The Cowboys wrapped up their first day of mandatory mini-camp with everyone accounted for. That was a nice change. All 90 players were around, but not all were on the field. Oh, and one arrived late with a pretty good excuse.
A quick run-down of what happened at Valley Ranch:
— Mike Jenkins showed up, as we said he would. The disgruntled cornerback was at the Cowboys facility, doing shoulder rehab and avoiding a fine. What he wasn’t doing was talking. After his people asked for a trade, Jenkins may still be upset about his contract situation. But he didn’t talk with reporters, despite showing up in the locker room a few times. That left others to do the talking for him.
“It is good to have him out here, our guys had a chance to visit with him and see how he’d been rehabbing,” owner Jerry Jones said. “So, it is good to have that. … We had a good visit. I hadn’t visited with him in a while, so there was none of that (animosity) at all. I talked a lot about our coming year and how we’ve really bolstered our secondary and how being a part of that can be something special, but that’s my conversation. There wasn’t any buts to it. It was a very cordial conversation.”
Jones reiterated his stance that Jenkins wouldn’t be traded and indicated his belief was that Jenkins would show up for training camp, too. His view was that Jenkins would be ready to participate in the on-field part of it.
But coach Jason Garrett was a little more cautious. He talked about how Jenkins’ shoulder surgery was more complicated than some others, and he wouldn’t offer a time table. About his situation, Garrett said simply, Jenkins didn’t show up for the voluntary workouts, but did show up for what’s mandatory.
“Good to see Mike Jenkins today,” Garrett said. “He didn’t do anything today but it was great to see him. He’s certainly made progress, but it’s a long way to go. … You don’t want to go too far out (and offer a projection), but he’s making progress, and hopefully he’ll be ready for camp.”
— Jason Witten was late to practice, through no fault of his own. He had Jury Duty. Really. Luckily, his case got plea bargained, Witten was able to show up, and he came running out a half hour late. He hated missing practice, but was happy to do his civic duty. Go figure.
“This is a big week for us as a team and I definitely didn’t want to miss,” Witten said. “I was fortunate to get out there, but at the same time, it was a neat experience for me, a huge honor. I’m glad it was done before practice, or right in the middle of practice, and I’m glad I got to be here. And I just watched the New York Giants go and celebrate at the White House, so needed to get out here and practice. … Glad to do it, glad to serve.”
— QB Tony Romo seemed to have a decent day, though I wouldn’t say he was at his sharpest. He called it “a good start” and added that he can tell guys have been in shape. He was asked if it was high-tempo.
“We try and always keep it high-tempo every practice and every time we step on the field,” Romo said. “We try to play fast, push the tempo, that’s what we want to do. It was good to see the guys excited to be out there competing. That was fun.”
As for his own development, Romo said, “It’s not about statistics. It’s about winning. That’s what story is going to be written when it’s said and done.” Yup.
— RB DeMarco Murray was pretty pumped after practice today, and not just because his broken foot felt regular. He talked about getting a taste of what training camp will be like, especially for the younger players, and just continuing to prepare for July. He also liked what he’s seeing from the offensive line.
“We have coach (Bill) Callahan this year, and he’s definitely implemented some new schemes,” said Murray, who also praised old offensive line coach Hudson Houck. “I can see the holes open up a lot more crisp. Guys are on the same page, and that’s what we need here.”