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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp News: McClain, Weeden, Carter Playing With Something To Prove

Latest Cowboys headlines: Bruce Carter aiming for 120 tackles; Rolando McClain determined to succeed with Cowboys; Brandon Weeden not discouraged by Browns experience.


The latest headlines from yesterday's practice:

Cowboys Training Camp Report, Practice Number Three: Donning The Armor - Blogging The Boys
Rabblerousr offers us unrivaled observations from the Cowboys third training camp practice, including this insight into the backup QB situation. A comment on the Cowboys QB situation:

I don't know about his accuracy, timing or ability to process information, but Brandon Weeden certainly has more zip than any second-team signal caller Dallas has had in, well, many years. And Caleb Hanie may well be the best third-team quarterback they've had in decades; he's poised, athletic and also throws with zip. Gone are the days when practice would necessarily devolve when whatever UDFA QB took the field with the third team - which is a refreshing change.

Cowboys Camp Report: Day 3 - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer offers up a short summary of the day and among other thigs notes that Rolando McClain immediately ran with the second unit in his first practice with the Cowboys and that Ben Gardner is out with a shoulder injury.

Sat. Practice Recap: Claiborne, Williams Square Off In Pads - David Helman,
Helman focuses on the scuffle between Terrance Williams and Morris Claiborne in his camp summary.

First padded-practice gets chippy, Terrance Williams says Morris Claiborne went ‘a tad bit overboard’ | Jon Machota, DMN
Where Helman offers some additional tidbits, this article is exclusively about the Williams/Claiborne incident.

Morris Claiborne puts on a Prime Time show - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
MacMahon writes that Claiborne "showed a physical style and swagger that hadn’t been seen from him since he won the Jim Thorpe Award as a junior at LSU."

"I can play," Claiborne said after the practice. "I’m that same guy that they traded up to go get."

"I’m just playing. I’m just competing," Claiborne said. "I’m not out there thinking about anything, thinking about what went on yesterday or last year. I’m not thinking about none of that. My focus is on one place and one place only. I’m thinking about going forward, building off this day."

How did Cowboys QB Tony Romo look in his first practice in seven months? | David Moore, DMN
All eyes were on Romo in his first padded practice, and by all accounts, all eyes were happy with what they saw.


Bruce Carter aiming for 120 tackles, says he’d love to stay with Cowboys beyond this season | Jon Machota, DMN
Earlier this week, we heard about how DeMarcus Lawrence is looking to get 10 or more sacks in 2014, now it's Bruce Carter's turn to formulate some targets, and he aims high with a target of 120 tackles.

That may not sound like all that much, considering that Barry Church had 135 combined tackles last year (9th most in the NFL), but care to take a guess how many Cowboys apart from Church have recorded 120 or more combined tackles since the league started consistently recording tackles? Not one.

Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain says Jerry Jones ‘convinced me I could play again’ | Rainer Sabin, DMN
According to McClain, Jerry Jones personally called McClain while Jones was in Turkey to persuade McClain to join the Cowboys.

"He convinced me that I could play again," McClain said. "He called me from Turkey. I figured that had to be an expensive phone. It was pretty serious for me from that point."

Rolando McClain determined to succeed with Cowboys |
Rolando McClain returned to Oxnard yesterday, a day after he was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Decatur, Alabama. McClain is attempting a comeback with the Cowboys on the football field, and a comeback from a troubled personal life, as he explains:

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "You don't get this many chances in the NFL. I'm going to try to make this team and be the best I can be."

"Yesterday I was sitting in a courtroom not knowing what was going to happen. Today, I'm here with the Dallas Cowboys with an opportunity to make a football team and fight for a position. You can't argue with that."

"My life wasn't going in the right path," McClain said. "Me being a young father of two, I had to sit down and realize I have things I need to do to be a better man for those two little boys. The best thing for me to do is get away from football and work on my personal life. I told Mr. Newsome [Ozzie Newsome, the Baltimore GM] when I felt like I had that clear I would come back. Unfortunately when I did come back, everything wasn't settled. At the end of the day, I still have to stay true to my word and true to my family."

Dallas Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden not discouraged by Browns experience - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
Brandon Weeden is determined to be remembered as more than just a Browns bust, Tim MacMahon writes.

"The things in Cleveland didn't go as planned I think for a lot of people," said Weeden, who threw for 5,116 yards with 23 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. "It wasn't just myself, but of course I'm going to take a lot of it, because being the quarterback you do. But I've always had a chip on my shoulder. Any time somebody tells me I can't do something, that just makes me want to work that much harder and do that much more to prove that person wrong or prove whoever wrong."

"I'm not discouraged by what happened in Cleveland. I know some of it was out of my control, some of it was in my control. There's things I definitely need to do better. But at the same time, now that I'm here, I feel fresh, I feel good. Mentally, I feel good and I'm excited about this opportunity."

"What happened in the past is over," Weeden said. "Now, let's focus on what we can do to make this team better and help this team moving forward."

Cole Beasley: Dez Bryant is the most unselfish guy | Jon Machota, DMN
Cole Beasley believes the picture painted of Dez Bryant in parts of the media is highly inaccurate.

"He’s the most unselfish guy," Beasley said. "People think he’s not a team guy because the media makes him look bad on TV sometimes, but he’s got so much fire and he’s so passionate about stuff it’s hard for him. He can’t take losing. But he’s the most unselfish guy. Anybody would play so hard for him."

Despite numbers, Witten faces obstacles in quest to Hall of Fame | Rick Gosselin, DMN

Gosselin ponders Jason Witten's chances of making the Hall of Fame, and concludes that it will be very tough for Witten to make Canton without a championship to his name, and Witten concurs:

"Ultimately, one’s legacy isn’t about catching 1,000 balls," Witten said. "The gratification would come, in the end, in knowing that we were champions. That’s the ultimate legacy you want. There’s no question there’s a lot at stake. The urgency that I have at this point of my career is as high as it’s ever been."

Tyrone Crawford makes early strides on defense - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
At the end of practice on Saturday, Tyron Crawford had completed three training camp practices, which is three more than he did last year, when he tore his Achlles during the first practice of camp. And Crawford has used the time since well.

"I got a lot done this offseason," Crawford said. "I know a lot of people think when people get injured they don’t do anything, but I did a lot this offseason and throughout the season last year. It was definitely a tough time for me, going through that injury, my first season-ending injury. I’d never sat out more than a game before, so I’ve got a lot done, a lot of learning and I’m definitely excited to be back."

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