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Dallas Cowboys News And Notes: Cowboys' 2005 Draft Class One Of League's Best In Last Decade

All the news that's fit to link. Today's top storylines: practice reports; injury news galore; McFadden keeps an open mind; Jerry holds court; Cowboys 2005 Draft class one of league's best in last ten years.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Let's begin by wrapping up any unfinished business from Tuesday's minicamp practice...

A good day for Cowboys' WRs to open minicamp - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Toddzilla's bullet-point recap of Tuesday's practice doings. Here's an observation worth sharing:

Safety Barry Church led the Cowboys in tackles last year but he didn't seem as impactful as he was in 2013. Some of it might have been the things he was asked to do. When he has to attack the line of scrimmage, he's a player. That was on full display when he beat Joseph Randle to the edge on a weak-side toss play. Randle was able to get outside Greg Hardy, but Church closed quickly.


And on to a recap of Wednesday's action...

Scout’s Eye: McClain’s Return, Byron Jones’ Versatility & 10 Other Minicamp Thoughts - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership

The Broad One's post-practice daily dozen. I liked number seven:

7. I know it jerseys and helmets, but the one thing you can see in practice is athletic ability and I have noticed this with Corey White. It hasn’t mattered whether White has lined up at corner or safety, he has shown awareness and cover ability. On Tuesday, he made a play at safety covering James Hanna. On Wednesday, while lined up at corner was able to knock the ball away from George Farmer on a slant where it appeared that the catch had a chance to be made.


Dallas' J.J. Wilcox, Chaz Green undergo procedures to help heel, hip - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

Wilcox underwent a procedure on Monday - a platelet-rich plasma treatment to help stimulate recovery in his right foot - that he hopes will cure the chronic plantar fasciitis that has bothered him since his rookie season. That's why he's missed this week's minicamp, but he doesn’t anticipate it being an issue when training camp starts.

Jerry Jones Anticipates Several Injured Veterans Returning At Training Camp - Rob Phillips, The Mothership

Jones the Elder said that injured vets Rolando McClain, Doug Free, and Mo Claiborne - all of whom have been limited or unable to participate in OTAs and minicamp practices - will be available and ready to go for training camp. He also anticipates that J.J. WIlcox will join them on the fields in Oxnard.

Green Undergoes Hip Surgery, Expected To Be Limited At Start Of Training Camp - David Helman, the Mothership

Chaz Green underwent hip surgery on Wednesday morning; unlike the vets mentioned above, he’ll likely be limited for the start of Cowboys training camp. Here's Jerry:

"It could limit him and will limit him early in training camp, and whether or not he’s a PUP situation for the year or not remains to be seen on his rehab," Jones said. "It’s very possible for him to come back and be a part of this team."


Daryl "Moose" Johnston Talks Cowboys, Dez Bryant, Greg Hardy, The NFC East - And Ribs - Tom Ryle, BTB

The former Cowboy fullback shares his thoughts about the team, Dez Bryant, the Greg Hardy suspension, the NFC East - and ribs. Oh, and Tom goes all fanboy on him. A classic.

Darren McFadden ’100 percent’ healthy, not trying to replace DeMarco Murray - Jon Machota, DMN

Run-DMC is staying open-minded about what his role will be in 2015:

"Whatever they ask me to do, I feel up to it," McFadden said. "I’m just going out here and working hard. Whatever it is that they decide they want, that’s how I’m going to roll....I’m just coming in here and running the ball. If the coaches decide they want to give me 100 carries or 300 carries, I’m just up for whatever they decide."


Jerry spoke to reporters after practice on Wednesday and they dutifully churned out several stories in response. A sampling:

Cowboys Still Not Ruling Out Possible Contract Talks With Brandon Carr - David Helman, The Mothership

It doesn’t appear that the Cowboys have officially closed the book on Brandon Carr’s contract situation, Tiny Jim writes after Jones the Elder pontificates:

"We are continuing to look for ways that we can do something that’s good for both of us," he said. "Good for both of us being the Cowboys, relative to relief as to our cap management and good for him that would maybe be some pluses for him on his contract."

Jerry Jones: I wouldn’t dare have higher expectations for Tony Romo - Jon Machota, DMN

For Jerry, there has been no bigger positive this offseason than seeing Tony Romo fully participating in all drills. To wit:

"I’ll take the way he’s been playing," Jones said. "I will take it and call it a day right now, if you’ll give me the whole year like that. I wouldn’t dare have higher expectations, other than I’d like to have held the ball … and beat Green Bay. Other than that, we might have been sitting here talking about a dream season for Tony."

I'm with you, Jerry. I think we'd all take a healthy Romo for a full season (preferably 19 games) and call it a day.

Rams' L.A. popularity makes for natural practice partner for Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas

A day after Rams head coach Jeff Fisher denied any connection between the Rams possible relocation to Los Angeles and the fact that they are scrimmaging with the Cowboys during training camp, Jones made exactly that connection:

"With the initial focus groups and the initial looksies, the Rams are a very popular team in southern California," Jones said. "And so one of the reasons why it was attractive to us to work against them was they have that good flavor. It is certainly not a reach at all to say that fans remember the Los Angeles Rams, and that is not a reach. So that makes them a good partner to practice within the Los Angeles area."


As might be expected, this continued to get lots of ink, especially since Dez took to the Twitterverse to air his grievances...

Jerry Jones of Dallas Cowboys not worried over Dez Bryant threat to sit out - Todd Archer, ESPn Dallas

Jones is confident Bryant will be with the team on its flight to Oxnard, California, for the start of training camp on July 28:

"If we're still in a franchise situation with Dez, I have no doubt that he'll be leading the way against the New York Giants," Jones said during the team's second minicamp practice Wednesday. "We just know how competitive Dez is and how much he wants to beat the Giants and how much he wants to support his teammates."

Dez Bryant, Cowboys Rhetoric Heats Up, But Will Negotiations? - Dave Halprin, BTB

Our fearless leader checks in with some wisdom on the war of words between the Cowboys and Dez Bryant.


Five best NFL draft classes by team of last 10 years - Jim Reineking,

Reineking reviews all 32 teams' drafts since 2005 and comes up with a list of the five best. Unsurprisingly, the Cowboys great 2005 class makes the list:

2. 2005 Dallas Cowboys
Draft class: LB DeMarcus Ware (Round 1), DE Marcus Spears (Round 1), LB Kevin Burnett (Round 2), RB Marion Barber (Round 4), DE Chris Canty (Round 4), DB Justin Beriault (Round 6), OT Rob Petitti (Round 6), DE Jay Ratliff (Round 7)
Players who were primary starters: 7
Total games played: 803

This is the draft in which the Detroit Lions infamously passed on Ware at selection No. 10 to take a wide receiver who didn't play in college football the previous season, Mike Williams. With the No. 11 overall choice, the Cowboys -- who, at the time, were coached by Bill Parcells -- swooped in for Ware, who has been one of the game's dominant pass rushers and appears on the fast track toward Canton. Williams, on the other hand, lasted just two seasons in Detroit.

With Ware, Spears, Canty and Ratliff added on defense, the Cowboys went from a 6-10 team in 2004 to a team that posted five consecutive winning seasons from 2005-2009. In that span, the Cowboys posted the NFC's best record in 2007 (13-3) and won their first playoff game in 13 years. Ware currently is ranked 14th on the NFL's career sack list (127). Ratliff was an absolute steal in the seventh round, becoming a four-time Pro Bowl selection. Barber aided a Cowboys rushing attack that ranked in the top five in the NFL in 2006 and 2007.

Ware, Canty and Ratliff have each started more than 100 games in the NFL, helping give this draft class the most combined career starts of any draft class since 2005 with 598. Second with 592 combined career starts is the next team on this list.

To make this even better, among the dishonorable mentions in their "wost drafts of the last ten years" post you'll find this:

2011 Philadelphia Eagles: Only two of 11 players selected in this draft remain with the Eagles (offensive linemen Julian Vandervelde and Jason Kelce, who made his first Pro Bowl last season). First-round pick Danny Watkins failed to secure a foothold on a starting job in Philadelphia and is now out of the league. Second-round pick Jaiquawn Jarrett intercepted two passes and had a fumble forced and recovered in 2014, but did so for the New York Jets.

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