The Cowboys kick off Organized Team Activities (OTAs) tomorrow. With about half of the players on the 90-man roster completely new to the Cowboys organization, it's a good time to implement the philosophies, protocols and beliefs of the franchise to ensure everybody is on the same page.
Also, with the changes the NFL and NFLPA have made to the offseason schedule, the reality of the offseason is that it's less about getting physically ready for the regular season, and much more about installing the playbook in what amounts to an extended cram session. And that install kicks into hyperdrive tomorrow.
OTA's and mini-camps are where 75-80% of the playbook is installed. The idea behind the install is that when the players arrive for training camp at the end of July, all the basic schemes have already been installed, and the players can concentrate on competing. During camp, coordinators will look to install the remainder of the playbook and in the latter half of camp preparation for the season opener against the Giants will begin.
That’s why it’s so critical - especially for rookies - to participate in the offseason activities. Only if they have an understanding of the core schemes in the playbook can they go out and compete effectively with the veterans in training camp. An injury that keeps a rookie out of this install period can leave a player trying to catch up the whole season. And in an environment where many players already have trouble keeping up with the pace of the install when they are fully healthy and full offseason participants, that's almost always going to be a problem.
Is talk about moving Byron Jones to safety premature? Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
In his Sunday mailbag, Archer provides his take on if and when Jones could play safety.
The Cowboys brought up the position flexibility of Jones when they took him in the first round. To me, it's all dependent on what happens at cornerback. If Morris Claiborne not only returns to health but shows marked improvement, or if Corey White can be a player, then the Cowboys could look at Jones as a safety.
In my opinion, the Cowboys are good enough with Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox at safety. Do you want better? Sure, but there aren't many elite safeties in the league anywhere. Jones could be the center-field type of safety Church and Wilcox aren't if the cornerback spot settles differently. I don't think you'll see him at safety in 2015, but it could be something that happens in the future.
Scout’s Eye: Breaking Down The Dallas Offense Ahead Of OTAs | Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus runs down each position group ahead of OTAs, and has this to say about the quarterbacks:
The biggest question is what do they have in Dustin Vaughan? My expectation is that this front office and coaching staff are going to work to find out. The only other quarterback that was added to the roster was undrafted free agent Jameill Showers – so it will be up to Vaughan to see if he is once again backing up Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden, or if he can find a role behind just Romo. Look for Vaughan to get plenty of opportunities not only in these OTA practices but in training camp. The goal is to work on cleaning up his mechanics and becoming more confident as a leader.
Quick Q&A With Newest Dallas Cowboy Laurence Gibson - Gobbler Country
Gibson recounts what he was doing when he received "The Call."
"I was in the parking lot of tractor supply with my mom and I was on the phone with my agent. I had just committed to go the Broncos as free agent when he cut me off and said, "Oh S*&^, you just got drafted by the Cowboys, answer your phone!" He hung up, and immediately Jerry Jones called me."
Spagnola: Cowboys worked out a pair of wide receivers | Dallas Cowboys
Spags writes that the Cowboys could sign a veteran wide receiver as early as this week, and that the Cowboys worked out two veterans "who at least know where the line of scrimmage is."
Most notable to work out were former Atlanta flamed out first-rounder A.J. Jenkins and Kris Durham, [who spent time] with Scott Linehan in Detroit.
Think about this: Assuming Dez Bryant does not take part in the first week of OTAs, when the Cowboys line up the first-team offense, that will be Terrance Williams at one spot and likely Devin Street at the other, with Cole Beasley coming in on the nickel. All they’d need is for one guy to get hurt and moving into the top three would be a rookie free agent. Plus, when you get to preseason, and the first-teamers have played their quota, good gosh someone out there needs to be able to help out Brandon Weeden or Dustin Vaughan.
Jenkins of course had nothing to do with Atlanta. He was a first-round pick for the 49ers in 2012 and played for the Chiefs the last two years.
Kris Durham worked out for Cowboys | ProFootballTalk
Wide receiver Kris Durham said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he’s had workouts with both the Saints and Cowboys recently. Durham has bounced around the league since being picked in the fourth round by the Seahawks in 2011. He last played for the Titans in 2014 and is currently a free agent. Here's his stat sheet, courtesy of ProFootballReference.com.
10 cities we’d like to see as NFL draft site in future years - NFL.com
Draft Town in Chicago likely spelled the end of draft as we'd become used to. This article looks at 10 cities that could host the league's marquee offseason event in future years, and Dallas is one of them.
Big D has hosted its share of major sporting events, so why not include it in the mix of potential draft sites? Let's face it, this is all about the draft going to AT&T Stadium and setting a record for fan attendance. Just think of all the fans that could be booing after their team makes a pick. What could be better TV than that?
NFL games in Mexico or Germany could happen by 2017 - CBSSports.com
The NFL could be playing regular season games in Mexico or Germany by 2017. Art Rooney II, Steelers president and a member of the NFL's international committee, outlines what needs to happen in those countries for the games to become reality.
"If I had to put a timetable on it, I would be disappointed if we don't have games in those two countries within the next five years," Rooney told the Steelers' official website. "The audience in those two countries -- there are enough NFL fans in both to support a game, and so it's really a matter of being able to put together a stadium situation that would work well for us, as well as being able to put together a broadcasting and digital media-style programming so the games can be broadcast in those countries as well being played there."
Patriots fans hold 'Free Tom Brady' rally at Gillette Stadium - CBSSports.com
Tom Brady fans are taking their cause to the streets. All 100 of them. Perhaps they'd have gotten a bigger turnout if it had been a "Fire Roger Goodell" rally.
Will Tim Tebow actually make the Eagles' roster? - NFL.com
The amount of uncritical thinking when it comes to Chip Kelly is simply astonishing. Take this fluff piece from NFL.com as an example:
Although we truly know nothing about Chip Kelly, the one thing we think we know is that he's a deliberate person.
Kelly does not waste time and energy on players he doesn't think are going to help him win.
Of course, that is in stark contrast to the 31 other NFL head coaches who habitually waste time and energy on players they know are not going to help them win.
How about New York Giants on 'Hard Knocks'? Dan Graziano, ESPN
The Giants are among the NFL teams who could be compelled to do 'Hard Knocks.' Dan Graziano is surprisingly candid about why that isn't going to happen. it's because, get this, "the Giants are something of a favored franchise and John Mara wields a great deal of power in the league."
Yeah, we knew that all along.
Redskins Help Families On Memorial Day Weekend - Redskins.com
We like to dish on our Division rivals in these News posts. A lot. But this one desereves a snark-free mention on this day.
Current Redskins Martrell Spaight and Jamison Crowder along with several alumni on Saturday were in Washington, D.C., as part of the Yellow Ribbons United Playfield in the Park event put on for 500 children and teenagers who are currently attending the Tragedy Assistance and Program for Survivors (TAPS) Good Grief Camp.