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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp News: Romo's Back Looms Over Everything

Other Cowboys headlines: Rolando McClain verdict is in; Melton needs to be a monster; Dez patient about contract.

Ronald Martinez

Just a few days ago, it was sometimes a struggle to find enough Dallas Cowboys news to fill up these daily news link posts. My, how things change once training camp start. Sit down, get comfortable, and prepare yourself. I'm about to turn on the fire hose.


Practice summaries:

Cowboys 2014 Training Camp Practice Summary: Building Skills, Step-By-Step - Blogging The Boys

Rabble brings us tons of detail on the days activity, including a couple of coaches showing the younguns they still have a little in the tank.

In the final practice period, the defense gathered as a full unit for the first time all camp (outside of 11-on-11 walk-through work). The opposing offense was comprised of coaches, with Jason Garrett playing quarterback, and doing a reasonable imitation of Payton Manning, repeatedly calling out "Omaha, Omaha" at the line. On one play, he lofted a pretty ball to Leon Lett, running a crossing pattern, just over the outstretched arms of J.J. Wilcox. Garrett and the 6'6" Lett exploited a noticeable height advantage to get the completion.

Day 2 observations from Dallas Cowboys training camp practice: QB Tony Romo gets a day off; DC Rod Marinelli keeps on yelling | Dallas Morning News

We don't know how things are going to turn out with the revamped defensive line, but there are some positive developments.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was just as fired up on Day 2 of training camp practices as he was the first day Thursday. He was constantly yelling at the defensive linemen: "Speed, more speed."

Marinelli saw progress from DT Henry Melton in one drill as he urged the free agent addition to use more speed: "Not quite there yet, but I'm starting to see it."

Fri. Practice Recap: Romo Held Out; McClain To Return

Basically, the guys at the mothership felt there was not much to see here (obviously, they weren't talking to Rabble). With the first padded practice coming up later today, the watchword was still no injuries (and their weren't). Tony Romo didn't even stay on the field for the entire time (which was remarked on by many), but Stephen Jones said it was no big deal.

"He wanted to not push it here this afternoon," Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said Friday after practice. "He's been going pretty good between all the conditioning and running and getting himself back into shape and then having a big two or three days here, that he wanted to take this afternoon and rest up a little bit and get ready. He said he doesn't want to miss anything that's competitive, and everybody agreed that was a good idea."

Mid-Day Report: No Timetable For McClain Return

While we focus on the evening session during two-a-days, there is also a morning practice. has a nice little recap of things from that, with some unique tidbits.

The Cowboys "like" the problem of trying to find a role for Lance Dunbar. Garrett said he'd feel confident running his normal offense with Lance Dunbar as the primary back, but there's no denying the speedster's skillset.


Cowboys Rolando McClain Found Guilty, Gets 18 Day Sentence - Blogging The Boys

Our resident legal professional Dawn Macelli gave a quick recap of the situation now that the verdict is in for Rolando McClain's trial in Alabama. In addition to explaining the charges and the somewhat questionable evidence, she also provides the really important information.

The Decatur Municipal Court found McClain guilty based on officer statements and the video evidence. He was sentenced to 18 days in jail, but his attorney has already served notice to the court that he intends to appeal the conviction. Because of this, McClain will face a jury trial later this year. In the meantime his sentence will be on hold, pending the results of the appeal.

Under Alabama law, McClain would not ordinarily be permitted to leave the state until his appeal is heard. Given the special circumstances of McClain's career, the city prosecutor agreed to waive that condition. This will allow the player to join his team in training camp immediately.

Note: Never refer to Dawn as a "legal eagle".  Any implied link between her and the Eagles is likely to lead to bad things, especially if you are within arm's reach of her.

Cowboys Henry Melton: 'I've got to prove I've still got it' - ESPN

So far, Henry Melton, the biggest of the free agent acquisitions made by the Cowboys this year is looking pretty good. They really need him to.

"The NFL is about what have you done lately," Melton said. "I didn't play a lot last year. I've got to prove I've still got it." 

Melton has to have it if the Cowboys are going to improve defensively in 2014. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has said the key to the 4-3 scheme is how the three technique plays. When Melton played well in his two years under Marinelli, the Bears played well.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys talking extension but deal not close - ESPN Dallas

Remember when Dez Bryant was seen as such a distraction?

Bryant, who is represented by agent Eugene Parker, said it's awkward for him to look at football as a business because his passion for the game is so strong.

"That's the point of me saying that I'll let it take care of itself, because I'm so confident and comfortable in my play on the field," said Bryant, who hopes to spend his entire career with the Cowboys. "I believe in, if a guy deserves it, he deserves it. I'm just going to keep on working. When it comes my way, I'm ready to sign my way on the dotted line."


Jason Garrett explains why Dallas Cowboys team shirt says ‘FIGHT’ | Dallas Morning News

The team has been wearing shirts emblazoned with that one word at practices (for a good look, follow this link to the picture Uche Nwaneri put up on his Instagram account). Here is the message behind the.

"Every day it's a fight to be your best, whatever your field of endeavor you have," Garrett said. "We talk about that a lot, and it's really an important thing to understand. This is a unique opportunity that we all have - to play and coach for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League.

"It's a fight to be your best - it's not a fight to try your best, it's a fight to be your best."

Cowboys’ Romo Promises ‘The Best Version Of Me’ - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

No matter what the detractors say, Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the league from a statistical standpoint. Whether you are talking touchdown to interception ratio, fourth quarter comebacks, or passer rating, he is right at the top of the list. And if you think that at age 34 he is on the downhill slide part of his career, he would like to disabuse you of that notion.

"I'm sure one day when I'm 45, the body will tell me I'm done playing," Romo said. "But I feel personally like I've just started to come into the player that I wanted to be six, seven years ago. I think over the course of the next four or five years, you'll see the best version of me that I've had throughout my career."

As mentioned in the summaries, Tony Romo did not participate in the afternoon practice (as Jason Garrett announced beforehand). Based on the different ways members of the media reacted to this, it bodes to become the first controversy of the camp.

Meanwhile, Birddog26 pointed out that Romo is still doing about four hours of rehab a day. It seems reasonable that would be taken into consideration in figuring out how much to work him on the field.


Visitation, funeral services set for former Dallas Cowboys FB Robert Newhouse | Dallas Morning News

Those of us of a certain age remember him with great fondness.

Garrett’s Message To Carr: Take All The Time You Need

There is sad news concerning Brandon Carr, who has not reported for camp. His mother is having health issues, and from the way it sounds, the outlook is not good. The head coach is well aware of what is happening.

"I texted back and forth with him (Thursday)," Garrett said of Carr. The situation with his mom has been going on for a while. When I talked to him on Tuesday before we left - I told him, ‘to take all the time you need. The stuff you're handling right now is the most important stuff in life. So try to communicate with us when you can.' We're just giving him all the freedom he can so he can handle that situation the right way."

Just a note to all the Garrett detractors out there: Try to tell me that he doesn't have his priorities straight.

Shedding light on Kyle Orton divorce: Cowboys backup QB met with club officials in Dallas a few weeks ago, looked in ‘great’ shape | Dallas Morning News

Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson doesn't answer all the questions, but he does clarify that Orton was totally out of contact with the team before his belated attempt to get ready for training camp.

"He would not return my phone call or text throughout the whole spring," Wilson said. "I talked to his agent [David Dunn] and he said, ‘Let's just let it go and it would play out then.' I'm assuming that he was going to retire up until a week ago, that he would possibly come back and play."

NFL Trade Rumors - Buccaneers Release G Carl Nicks With Settlement

Just wanted to bring this up because I seem to remember that a lot of people thought it might be a good idea for the Cowboys to go after him to help out on the offensive line. Well, he's been unable to overcome both injury and illness issues and is leaving the game. No retirement has been announced, but that may be a financial decision rather than an indication of intent. This should completely and totally get the idea that Dallas should be interested in him cleared out of everyone's system.


Washington Redskins Jason Hatcher uncertain of return - ESPN

Hatcher is likely to be in practice in a week or so and is reportedly on schedule for his recovery from surgery. I just wanted to bring this up so we can all imagine the firestorm of criticism that would be raging if Jerry Jones had ponied up the big bucks to keep him in Dallas.

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