. 24) but watching drills. Cast on his injured wrist.

Nick Eatman

Watching first practice of 2012 .Trying to gauge these rookies ..No one really stands out in shorts and helmets just yet .I'll keep looking

Nick Eatman

As expected, CB Mario Butler is the best looking corner on field especially with Mo Claiborne out with a wrist injury. Butler looks quicker

Bryan Broaddus

Watching Eddie Whitley S Va Tech. Had relaxed pedal and quick but played a hair late defending the ball. Will see if that carries over here

Bryan Broaddus

Ten minutes into practice and WR David Little already throwing up. Not good when they bring you in as a workout guy.

Rob Phillips

First look at fifth-round WR Danny Coale. Let's stop the Welker comparisons for a lot of reasons, but this kid has more size to begin

Rob Phillips

Hard to glean much from these drills, but TE James Hanna's a clear athlete.

Bryan Broaddus

James Hanna is athletic going up the field. I like Andrew Szczerba as well. Has more quickness than George Bryan at tight end.

Calvin Watkins

Dez Bryant & DeMarco Murray watching practice. They getting work in.

Bryan Broaddus

Caleb McSurdy already shown up, Beat Chris Thompson on the front side for a tackle. Been around the ball the last two plays

Rob Phillips

Teddy Williams stride for stride with Coale, ball sails out of bounds. His first action back at CB.

Josh Ellis

Granted, they're not wearing pads, but Kyle Wilber looks awfully thin for a strong-side linebacker

Bryan Broaddus

Been having trouble with the QB exchange because the starting center Chris Thompson is struggling with the heat. Harland Gunn filling in

Bryan Broaddus

I mentioned some guys but forgot to mention Mario Butler. These WRs dont have an answer for him this morning

Rob Phillips

Troy Wilfolk gets a pick in drills...wearing TNew's old 41 jersey (His spelling, not mine.)

Calvin Watkins

Troy Woolfolk with an INT and Rob Ryan yelling "yea we got one!!!!!"

Josh Ellis

Back to back rookie minicamp interceptions for undrafted free agents Troy Woolfolk and Lionel Smith

Nick Eatman

Those concerns about james Hanna's hands are legit... Dropped a few passes that would be nice grabs but still catchable

Now, on to some other items of interest:

Rob Ryan (who several writers also mentioned as having lost 35 pounds after his lap band surgery) spoke out about having perhaps tried to do too much too soon last year.

"I think our guys played hard, but we weren't always smart and on the same page," Ryan said on Friday. "We want to eliminate some bad football. When we look back at ourselves and re-evaluate, I think I started a little too fast and put in the accelerated program without the English 101, which I struggle a little bit with. We're excited about this. I think taking the time to re-teach everything and work on the fundamentals here, I know for a fact we have great defensive coaches, so it's going to be great. We're taking our time to teach defense the way it needs to be taught. I think we're going to be fine."

Fourth-round pick Kyle Wilber was viewed more as a weak-side OLB by many scouts, but the team is planning on using him to back up Anthony Spencer on the strong side. He doesn't see any issues with that.

"At Wake Forest you just stayed on one side or the other," Wilber said. "Sometimes it was the strong side, sometimes it was the weakside, depending on who we played. It really wasn't a difference for us back at Wake Forest. Usually they would put me on the strong side if it was a team more run-oriented to the left side or the right side, so you have to be just a little bit more physical."

Todd Archer had a bunch of good observations. I suggest you go scan through them (check what he says about Tyrone Crawford), but here's one I know Archie will appreciate.

** Cornerback Isaac Madison made a nice breakup of a deep ball from Smith to Cole Beasley.

There obviously were reporters at Camp RKG. And Jerry Jones was there too. You know what happens when those two elements get even remotely close to one another. Here is part of JJ's take on who had a good day.

"I liked the way those D-backs moved around today, and those are the things that really stand out," Jones said. "Of course, your offensive linemen got a lot of reps. (Ron) Leary didn't disappoint. I liked the way Leary moved out there. He's not my pet cat, but it sounds like it, and I did like the way he moved.

"And then I thought (Danny) Coale had a good day out there, and (James) Hanna caught some good balls. And then those quarterbacks threw the ball pretty good."

In addition to impressing the team owner, OL prospect Ronald Leary also sought to quiet concerns about his reported knee problems.

Last May, Leary underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee but he didn't miss any games last season for Memphis. But at the scouting combine this spring, several NFL teams backed away from Leary fearing his knee wouldn't hold up long-term.

"I know personally there's nothing wrong with it," Leary said after Friday's first practice session for rookies and selected second-year players at Valley Ranch. "I just have to go out there and prove everybody wrong that I'm healthy."

The article goes into more detail about his knee condition, called osteochondritis dissecans. Fortunately, it is also known as OCD. Not to be confused with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or our own OCC.

For a little more on why I call this Camp RKG, just read a little of this article about Pick 6.

At times during Friday's first rookie minicamp practices at Valley Ranch, sixth overall draft pick Morris Claiborne looked like he couldn't stomach standing on the sideline any longer.

Wearing his No. 24 blue jersey - and a gray cast on his surgically-repaired left wrist - Claiborne occasionally strapped on his helmet for a simulated play during a walk-through.

Actual practice will have to wait a few weeks, though.

"I was holding myself back," Claiborne said with a smile. "The whole time I was out there I was just itching."

Danny Coale is a receiver trying to make an NFL team who happens to be white. So that means that comparisons to Wes Welker are inevitable. He already has a pretty good response to that.

"It's nice to be mentioned in the same sentence as him, but at the same time he's Wes Welker for a reason," Coale said. "He's been there and he's done it and I haven't. I'm nowhere near that level of play. I hope some day I can have a sliver of success as he's had. He's an incredible player and I admire his style of play. The way he plays the position, he's someone I try to be like."

And finally, Kyle Wilber found out something about Rob Ryan.

"I seen him on TV, seen what he says and everything and it's real life in person," Wilber said. "There's no hiding it. I thought it was just a front but it's really not a front. This is who he is. But I like it, though. He's a great coach. He's excellent at what he does and I know he's going to make us better as football players."

That's the wrap for today. Hope to see you after Day 2 of Camp RKG.


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