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Cowboys News: New Receiver Signed, New Podcast For BTB, Training Camp Is Here!

The team leaves for Oxnard TODAY, folks! This is the real start of the football season for Cowboys fans!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn't catch it yesterday, this is big.

BTB Podcast Is Back And Bigger Than Ever! - Blogging The Boys

Rabblerousr and our newest member of the BTB team, Landon McCool, will be bringing your all kinds of Dallas Cowboys goodness, starting this week! Stay tuned, literally, for more info!


Roughly 75 players complete conditioning tests before Cowboys leave for training camp | Dallas Morning News

The Jason Witten Official Early Dallas Cowboys Conditioning Test was conducted Monday as decreed by the Senator. The team captains tallied the results to relay to the coaching staff.

Players are required to pass those tests to take part in practice. Those who didn't run sprints Monday will be required to take the test Wednesday.

The first practice of this camp is Thursday. Coaches and trainers generally prefer for the players to complete the conditioning tests earlier in the week because it gives the body more time to recover before the first practice.

Sounds like things went well for all involved.

Dallas Cowboys sign WR Dezmon Briscoe, former Cedar Hill standout, and waive former Texas Longhorns DT Chris Whaley | Dallas Morning News

The Cowboys continue to make moves as they get ready to head to Oxnard to start camp. Dezmon Briscoe sat out 2013 on IR after injuring his shoulder in the last preseaon game. He does have some experience to bring to the table. He also fits the mold the Cowboys have for larger wide receivers (not counting Cole Beasley).

Briscoe (6-2, 210) had six catches for 93 yards and a touchdown in two games during his rookie season for Tampa Bay. In 2011 with Tampa Bay, Briscoe played in all 16 games - starting two - and finished with 35 catches for 387 yards and six touchdowns. He played in 2012 for Washington and had two catches for 22 yards in seven games.

Jason Garrett enters his biggest season -- again - ESPN

It is pretty much a staple around here every year. The preseason always brings articles about Jason Garrett's seat and how hot it is. However, even the harshest critics are beginning to acknowledge some of the things Garrett has accomplished so far.

Looking objectively at what he has done since taking over as the full-time coach, there have been positive signs and mistakes that have cost the Cowboys games. The general direction of the team is better than it was when he took over. Troy Aikman said this offseason that if Garrett is not back in 2015, then the next coach will benefit from the foundation Garrett put down.

Dallas Cowboys: Weight of winning squarely on players this season - ESPN Dallas

Ever since Garrett got the head coaching gig, he has focused on bringing in his kind of players. Now it is time to see if that is going to pay off.

The coaching staff only is going to take this team so far. Garrett has spent the past three seasons acquiring the "right kind of guys" who can provide the foundation for a quality team that can sustain winning once it starts.

It's time for the players to accept the responsibility and get it done. It's the only way to start some new streaks.  - Cowboys Zombie Apocalypse

A lot of snippets but mostly a good article because they use some impeccable sources.

The Final Word: Our friend OCC notes that 81 of 90 players currently on the Cowboys roster were brought in with Jason Garrett as the head coach. So, OCC says, no more excuses.

Rod Marinelli wants habits formed in camp - Dallas Cowboys Blog - ESPN Dallas

It's a short article, but it lays out the underlying philosophy of Rod Marinelli's coaching as well as anything I have seen. He believes in relying on the fundamentals. He believes in knowing what you need to do and doing it over and over and over . . .

"Tedious repetition of the simplest movements every single day. That is tough to do. That is really tough to do but that's what you shoot for. In this system it's really important because we're based so much on fundamentals. The standard is us as coaches. We have to set the standard in terms of that because you see over the course of the year your drill work can start going downhill a little bit. You can't allow [bad habits] to creep in on you. What happens is you get guys starting to get beat up and they can't practice as well. ... It sounds incredible but you lose them quick. You've just got to stay on them."

- Rod Marinelli

Mailbag: Third QB Or Another Defensive Lineman?

Right now, the consensus here and elsewhere is that the team is going to stick with the two quarterback formula and put the extra resource into the defense.

Position Series: Question Marks From Top To Bottom At LB Spot

With as many things to sort out defensively as the Cowboys have, I still think it is safe to say that right now the situation at linebacker is as murky as any on the team.

It has also caused some of the new guys to stay a bit out of sight. Watch to see how the guys you haven't been thinking about show up in camp, like this one:

One guy flying under the radar at linebacker, as well as this entire draft class is seventh-rounder Will Smith out of Texas Tech. Making the team as a late-round pick will usually come down to special teams performance. At 6-2, 230, Smith has the body frame to be a good player on the coverage units. That could give him a huge boost to making the roster. But even at linebacker, he's got athletic ability that can make a difference on the nickel defense. Like all rookies, keeping his head from spinning enough to become a playmaker will be a big test.

NFL Trade Value, Part 1

And now for something completely different: This is part one of a two part series looking at who are the most valuable trade assets in the NFL. It is an interesting read (the first part of it shows just how fast a player can tumble from being really, really valuable to hot garbage). This only covers numbers 31 through 50, but there are a couple of names we are interested in:

32. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas

Oh, hi, 34-year-old version of Stafford. Romo rates ahead of Stafford because he's a far better quarterback during the other three and a half quarters of the game, even if he seems to share some questionable tendencies later on. I've defended Romo as much as anyone, but it's just so much fun to make Romo jokes! The masochistic side of me wants to see if Cowboys fans start chanting for Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, or Dirk Nowitzki first this season. Oh, by the way, until the Cowboys restructure his deal again and push their cap problems even further into the future, Romo's cap hit rises from $11.8 million this year to $27.8 million next year. That's a serious problem, because they have to re-sign ...

31. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas

... who is in the final year of his rookie contract and is actually one of the few Cowboys veterans Jerry Jones wouldn't be stupid to re-sign. Releasing Ware went a huge way toward creating the space needed to re-sign Bryant, and Dallas will likely structure his deal into a seven-year contract to spread the signing bonus hit across as many years as possible, just as it did when locking up the critically essential Dan Bailey through 2020 this past offseason. If the Cowboys are the NFL Knicks (and the Cowboys, to be clear, are the NFL Knicks), Romo is their Melo, Bailey is their Jerome James, and Bryant is their Tyson Chandler, the talented player whom they actually should keep around. Oh, wait, the Knicks got rid of Chandler? That's a very Knicks thing to do.

NFC East: Assessing Each Team's Big Issue Pre-Camp

A look from the mothership at how our esteemed rivals are doing. He brings up something I certainly can get on board with.

To be frank, the resolution of the Robert Griffin III saga is what's going to determine Washington's fortunes this year. If he bounces back to his rookie form, I think the Redskins have what it takes to reach the playoffs again. If he struggles, the Redskins look likely to earn a high draft pick.

To be frank again, I think I have RG3 fatigue. The whirlwind that surrounded him for much of last year was exhausting - from the rehabbing of his torn ACL to the rumor-mongering about his relationship with former coach Mike Shanahan.


Remember, the team leaves for Oxnard TODAY!

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