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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: DeMarcus Lawrence Has "The Good Stuff."

Latest Cowboys headlines: Rod Marinelli is eager to see D-linemen compete; DeMarcus Lawrence impresses in his first day of Cowboys camp; Monte Kiffin says the Cowboys' defense can improve with time, just like the Seahawks did under Carroll.

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Dallas Cowboys' Rod Marinelli eager to see D-linemen compete - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
The more players he has competing for a job, the better, says Rod Marinelli.

"Oh yeah, competition is high," Marinelli said. "I think we got a lot of pieces that nobody really knows about, but let’s go see these pieces compete. It’s a great opportunity for all these men. I want them to come in and just compete. I always talk about three dogs, one bone, go after it. They know what I want. I just like them. I’m not saying expectations here. I just like how they take the field every day and work. That’s the biggest part of this position is willing to work. If you can develop 8-9 guys that you’re comfortable with, now you become a unit. Not a star, but a unit."

Marinelli on DeMarcus Lawrence: "I think we got the right one." - Jon Machota, DMN
Machota recounts how Lawrence impressed Marinelli after just one day of practice:

It only took one walk-through rookie mini-camp session without pads or helmets for Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to start raving about second-round pick DeMarcus Lawrence.

"I think we got the right one," Marinelli said to Monte Kiffin on Saturday as they walked off the Valley Ranch practice fields.

DeMarcus Lawrence has the 'Good Stuff' |
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli likes what Lawrence brings to the table in terms physique, speed and pass-rush ability - but also what Marinelli calls good "stuff."

"It means reaction to movement," Marinelli said, citing the fact that a 40-yard dash time is judged on a player’s first movement rather than as a reactionary time. "Different guys have different reactions. The good ones have that awareness. There’s awareness and instincts."

Those traits that extend beyond the measurables are a big part of why Jerry Jones and Suits decided to pull the trigger on trading up in the draft to grab Lawrence, and why they consider him "elite." For Lawrence, living up to the word "elite" is just part of his job.

"It means being coachable, understanding the game, inside the game," he said. "Really just being able to play football and wanting to be the best every single day."

Todd Archer of ESPDallas expands on the 'good stuff' concept:

"He’s got good stuff," Marinelli said. "I think he's really smooth. He's got a great feel for a reaction to movement. That's what I look for, that's something you can't test, you got to see it. He's strong in here, pad level gets down, smooth, really, really good instincts, that's our job to build on it. He's going to be a big boy, a big man."

And for the record, it's DeMarcus, not Demarcus.

Scouting Report: Taking Closer Look at DT Amobi Okoye - Bryan Broaddus,
We've talked at length about how the plan on the defensive line is to attack in waves of fresh bodies, with the idea that they will wear down opposing offensive lines. Okoye is one such potential body, and Broaddus looks at what the Cowboys may have gotten in the former first-round pick.

In the games I studied, he lined up at all three spots in the 4-3 but was best as the three technique.

The first trait you notice about him is the quickness and how he is able to get off the ball on the snap. When he is on the move, he can be hard to deal with. This was something that Marinelli appeared to take advantage of when he had Okoye in the game [in Chicago].


The switch: Anthony Hitchens' decision at age 12 set him on path to becoming Cowboys draft pick | David Moore, DMN
David Moore offers up a well-researched piece on Anthony Hitchens' background. If you read only one of the articles linked today, make it this one.

Dallas Cowboys Sign RB Ryan Williams - Blogging The Boys
After working out the former 2nd-round pick earlier on Saturday, the Cowboys wasted no time signing Ryan Williams to the squad.

Kiffin says Cowboys' defense can improve with time, just like Seahawks under Carroll - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Kiffin believes that improvements to the Cowboys defense will be - you guessed it - a process.

"I go back to the Seattle Seahawks with Pete Carroll," Kiffin said. "The first year, they were 27th in the league. Then they got to ninth, and then they were No. 1. It just takes time."

"We’re a long ways to Seattle right now," he said. "But that’s where we are. This is a very similar scheme. Seattle plays so fast. They were not fast like that in 2010, Pete Carroll’s first year. They did not play fast like that."

Will McClay pleased with Dallas Cowboys' draft - ESPN Dallas
McClay believes the Cowboys had a good draft, but stresses that there's still more work to be done.

"I think we had a good draft," McClay said Friday. "We put the plan together and the guys went out and did the work so that we could put together a good board and I think we had a good draft."

Morris Claiborne is healthy, so Dallas Cowboys are hoping for a breakout season | Jon Machota, DMN
Secondary coach Jerome Henderson explains why Claiborne has fallen short of expectations.

"You drafted Mo to be a starting corner," Henderson said. "You don’t spend a pick that high if you don’t think that, so we hope he develops and plays to that level."

"He’s played well for stretches and then he gets dinged up and then he misses a stretch and then he has to get back," Henderson said. "You want him to just be able to ascend from preseason and keep getting better and better and better throughout a season. He just hasn’t been able to do that thus far.

Cowboys still have hopes disappointing Claiborne can be a top cornerback but time is running out
Henderson said no one in organization is ready to give up on Claiborne.

"I just hope the kid can stay healthy the whole season that we all get to see the player he is," Henderson said. "Will he do that? Gosh, I hope so. I know he’s working his butt off now, he’s healthy now, he’s moving around well now, so I hope he stays at the level he’s at now and continues to get better from there. I hope this is the year he breaks through from that standpoint."

Garrett cuts back rookies' practice time - ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys scaled things down on Saturday after a rash of injuries decimated the rookie minicamp participants. Notice the correct use of the word 'decimated': Five of the approximatley 50 players working out were hurt (CB Jocquel Skinner, RB Josh Harris, OT Darius Moore, DT Maurice Couch, and S Ahmad Dixon).

Quick Hits From Garrett's Rookie Camp Presser Saturday - David Helman,
Helman has a summary of Garrett's Saturday press conference, and includes this observation on Marc Colombo:

Former offensive lineman Marc Colombo has been at Valley Ranch this week, and Garrett said he’ll be working with the personnel department and helping out on-field. Garrett said he has "great energy."

We'll trust the always reliable Todd Archer to give us the lowdown on what's really going on with Colombo and the Cowboys:

And Stephen Jones, via Carlos Mendez, provides further clarification.

Oxnard Training camp dates announced - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
The Cowboys plan to fly to Oxnard, California, on July 22 and begin training camp July 23. They'll break camp just before their second preseason game Aug. 16 against the Ravens in Dallas.

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