The big news of yesterday's practice is also some bad news.
The Dallas Cowboys suffered their first confirmed major injury of training camp today when backup quarterback Kellen Moore suffered a broken ankle.
This sets the team back, as Moore was believed to be the clear leader for the backup job. Now the team has to decide whether to go into the season with either Dak Prescott or Jameill Showers as the man behind Tony Romo, or sign a free agent QB. Nick Foles is going to be discussed, at least by fans, but he is also one of the more expensive options out there, even if he is the most qualified. The team could also trade for a QB, but that didn't go so well last year.
Dave Halprin provides a midday recap of breaking news, including the signing of linebacker James Morris, updating the status of Tyrone Crawford and his back problem, and that Dwight Freeney is no longer on the market, reportedly going to sign with the Atlanta Falcons. And he also addresses the recent claims about the real problems plaguing Rolando McClain.
McClain is dealing with an addiction to codeine -- an opiate -- through the use of "purple drank," a slang term for a concoction that includes a prescription-strength cough syrup often mixed with Sprite.
Before you start making jokes, consider this. A very talented man has basically thrown away a pro football career to feed his demons. It isn't funny at all.
Here's a detailed report on the newest Morris to join the team (what is it with all these duplicate names this year?) There is not a lot of negative to find here, and the final line of Broaddus' take is encouraging.
Better athlete on tape than I thought he would have been.
After the best start he has had in his star-crossed career, Lance Dunbar fell again to injury, tearing his ACL and patellar tendon. There were serious doubts he could be ready to play by the start of the season, but his progress has been far better than expected.
Almost 10 months after the injury, Dunbar has yet to be cleared, but he is far closer to returning to the field than most imagined. The Cowboys placed him on the physically-unable-to-perform list just to give him some more time, but it is possible he could return at some point during training camp.
Sully admits he has not hit on one of his breakout picks since Miles Austin oh so many years ago. But if David Irving can come close to his projection for him, we would all be happy.
Think he's the starting left end for the first four games, plays a ton of snaps throughout and ends up with 48 quarterback pressures, 43 tackles and 7.5 sacks. At 6-7 and stunningly athletic for his 285 pounds, let's throw in a pair of blocked field goals as well. Keep in mind that Irving finished last season with 14 quarterback pressures in 199 snaps, so give him 600 or so and factor in what coaches and teammates describe as significant improvement, and 48 certainly isn't as far-fetched as it might sound.
One of the breakout "misses" Sullivan made was Gavin Escobar. While the Cowboys have gotten little in return for the second round pick they used to get him, there is still a chance he has a future with the team. This article takes another look at the idea of employing him in the under-utilized 12 personnel package.
Yet the skill set Escobar does have is tantalizing. Early in 2015 he just missed an incredible touch down reception from Romo when he totally laid out horizontally to the field trying for a catch in the back of the end zone on a seam route. Though the ball was just out of reach the play displayed Gavin's incredible upside and his skill set fit for a Patriots style dual TE attack.
Nothing like giving the rest of the NFC East defensive coordinators a new wrinkle to work on.
Reports that Tyrone Crawford is missing practice due to a problem with his back have made many uneasy, but he is still saying that it is not a big deal.
"I'm good,'' the Cowboys defensive tackle said following the workout. "It's just my back right now. (It's a) short-term thing.''
Bob Sturm can get his curmudgeon on at times. But he also can throw some reality at things. This rather long piece looks at the problems facing Dallas as well as some of the reasons to hope, and concludes that we have to see how it all plays out. He makes one sobering point near the beginning.
2014 is the greatest thing to happen around here and the worst thing, all at the same time. It showed that you never know what joys can occur when you least suspect it (the 2014 training camp was amazingly depressing). It also showed how starved this franchise is for a little success because the number of times that year has been referenced as some sort of "Football Valhalla" is truly staggering. You would think the accomplishments would rival the 1985 Bears based on the hype, only to look closer and see it was a wildcard win against the Lions.
After thirteen previous camps, you think it would be something of a drag for Tony Romo and Jason Witten to have to go through another one. Think again.
"You appreciate it more," Romo said. "You love the competition. I know I love to compete and I love to see how good I can be. You're challenged in that every day and every year. For me it's about getting to a point where one day in your career you get to be that version you always wanted to be. But you've got to wear it out for years and then you've got to go accomplish your goals as a team. That's what we're trying to do."
This is here just for the headline. We can use a chuckle with the bad news today.