Daily Archives: August 7th, 2012

ROSTER UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys cut safety Brodney Pool, CB Isaac Madison | Sign WR David Little, RB Javarris Williams

The Dallas Cowboys cut safety Brodney Pool - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys cut safety Brodney Pool and cornerback Isaac Madison and signed wide receiver David Little and running back Javarris Williams.

Pool made this an easy decision for the Cowboys after failing his conditioning test the day before practices began a week ago. Pool, who was signed in the off-season via free agency, is guaranteed only $100,000 on his one-year, $1.2 million deal. So, cutting Pool — the ex-New York Jets player – only costs the Cowboys $100,000.

With Pool gone, it’s all but certain that Barry Church will start at safety alongside Gerald Sensabaugh. Church has been superb the first week of training camp practices and showed the Cowboys enough to win the job. Church gives the Cowboys some flexibility in their defense as well because he excels closer to the line of scrimmage in a hybrid linebacker role.

The Cowboys needed to add another wide receiver and running back for depth after a rash of injuries to players at those positions, including starting wide receiver Miles Austin expected to miss about a week with another hamstring injury. Also, third-string running back Phillip Tanner from Kimball is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his right hand.

Little is from Midwestern State and played his high school ball at Garland.

Williams was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. He played college football at Tennessee State after playing in high school at Richmond (Texas) Foster. He spent the 2009 preseason with the Chiefs before being released. Last year, Williams was signed by the Houston Texans.

Courtesy: Brandon George | DMN

2012 BACKUP QB BATTLE: Carpenter up, McGee down

Dallas Cowboys QB Rudy Carpenter - The Boys Are Back blog

The biggest knee-jerk reaction to the five-possession live session from the Cowboys’ Blue-White scrimmage involves the battle to be the Cowboys’ third quarterback. Rudy Carpenter clearly took a step forward. Stephen McGee, the former Texas A&M quarterback once considered a possible backup, clearly took a step back.

McGee led three of the five drives and never moved the chains. He was sacked once, by Kyle Wilber. He completed 2-of-5 passes, including a wobbler that could have (should have?) been intercepted by Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.

Carpenter had his dubious moments, too. He threw an interception on his first snap, and bobbled an exchange with center Harland Gunn that Carpenter managed to recover. Carpenter also managed to complete passes to Raymond Radway, Donovan Kemp and Tony Benford, all for first downs, that carried the offense into position for a field goal.

Dallas Cowboys QB Stephen McGee - The Boys Are Back blog

Ideally, the Cowboys never need to have a third quarterback take a meaningful snap during the regular season with Tony Romo and Kyle Orton clearly entrenched in the top two spots. But if injuries surface, Carpenter clearly is outplaying McGee in the early stages of camp to be the third guy.

Courtesy: Jimmy Burch | Ft Worth Star-Telegram

OVERSHADOW SHRINKING: Talkative and boastful Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan letting actions speak

PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan at rookie mini-camp - The Boys Are Back blog

PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan at rookie mini-camp

One of the biggest changes in Dallas Cowboys camp this year has been a smaller and quieter defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Not only has Ryan shocked everyone with his dramatic weight loss of more than 60 pounds but he has also trimmed the fat on his cocky trash talk of a year ago.

He refuses to be baited into boastful comments about beating the rival Philadelphia Eagles as he was a year ago. He also has declined to say his players are better than any others in the league which got him into hot water headed in the a game against the Detroit Lions because he intimated that Miles Austin and Dez Bryant were better receivers than Calvin Johnson.

Ryan has simply been muzzled by coach Jason Garrett who wants his players and coaches to let their play do their talking.

“I think it’s important for our team to do our work every day and let our actions speak for themselves,” Garrett said. “That’s an important concept for our players to understand and our coaches to understand. We want to have a confident group of guys but ultimately we have to do our jobs and demonstrate we are a good football team by playing the right way and winning football games.”

Courtesy: Clarence Hill | Ft Worth Star-Telegram

RELATED: Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan says weight loss was ‘for health, not beauty’

Dallas Cowboys DC Rob Ryan says weight loss was ‘for health, not beauty’ - The Boys Are Back blog

Back at the rookie minicamp, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan made his first appearance before reporters in a while. And while he said some things about his defense, the conversation turned more personal at the end.

Just like his twin Rex, Rob had lap-band surgery to help with weight loss. And while there was some thought that it was to help Rob get a head-coaching job, he said that wasn’t the reason at all.

Instead, it was much more simple.

“Just breathing at night …” Ryan began. “My wife was telling me, ‘We’re looking for the long haul here.’ So, I did it for health, not for beauty. I did get a sweet cut (takes off his hat), you guys gotta see this. Trying to look like a Cowboy.”

Ryan laughed and took off his hat, displaying a scraggly cut of his long hair. Looked to me like an 80s rocker with bed head. But what the heck do I know? Not exactly a beautician, ya know?

Anyway, Rob says he’s lost 35 pounds already, which is pretty awesome.

“That’s a good thing,” Ryan said. “And it’s only been a couple months. I’ll keep working.”

Courtesy: Ian Rapoport | NFL

DEPTH CHART MOVE: Dallas Cowboy Dan Connor listed ahead of Bruce Carter

PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter (54) and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Brandon Hughes (27) get into a tussle during the second half of game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, October 30, 2011 - The Boys Are Back blog

PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter (54) and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Brandon Hughes (27) get into a tussle during the second half of game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Dallas Cowboys released their first unofficial depth chart in advance of Monday’s preseason opener against the Raiders. Among the notable listing was Dan Connor with the first team at inside linebacker opposite Sean Lee instead of Bruce Carter.

Connor and Carter have shared reps with the first team throughout camp, though Carter has been targeted as the favorite to win the job. Owner Jerry Jones even made a point to highlight on Monday how good a job he thought Carter was doing.

The depth chart for the preseason opener means little as its unofficial and there is still a long way to go in this battle for a starting job. Carter could even start against the Raiders on Monday.

But somebody told somebody to put Connor down with the first team and Carter with the second team.

SOURCE: Unofficial Depth Chart | Dallas Cowboys website

Offense

POS First Second Third Other
WR Dez Bryant Kevin Ogletree Danny Coale Tim Benford
Donavon Kemp
Cole Beasley
LT Tyron Smith Jermey Parnell Jeff Adams Tyrone Novikoff
LG Nate Livings Derrick Dockery Ronald Leary
C Phil Costa Bill Nagy Kevin Kowalski Harland Gunn
RG Mackenzy Bernadeau David Arkin Daniel Loper
RT Doug Free Pat McQuistan Levy Adcock
TE Jason Witten John Phillips James Hanna Andrew Szczerba
WR Miles Austin Dwayne Harris Raymond Radway Andre Holmes
Saalim Hakim
QB Tony Romo Kyle Orton Stephen McGee Rudy Carpenter
FB Lawrence Vickers Shaun Chapas Jamize Olawale
RB DeMarco Murray Felix Jones Phillip Tanner Lance Dunbar
Ed Wesley

Defense

POS First Second Third Other
DT Kenyon Coleman Tyrone Crawford Ben Bass Baraka Atkins
NT Jay Ratliff Josh Brent Sean Lissemore
DT Jason Hatcher Marcus Spears Clifton Geathers Rob Callaway
SLB Anthony Spencer Victor Butler Kyle Wilber
MLB Dan Connor Bruce Carter Caleb McSurdy Isaiah Greenhouse
WLB Sean Lee Orie Lemon
JLB DeMarcus Ware Alex Albright Adrian Hamilton
LCB Brandon Carr Mike Jenkins Akwasi Owusu-Ansah C.J. Wilson
Lionel Smith
RCB Orlando Scandrick Morris Claiborne Mario Butler Teddy Williams
FS Gerald Sensabaugh Danny McCray Matt Johnson Eddie Whitley
SS Barry Church Mana Silva Justin Taplin-Ross

Special Teams

POS First Second Third Other
K Dan Bailey Delbert Alvarado
P Chris Jones Delbert Alvarado
H Chris Jones
KR Felix Jones Raymond Radway Dwayne Harris
PR Dez Bryant Dwayne Harris Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
LS L.P. Ladouceur Charley Hughlett

BIG MAC BACK: Dallas Cowboys right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau medically cleared to practice

Mackenzy Bernadeau, the Dallas Cowboys projected starter at right guard - The Boys Are Back blog

Mackenzy Bernadeau, the Dallas Cowboys’ projected starter at right guard, took part in this morning’s walkthrough and has been cleared medically to take part in this afternoon’s padded workout.

It will mark the first time for Bernadeau, who has battled hip and knee ailments, to work in pads since he joined the team as a free agent in March. Coach Jason Garrett left open the possibility that Bernadeau, who also doubles as a backup center, could take part in the team’s pre-season opener Aug. 13 at Oakland. But a more realistic timetable may be Aug. 18 against San Diego.

Bernadeau said he was excited to “put some pads on and see what I can do” now that he’s been cleared by the medical staff. For now, he is focused on playing guard although he also worked at center, where the Cowboys lack depth, during the past four seasons with Carolina.

“It felt good to be with my teammates, get some plays down,” Bernadeau said. “They’re monitoring everything I do, so there are no setbacks. Right now, I’m focusing on playing guard … and getting healthy.”

PHILLIP TANNER: With surgery successful, Jason Garrett anticipates return in "next week or so"

Phillip Tanner, who broke his right hand in practice last week, has undergone surgery and could be back in the mix wearing a protective glove by next week, coach Jason Garrett said - The Boys Are Back blog

Phillip Tanner, who broke his right hand in practice last week, has undergone surgery and could be back in the mix wearing a protective glove by next week, coach Jason Garrett said this morning.

“He had his surgery. We feel like it went well and we’re excited to have him back … We’re hopeful he’ll be back in the next week or so,” said Garrett, who likened Tanner’s injury to one that sidelined Emmitt Smith for only one game in the 1990s.

Garrett said Tanner, the frontrunner to be the team’s third running back, could play with a protective glove that would allow him to grip the ball and return to camp more quickly than it seemed the day the injury surfaced.

When I initially heard it, I thought he was going to be out for a while. But we’re hopeful he’ll be back in the next week or so,” Garrett said.

Tanner tweeted: "Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. Surgery went well, headed back to Cali to continue turning this dream to Reality!

Courtesy: Jimmy Burch

JASON GARRETT: Miles Austin’s versatility keeps Dallas Cowboys flexible in search for third receiver

Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo and Kevin Ogletree - The Boys Are Back blog

In the battle to emerge as the Cowboys’ third receiver, coach Jason Garrett says Miles Austin _ one of the team’s starters _ impacts the thinking because of his versatility. Austin can play inside or outside.

That means the third receiver job basically comes down to the best player available, whether it winds up being Kevin Ogletree, Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris or someone else.

“We have freedom because of Miles’ versatility, so really what we’re looking for is the best player,” Garrett said. “A guy who can play inside and make that group of few receivers really difficult to defend or (the Cowboys can say), ‘Hey, Miles, you go play inside. We like this guy outside. We like that combination the best.’ So he gives us some freedom. We’re just looking for guys who have the ability to do one of those two things.”

Garrett’s breakdown on the three primary candidates:

Kevin Ogletree: “Kevin has some ability to play outside and inside. He’s done both. He has the physical traits to be an outside receiver and he has the knack and the feel to be an inside receiver. He just needs more snaps.”

Andre Holmes: “We view him as more of an outside guy.”

Dwayne Harris: “Dwayne Harris can do a little bit of both.”

Courtesy: Jimmy Burch

NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME: Mike Jenkins not cleared to practice yet after follow-up visit for shoulder

Cornerback Mike Jenkins is not ready to practice yet, according to a team source with the Cowboys, following his visit with the doctor who performed his shoulder surgery.

Jenkins left camp to visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday to get an assessment of the shoulder surgery.

He was not cleared to practice, the unnamed Cowboys official said.

Jenkins has not practiced at all in the offseason or training camp. His returned is now delayed indefinitely. The Cowboys had hoped he would be able to practice and play by the final preseason game and be ready to go for the season opener Sept. 5 at the New York Giants.

Dallas Cowboys LB Alex Albright also gets a look at TE position

Cowboys linebacker Alex Albright received a look at tight end during Monday’s afternoon practice, his first time to line up as an offensive player since he was a running back in junior high.

“But I got too tall for that,” said Albright (6-foot-5, 260 pounds), a second-year pro from Boston College. “It’s been a while since I carried the ball.”

It’s been even longer since he caught a pass. He’s never played tight end but welcomes the opportunity.

“It was a little awkward at first. But the more I got into it, the more comfortable I got in the stance,” Albright said. “The coaches told me to just try it out and see how it feels. There’s some young guys in that position and it’s an opportunity. Other teams do it, too. So we’re just going with that philosophy and seeing how it works out.”

Using linebackers as goal-line tight ends has been common in the NFL, made notably with the success of Mike Vrabel during his time in New England. Albright said he’s not ready for that comparison … yet.

“I don’t think anyone’s the next Mike Vrabel,” Albright said. “I’m just honored with the opportunity that they’re trying me out everywhere. That’s always a common theme in the NFL, the more you can do. So I’m embracing that aspect of it as a new challenge. It’s new for me. Playing behind Jason Witten and learning from Jason Witten … What better teacher do you need?

Courtesy: Jimmy Burch

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