Training camp is in full swing. At least it was for Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon on Sunday. It was just your typical Dez scrapping it out with a younger player ritual that seems to be a regular part of camp these days.
The Cowboys continue to establish an environment that pushes for physical play so it shouldn't be too surprising that things get physical.
You can’t praise a player for the passion he brings and be upset when it boils over into a fight.
You also can’t hand out T-shirts and sweatshirts to every player with the word "Fight" on it and expect them to be friends all the time. Let’s not forget this message is delivered at the start of camp, not the end. So if any fighting is going to take place, it’ll most likely be against each other.
The team never had this problem when they were wearing the Terrell Owens, "Love Me Some Me" T-shirts.
Not everyone is just chalking it up to passion.
At some point, you have to control your own emotions or someone has to remove you from that situation. Thought his teammates or Jason Garrett needed to come down and say, "that’s enough."
Babe takes a moment to reflect on all his scuffles back during his playing career but quickly realized that he's just too darn likable for something like that to happen.
What guys are impressing and what guys are slacking? One guy on the rise is Tyler Patmon. He may have gotten a lot of attention for the skirmish with Dez, but what was lost in all that was why those two even had a chance to get under each other's skin in the first place.
The seeds for the altercation were sown when Patmon, a feisty second-year player, was given first-team snaps. In practice, Patmon has rarely ceded an inch and has been particularly good in one-on-one drills, where he has managed to make a few pass breakups. He is showing something, and the Cowboys have to like it.
Don't forget about Patmon.
The Cowboys have had a handful of contract disputes this offseason that have ended with players getting a sweeter deal. Is this bad business? Jerry Jones seems to be very mindful of how he's spreading his money around.
"One of the things I want to remind us all is that because you’re dealing with the cap, or you’re dealing with a system like our economic system, one of the things that makes it possible to do Mincey or one of the things that makes it possible to do these other contracts is because you didn’t do a Murray deal,’’ Jones said. "At some point, it (money not spent on Murray) ought to start showing up.
Mike Pope is doing weird stuff again. I'm almost too embarrassed to even talk about it. In one of his drills, the player dunks his head in a water cooler and when he pulls it out, he immediately has to catch the football. This will come in handy should a player ever be in a game situation where his head is submerged in water right before having to catch a pass.
"Ultimately, it’s just different ways to get you to concentrate and focus on catching the football. If you play tight end, most of the time you have contested catches. We want to win 50-50 of those but we try to get 75 (percent) of them. He does all those drills so we can make all of those tough catches.
I guess the Cowboys should just be lucky their tight end coach isn't Patches O'Houlihan.
Sean Lee is still healthy. Hopefully, this is something that can be sustained.
"As Sean gets older, and Sean’s been through some adversity, I think he’s learning and I’m learning to have the ability to understand what the final product needs to look like and also understand the process to get there," linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said.
Linebackers are always hurt and that means that your "preferred lineup" is irrelevant because you often have to go into games with what is available. Which 3 LBs can get their bodies right for Sunday determines so much once the regular season starts.
The flexibility of Hitchens should give the team some different options.
The bottom line in September as far as I can see is that they believe the battle might come down to where they think the quality is at its best. Is Jasper Brinkley better at Mike than Kyle Wilber is at SAM?
Since the Cowboys are going slow with Lee and currently without Rolando McClain and Mark Nzeocha, the team added a couple bodies, Jonathan Brown and Ka'Lial Glaud.
Brown hasn’t appeared in an NFL regular-season game, although he had stints on the practice squads for Chicago and Arizona. Glaud played in seven games for Tampa Bay in 2013 and spent time on the Buccaneers’ practice squad last year.
The battle in the trenches are becoming fun to watch. First, it was Tyron Smith who was battling it out with Greg Hardy, but now Zack Martin is getting in on the fun.
There are now snaps where we see them together in one-on-one as well as the blitz period, which presents a unique challenge for the young guard. What is evident when you watch these matchups is that Martin realizes that he must get to Hardy quickly before he has time to make his rush. The longer you wait on Hardy, the more dangerous he is.
Stephen Jones talks about the significance of having someone like Charles Haley work with rookie, Randy Gregory:
"To get to have a guy like that out there teaching guys – he’s certainly got a passion for how to rush the passer, and that’s certainly something that we’ve got to get better at. At the end of the day, it’s probably what cost us a chance to win a championship last year, we just didn’t quite have the pass rush we needed to stop an Aaron Rodgers when we needed to stop him or make the play that needed to be made when you’re trying to win a Super Bowl, so these guys are getting a lot of good teaching. Rod Marinelli is one of the best in the business, you’ve got Leon Lett, who’s certainly a Cowboys legend in his own right. It’s just a great group of guys out there helping these young guys hopefully get better at rushing the passer."
"In this system it's the best position to be in on the defensive line," Jack Crawford said. "Coach Marinelli, he allows a lot of versatility but there's also like a lot of responsibility for the under tackle. It's a good position to be in. You use your speed a lot."
I hope Marinelli realized which Crawford he was talking to and it's not just a case of mistaken identity.
Speaking of mistaken identity, the Cowboys former All-World running back is already being forgotten.