Bryan Broaddus offers up a guide to some of the more intriguing battles we are likely to see in the second week of the Dallas Cowboys OTAs.
Another week of on the field work for La'el Collins at right tackle, where he continues to get snaps while Doug Free is on the mend. It was nice to see Free working with the rookie on his technique in regard to his hand placement and how that needs to take place. Where Collins is going to need to improve in my opinion is with how quick his feet are. He is more than powerful enough to handle a rusher when he gets in position, but the key is getting there and that's where his struggle was last week.
This is another article cautioning Collins about talking the talk before he walks the walk. It reminds us again of the approach of Travis Frederick, and offers some other great lines in NFL history. But the best thing might be the video taken from "The Great Wall of Dallas."
"My clock is ticking, I know that," Jenkins said. "So I've got to hurry up and make plays and do something. The Cowboys gave me an opportunity. I'm just grateful for the opportunity."
Another player now with the Cowboys who is seen as largely not living up to his first round selection is Darren McFadden. Running backs coach Gary Brown knows what this means to him.
McFadden's seven-year run with the Oakland Raiders was mostly a disappointment. He had one 1,000-yard season, played in a full season just once and did not average better than 3.4 yards per carry in any of his final three seasons in Oakland.
"He wants to prove that he wasn't the bust that people are talking about," said Brown. "We are going to give him the opportunity to prove that."
Although he is not a bust in the same sense, Brandon Carr is seen as seriously underperforming the big contract he got to come to Dallas as a free agent. There was a lot of speculation the team would try to force him to take a pay cut or be released. But it looks increasingly unlikely that is going to happen.
The Cowboys need Carr more than people realize. They are not better defensively without him because they don't know what they have in rookie Byron Jones, and they don't know when or if they can count on Morris Claiborne.
A trio of Scandrick, Carr and Jones is better than a trio of Scandrick, Jones, a recovering Claiborne/developing Tyler Patmon/uncertain Corey White.
One hot topic in OTAs is whether first round pick and uber athlete Byron Jones will be used as a cornerback or tried out as a safety. He has experience in both positions in college, and the Cowboys need some help at both positions. In his half of a conversation at the mothership on the issue, David Helman argues that the team should keep him at corner.
I still think Jones has a great chance to upgrade that spot one way or another - whether it's outside or in the slot. Carr came on strong to end the 2014 campaign, but he's had his struggles the past two years, and White is no guarantee to make the team. Morris Claiborne appears to be rehabbing well from his patellar tendon injury, but it'd be a mistake to count on him right away.
That gives Jones a chance to earn a job as one of the top three corners right away - and in the modern NFL, it's a given that your top three corners can expect to play a lot of snaps. Whether as a nickelback or an outside corner, Jones has the athleticism and the ball skills to make an immediate difference.
Nick Eatman responds with the view that the upside for Jones at safety is just too good to ignore.
We know Byron Jones is a smart kid, although that doesn't always mean he'll be a smart player. But, I think he will.
He's got good height, a frame that can put on good weight, and he can probably do all of that and maintain his speed and leaping ability. Combine that with his awareness skills and you could have a really dynamic safety.
One thing almost no one is worried about is how Dan Bailey is going to handle the new, longer extra point.
"I think maybe later in the year when the conditions get bad, mainly in the Northeast but really everywhere when it gets colder, raining, snowing, stuff like that, it might have a little more of an impact, especially in a close game," Bailey said. "But as far as from strictly us doing our job, it's one point and it's not that much further back. I don't think it'll be too much of a big deal for too many guys."
I really just included this link to point out that our own Dawn Macelli beat Brandon George to this story.
Oh, and speaking of mentoring, here is another example of how the Cowboys benefit from the large contingent of former players who continue to contribute.
While we are on the subject of "scooping" the guys that get paid to do this, props to Dave Halprin for his piece on Mincey.
This is a debate? Well, it's June, and there are a lot of things to be determined. For the Cowboys, it really depends on whether they can replace the production of DeMarco Murray and improve on defense - as we are all aware.
Speaking of debate, this might stir up a little in the comments. Peter King, who I believe has a featured role as one of the dinosaurs in Jurassic World, took a look at the performance of all the NFL teams in the offseason, and ranks the Cowboys 13th in this meaningless exercise. Behind the Eagles, among others.
I keep reading how many great pieces the Cowboys have added to their defense. I don't see it. But they're going to win a bunch of 33-27 games, so there's hope.
I know this is a bit of bias confirmation, but I prefer this take from the guys at NumberFire, who use things that King tends to disregard, like statistical analysis. They rank the Cowboys fourth overall in the NFL, behind only the Patriots, Packer, and Steelers.
Surprisingly, though, Jerry Jones joins their ranks as one of the best drafting general managers in the league. Maybe this will help us rethink a few of our assumptions about the ability of certain teams when it comes to the draft.
Finally, these last two related things are presented without any comment - because I don't think anything I would say would be in the least bit politically correct or even marginally acceptable.
So who is more upset, Kris Jenner cause her exhusband is a better looking woman than she is or Kim K cause he stepdad upstaged her baby news— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) June 1, 2015