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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp News: Defense Wins The Day; Rolando McClain Impresses

Latest Cowboys headlines for your Sunday morning delectation: The defense bounced back in practice; Jason Garrett likes what he’s seen from Rolando McClain; Tony Romo won't play in first and last preseason game.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys 2014 Training Camp Practice Summary: Defense Bounces Back - Blogging The Boys
Rabblerousr offers observations from Saturday's eighth training camp practice, including this nugget:

It seems that the defense's resilience made an impression on its head coach. After practice, Garrett came over to the fence to sign autographs and, as he did so, asked the gathered fans who they thought won the day. Several yelled out that it was the offense, because "Dez was awesome." Garrett smiled slightly, and asked them whether they had seen the fumble that ended practice. It was clear from his expression that he felt the defense has acquitted itself quite well, indeed.

Saturday Practice Recap: D-Line Shows Up In Goal Line Drills - Rowan Kavner,
Kavner writes that the defense came out ahead in the goal line drills yesterday, stuffing the offense four out of six times.

Observations from camp: Dez Bryant gives rookie CB Terrance Mitchell fits | Brandon George, DMN
George summarizes what stood out to him at practice yesterday, including this thought on Dez Bryant:

WR Dez Bryant beat rookie CB Terrance Mitchell with a nice double-move on a route to the inside in 1-on-1 drills. Later, Bryant beat Mitchell again on a go route down the left sideline that would have been a touchdown.

WR Dez Bryant stayed late after practice to catch some passes from a machine.

Cowboys Camp Report: Day 10 - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer provides his daily review of the hot topics coming out of training camp.

Jason Garrett Saturday Press Conference Updates - Blogging The Boys
Kegbearer offers a quick summary of Garrett's press conference, in which Garrett discussed how quickly Rolando McClain is picking up the defense and how smart he is in the meeting rooms; that Tony Romo would not participate in the afternoon practice; how they are using tape of Anthony Spencer in the film room; and how the young CBs are all being very competitive.

Assessing The Cowboys Roster, Early Camp Edition: Ranking Players, Regardless Of Position - Blogging The Boys
Who are the best (and worst) players on the Cowboys roster, regardless of position? After a week and change of live camp coverage to gather information, rabbleousr ranks the current roster, from one to ninety - in an apparent attempt at petcaticide.


Garrett: Easy To See Why LB McClain Was Top 10 Pick -
Despite last playing a regular season football game in 2012, missing all of the offseason prior to training camp, and then missing time at camp due to a court appointment, McClain seems to be showing enough to cause some heads to turn.

"It’s easy to see why he was a Top 10 pick in the draft coming out of school," head coach Jason Garrett said of McClain, a standout at Alabama. "I have liked what he’s done so far. He’s smart. He picks things up very quickly in meeting and is able to translate it on the field. Now, it’s really early and he’s probably practice four or five days with us and he has a long way to go, but he’s really kind of stepped into this situation and it seems like he’s taking advantage of this opportunity."

Jason Garrett likes what he’s seen from Rolando McClain - Jon Machota, DMN
Machota writes that McClain "has impressed Garrett."

"I have liked what he’s done so far," Garrett said. "He’s in shape. That was one of the initial things we had to monitor, what kind of football shape he was in, and he was able to handle reps physically right away. He’s smart. He picks things up very quickly in meetings and is able to translate it on the field.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has also liked what he’s seen from the former Oakland Raiders starter.

"He’s smart and he’s football aware," Marinelli said. "I think he has a real passion to play football, a real passion. He plays fast. We’re just going to keep coaching these guys, keep him in the mix, keep guys mixed up in there, give everybody as many opportunities as we can and see who surfaces."

Rolando McClain impresses Jason Garrett - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Looks like it was Rolando McClain Appreciation Day in Oxnard yesterday. Here's what McClain himself had to say:

"So far it’s been good, just learning everything on the fly, trying to figure out what I can and just play fast to the best I can," McClain said. "It’s been good. The guys have been doing a great job setting examples how to work as far as what’s expected so I’m just trying to fall into that; do the best I can. It’s been a while since I played a game, but I’m just trying to do the best I can so far. Just trying to make plays and see what happens from there."

"I got a steep hill ahead of me and I’m just climbing," McClain said. "Like Coach Garrett says, just keep fighting, fight with the rest of these guys. We still got a lot more training camp left, so I’m focused on that."

Cowboys wake-up call: Day 11 - Todd Archer, ESPN
In his early-morning round-up of yesterday's action at camp, Archer offers this quote from Rolando McClain, which you can watch for yourself in the next link as well.

"The big thing about it is I don’t see him a lot, that’s because he’s working hard. When you got a head coach that you know is working his butt off to put you in the best situation for a game, you don’t mind working your butt off for him, during the game and during practice. That’s the biggest similarity, they both have a work ethic. Either you have it or you don’t. Coach Garrett has it, so I respect him." -- Rolando McClain when asked if he can tell Jason Garrett worked for his college coach, Nick Saban.

McClain: "I've Got To Learn On My Own" -
This video is a fitting close to our McClain fan fest today: McClain talks about his progress in camp and why he can't rely on others to get him acclimated to the defense.


Dallas Cowboys planning on QB Tony Romo not playing in first and last preseason game | Dallas Morning News
Or, to put it differently, Romo will get some work in the second preseason game against Baltimore on Aug. 16 and get his most work of the preseason in the third game at Miami on Aug. 23. If you see this as another cause for alarm, know that Romo usually only plays one series in the first preseason game and doesn't play at all in the last preseason game.

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle) is progressing, expects to return ‘some time next week’ | Jon Machota, DMN
There is nothing to add to that headline.

Brandon Carr to miss Dallas Cowboys preseason opener - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
With his mother's funeral scheduled for Wednesday, Brandon Carr will likely arrive at training camp next weekend, Garrett said at his press conference.

Dallas Cowboys' Anthony Spencer feeling stronger - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Week 1 is probably too much of a stretch for Anthony Spencer's return, but he feels he's definitely making progress.

"The way it’s feeling right now, I feel like we could be in a good place around Week 1," Spencer said. "I’m hoping for it."

"I feel I’m on way to getting a lot stronger," Spencer said. "I feel it’s not really bothering me when I work out as much or when I wake up in the morning it’s not sore. It’s getting better."

Jeremy Mincey: I’ve had a ‘pretty good’ camp; I don’t feel pressure to start at right DE | Jon Machota, DMN
Jeremy Mincey is pleased with his performance in camp so far, and doesn't anticipate any issues if called upon to start at right defensive end.

"I’ve been pretty good," Mincey said when asked for his camp assessment. "I’m just trying to take it day-by-day, get better each day. I’m working at a lot of different positions. Nothing new. I’ve been doing that my whole career. I’m just trying to lock in on the Cowboys defense and figure out exactly what they want me to do and be the best at doing it."

"I’ve played right end most of my career, so I don’t feel no pressure," Mincey said. "That’s what I do. I’m nine years in the game. I’ve been doing it for a while. I look forward to having an opportunity to go out there and show my ability."

Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery open to Kyle Orton reunion - ESPN Chicago
Bears general manager Phil Emery expressed interest in bringing in Kyle Orton to Chicago with the Bears unsettled at quarterback behind starter Jay Cutler.


A Guide to Understanding NFL Training Camp Coach Speak | Pre Snap Reads
Cian Fahey writes that everybody loves a good soundbite from the head coach of their favorite team, but not everyone understands the intricacies of what those soundbites mean. Fahey then compiles a list of the most commonly used terms and explains what they mean. An excerpt:

"We’re fully focused on winning this season." = "Nothing."
"I have great confidence in our new guys." = "Nothing."
"Player X is in the best shape of his career." = "Nothing."
"I’ve never seen Player X as focused." = "Nothing."
"Player X is way ahead of schedule in his rehab process." = "Nothing."

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