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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Reviewing Tuesday's OTAs

Latest Cowboys headlines: Safeties, Receivers Show Off During Tuesday OTAs; Three reasons to be optimistic about Cowboys' front seven; Kyle Orton’s loss might be Brandon Weeden’s gain.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Broaddus: Safeties, Receivers Show Off During Tuesday OTA
Broaddus like what he saw from Wilcox and Hamilton covering tight ends, Cole Beasley working as an outside receiver, and Devin Street, who got to take some first-team snaps opposite Dez Bryant. But Broaddus saves the most intriguing part for the end:

There was one stunt where Ben Bass and Tyrone Crawford were able to pull off a rush that got Crawford home for a sack. Bass and Crawford were working against Doug Free and Zack Martin. On the snap, Bass was playing the three-technique and worked hard to his left, with Martin carrying him to Free. Crawford delayed just a count, as Martin stayed with Bass, leaving a gap for Crawford to charge through. Martin, seeing what was happening, tried to pull back from Bass, but it was too late. Martin knew he made a mistake and just could not handle the quickness of Crawford -- who had a free run inside for the sack. It’s those types of experiences in practice that will help Zack Martin better understand how you need to quickly pass your man off, then look for that defender coming inside. It was outstanding execution by Bass and Crawford.

Three reasons to be optimistic about Cowboys' front seven on D | Brandon George, DMN
DeMarcus Lawrence. Tyrone Crawford. DeVonte Holloman.

Cowboys OTA observations - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer lists his observations from OTAs, starting with two nuggets on Brandon Weeden:

Linehan said Brandon Weeden has had his best week of practice. With Tony Romo sitting and Kyle Orton absent, Caleb Hanie had his best day in the sessions open to the media. He completed all but two of his throws in team drills and one was a throwaway while he was under pressure. He connected with Devin Street near the sideline, putting the ball on a dime to where Street could keep his feet inbounds.

Weeden's best throw was a play-action dig to wide receiver Terrance Williams, putting the ball just a little low to keep it away from cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who was trailing on the play.

QB Kyle Orton is keeping Dallas Cowboys in the dark | Rainer Sabin, DMN
"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

Kyle Orton’s loss might be Brandon Weeden’s gain | Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Brandon Weeden is making the most of his opportunity in Orton's absence, writes Hill.

Weeden, 30, has received all the snaps with the first-team offense the past three weeks. That has allowed him to regain confidence after some down times in Cleveland as well as earn the confidence of his new teammates and coaches.

Scout's Eye: Three Questions For Week Three Of OTAs - Bryan Broaddus,
Broaddus likes what he's seen so far from Terrell McClain and DeMarcus Lawrence:

I understand that we have yet to see these players in pads, but it would not surprise me one bit that Terrell McClain is the starter on opening day at the one-technique.

I mean this as no slam on Nick Hayden, but in my mind, he has always been a bridge player to the next best option at that position. Hayden deserves a lot of credit in the way he stepped up and handled the job in 2013, but there appears to be something to McClain’s game in the way that he plays with that disruptive quickness and power. Hayden doesn’t have these types of traits and when you listen to Rod Marinelli talk about his "Rushmen" this is the one thing that he really focuses on.

It would also not surprise me to see DeMarcus Lawrence starting at right defensive end much sooner than later.

Quick Hits: Rebuilding the D-line - David Helman,
Helman offers a quick summary of Garrett's press conference. Key highlights: Garrett says Weeden made good use of the extra snaps he got in Romo's and Orton's absence and "impressed." Terrell McClain got some extra praise from Garrett as the player "who has shown the most." Garrett also drew parallels between the rebuilding of the O-line and D-line:

Much has been made of the transformation of the Cowboys’ offensive line during the past four or five years. Garrett said there’s an analogy to be made there with the current state of the team’s defensive line, which is currently being rebuilt. He added that it’s no coincidence that the roster has become much younger over the past few years.

Cowboys aren't going to let Romo do much more next week in minicamp, Garrett says - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Romo said on Monday that he could play in a game this Sunday if he had to, but he doesn't have to, and the Cowboys will continue to be cautious with their QB:

"We’ll take him day by day like we do with all the other guys. But I wouldn’t see it changing it dramatically," coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday as the final week of OTAs started.

Jason Garrett: Sean Lee expected to have knee surgery Thursday | Jon Machota, DMN
Garrett said yesterday that Sean Lee will have surgery on his torn ACL on Thursday, but wouldn't speculate on Lee's roster status for the season. The Cowboys could put him on the PUP list or put him on IR "designated for return."

Garrett says it's still worth it for Cowboys to have patience with Matt Johnson - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Strong endorsement from garrett for a player who's had trouble staying healthy:

"The interesting thing about Matt is that every time we’ve given him an opportunity, he seems to do a pretty good job, whether it’s in practice or some of the scrimmage situations that he’s been in," Garrettt said. "He just needs time on task. He needs to get out there. It seems to me that he’s got a real good appraoch mentally. He continues to work. He doesn’t seem outwardly frustrated; I’m sure he is. But he’s just got to continue to work through it, get himself healthy. We’re going to try to give him every chance to show us what he can do."

"We’ll continue to be patient, make sure he gets healthy, and when the times comes, see if he can compete for one of these jobs," Garrett said.

Spencer Back To Running On-Field, Still No Timetable - David Helman,
Spencer has resumed running, but his return to organized football is still a long way off.

"I almost shed a tear when I was out there running," Spencer said Monday. "Still no timetable, really. It’s feeling really good, though," he said. "I’m able to do a little bit more weight and moving on the field a little bit more. It’s coming along slowly."

Cowlishaw: If injuries get Rangers' Ron Washington off hot seat, why not Cowboys' Jason Garrett? | Tim Cowlishaw, DMN
Cowlishaw argues that if there's simply no way to evaluate Ron Washington as a manager beacuse he's "woefully short on talent," shouldn't the same standard apply to Garrett?

Should Garrett have to pay for the losses of DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher as well? You can throw wide receiver Miles Austin into this mix as well. They’re all gone (in varying degrees) because of mismanagement of the team’s salary cap, and if you’re putting that on Garrett, you’re bestowing powers on the head coach that haven’t been in place since Jimmy Johnson headed for the Keys.

But, for Garrett, it’s only June and a key player from his thin cupboard has already been removed. History tells us that by mid-August after a couple of preseason games, the injury list will be significant in length. If it contains important members of the offense, is it going to be any more reasonable to judge Garrett as a coach than it is today to form opinions about Washington's managing?

Five Wonders: Durant a starter or gone? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer's five wonders are always an interesting read, so head on over there to read them in their entirety. In this post he suggests Justin Durant will be the starter at MLB, looks forward to the joint practice with the Raiders, is impressed by Terrell McClain, wonders if Kyle Wilber could be used as both a Sam linebacker and a DE, and suggests the Cowboys should extend Dwayne Harris and/or Cole Beasley early.

Roster Moves: Dallas Cowboys sign former Texas Tech DT Dartwan Bush | Rainer Sabin, DMN
Bush had been in for a tryout at the rookie minicamp last month. To make room for Bush, the Cowboys waived injured CB Jocquel Skinner (knee) and cut injured S Marvin Robinson.

Hanover Area grad Clarke signs with Cowboys - Citizens' Voice
This is an older article from the Citizen's Voice, a paper based in Wilkes-Barre, PA, which I dug up by chance yesterday. I'm including it because it details when the Cowboys started contacting potential UDFAs during the draft. You may be surprised at how early that happened and who placed the calls.

Saturday afternoon, approximately 30 minutes after the fourth round began on the final day of the 2014 NFL Draft, Brian Clarke's phone rang. On the other end of the call was Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

The news was promising. The Cowboys were targeting Clarke, a Hanover Area and Bloomsburg University graduate, as a potential seventh-round draft pick. The worst case scenario was the Cowboys would like to sign him as a preferred free agent.

The draft concluded without Clarke's name being called. Not long thereafter, Clarke signed with the Cowboys as a free agent.

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