Ian Rapoport | Tags:
The Cowboys wrapped up their first week of OTAs with a bunch of players making their first appearance in a while because of injury, and others making their first appearance as Cowboys. It was only open to the media one day, and we’ve already written some about it.
Want some more details and reactions? OK, then… Here’s what’s up:
— Training camp is still months away, but I’m already looking forward to one particular aspect of it. WR Dez Bryant and CB Brandon Carr are slated to have some serious one-on-one battles, and I am slated to enjoy watching them. The physical receiver needs a little more seasoning, and Carr needs to get acclimated to the Cowboys defense. Should be a perfect match to get both ready for the season.
— Speaking of Carr, I like how he sounds. The former Chiefs star and big-ticket free agent summed up pretty nicely how he’s going to handle the spotlight. “I’m going to continue to work and continue to be boring,” he said. Well, that’s one way to handle the intense glare. Carr didn’t mind the bright lights, and he didn’t sound like he minded anyone judging. That’s how he’ll have to be. Also, boring is bad for the media. But he doesn’t need to be a personality. Just be the guy they signed him to be. He’s already working.
— It may be just one week, and it may be worthless to say… but QB Tony Romo looked sharp. His arm looked fresh, as he was on-target and firing. How meaningless is this? Pretty meaningless. He won’t play a game for months and months. But whatever, I guess it’s better than coming out and looking terrible… “These guys have worked their butts off,” Romo said. “It’s hot out. It’s great. It’s a lot of work right now and it’s been great to see. I love being back, just on the field, because it’s competition. It’s great to be able to see what it feels like to win or lose, per se. To me, I wish we did it all year just so we can always be competing.”
— DeMarco Murray looked good. That’s big news. Coming off a broken ankle, he ran like himself. And it’s amazing to think about, given how many stars this team has, that so many last year were hanging on the health of Murray, the breakout back. But they were. He loomed large. If he’s healthy again, and if Felix Jones is healthy, that would lead to a seriously dynamic offense. Of course, though, health is the big question.
“Mentally, I have had surgery before,” Murray said. “It didn’t shake me at all. Once I started working out and running on the field with Jim and the trainers, and doing workouts, it was behind me. I felt great.”
— It’s kind of ridiculous how many injuries the Cowboys have had to their rookies. Morris Claiborne is out following wrist surgery, WR Danny Coale is out until training camp (likely) with a broken foot, Fourth-round LB Kyle Wilber broke a finger, and third-rounder Tyrone Crawford injured his calf. Oh, and safety Matt Johnson can’t practice yet because Eastern Washington hasn’t graduated. Will any of this matter in the long-run? Doubtful. But it’s just kinda annoying, I’d assume.
“We’ve talked about some of the guys being injured,” coach Jason Garrett said, “and you try to get them as much information as you can get them and allow them to process that as well as they can, so when they are back and ready to go they can jump in at full speed. You can’t allow them to get behind.”
— OLB Anthony Spencer, the Cowboys franchise player, is under-appreciated. With six sacks last year, he was productive. But compare that to teammate DeMarcus Ware, and it’s small potatoes. Yet Spencer seems to get it. He signed his tag and showed up. And he doesn’t fault those who wonder why he doesn’t have more sacks. He understands that’s the statistic that jumps out to everyone, compared to pressures or quarterback hits.
“(Pressures or QB hits) are as good as a sack in some cases, but a sack you just see it more,” Spencer said. “It’s like scoring a touchdown. You don’t get points for scoring first downs; you get points for scoring touchdowns.”
— Miles Austin reports that he feels good. He’s strong, he has shed some leg issues from last year, and it sounds like he really benefitted from being able to work with respected strength guru Mike Woicik. “This is the first offseason with Coach Woicik so I guess it would be the first time working out like this,” Austin said. “But I feel good.” Exactly what the Cowboys want to hear.