DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE: ‘Boys Big Balls | Meat on the Bone | Diggin Dallas’ Drones in Philly | No fear, Scandrick secure
Dallas Cowboys run drills using their big yellow ball, as seen here during OTA’s, at the team’s Valley Ranch practice facility in Irving, Texas. More on this later. Continue reading →
APPEALS, DEALS & POTENTIAL STEALS: Kraken Packin–Upcoming Greg Hardy appeal | Dallas Cowboys sign another former first-rounder | Scandrick smiling again | Pro Scouting Report–A. J. Jenkins | Silver and Blue linings
IRVING, Texas – Greg Hardy is on hand for the start of the Dallas Cowboys OTAs, but he’ll be absent Thursday when he heads to Washington D.C. for the appeal of his 10-game suspension. Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS CALENDAR: NFL announces 2015 offseason workout dates | Dallas 2015 OTA dates | Cowboys voluntary & mandatory camp calendar 2015
The mover & shaker mode of free agency is winding down. Super Bowl XLIX is in the rearview mirror. That means it’s almost time for all 32 teams to start their offseason programs.
Below are the key offseason dates to know for your 2015 Dallas Cowboys and their evil NFC East rivals. Continue reading →
LOOKING FOR NEXT MAN UP: Dallas Cowboys exploring options to replace injured MLB Sean Lee | Watch Jason Garrett video
ARLINGTON, Texas – A community event held during the second day of Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) isn’t the typical setting to address seismic changes in the Dallas Cowboys upcoming season.
THE BOYS ARE BACK TO WORK: Your pro scouting report on America’s Team | 2014 Dallas Cowboys OTA’s 05-28 Recap
Here’s your scouting report on the 2014 Dallas Cowboys Day 1 and Day 2 OTA’s …
COUNTDOWN TO THE OTA’S: Your 2014 Dallas Cowboys top defensive “Wave Rushers” starting to emerge | Dallas Cowboys Organized Team Activities 2014
IRVING, Texas — In my experience of working in personnel offices around the NFL this time of year, as a staff you are working hard to eliminate the unknowns for your squad.
There are always going to be questions whether you have the numbers (see the current Dallas Cowboys roster) and depth to get you through training camp in July and into August. The last thing you want to happen during camp is to get caught short if you have a run of bad luck with injuries.
ARMED FOR THE OFFSEASON: Dallas Cowboys sign QB Caleb Hanie for depth | Kyle Orton’s absence continues
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys added another arm by signing a one-year deal with quarterback Caleb Hanie.
IRVING, Texas — Before people get carried away with Kyle Orton’s absence from the Dallas Cowboys offseason program, two factors need to be put out there: the workouts are voluntary and he missed just one day.
But the Cowboys should not look at Orton’s absence as a one-day deal. They need to determine whether Orton really wants to play football in 2014, despite what they heard from the player’s agent and the fact Orton would be walking away from $3.25 million.
It could be as simple as him not wanting to play anymore. He is the second-highest paid backup quarterback in the NFL behind Matt Moore ($4 million) of the Miami Dolphins, so money wouldn’t seem to be an issue. He has been content in his role as a backup to Tony Romo, so opportunity wouldn’t seem to be an issue.
Undoubtedly the Cowboys have spoken directly to Orton this offseason with the whispers of him thinking about retirement. What was discussed is not known. Did he tell them he would play or not play?
Orton holds the cards here because he does not have to show up until the mandatory June minicamp. If he does not report for that, then he would face fines up to close to $70,000. If he does report, what kind of condition is he in?
The Cowboys can trade him or release him. What kind of return would they get for a player who may or may not report to a new team? If they release him, then they would forfeit the right to pick up $3 million of the $5 million signing bonus he received in 2011.
They could keep him and hope he arrives at the June minicamp in good shape and is ready to go when the team reports to Oxnard, Calif., for training camp. Hope, however, should not be their strategy.
Yet there is a more immediate question raised from Orton’s absence. Does it push quarterback up the ladder when it comes to the draft?
The Dallas Cowboys signed Brandon Weeden to a two-year deal in the offseason with no signing bonus. They liked him coming into the 2012 draft, but not as much as the Cleveland Browns liked him. He had more interceptions than touchdown passes, but the Cowboys have taken a no-risk look at him.
What can they learn about Weeden before the draft? Not much. Coaches are not allowed on the field with the players until Phase 2 of the offseason program, which comes the week of the draft.
The Dallas Cowboys attended Aaron Murray’s workout at Georgia last week. They talked with Jimmy Garoppolo and David Fales at the NFL scouting combine. They had a number of quarterbacks at their Dallas Day workouts last week in Garrett Gilbert, Casey Pachall and James Franklin, but they did not have a quarterback among their national visitors.
The Cowboys aren’t exactly being held hostage by Orton, but his decision (or indecision) could go a long way in how they plan to attack the draft.
IRVING, Texas– Today marks the beginning of the voluntary portion of team workouts, both for the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL as a whole – though you wouldn’t know it’s optional, judging by the full parking lots at Valley Ranch.
The Dallas Cowboys walked away from the spring practices sold on new center Travis Frederick’s football intelligence.
It was what they thought it was.
“One of the traits that we identified early was his ability to communicate, his retention of the system, his ability to communicate it out,” offensive line coach Bill Callahan said. “Those are all real positives that came to fruition during the course of the mini-camps and the OTAs.”
Frederick practiced only at center during the spring as the Cowboys gave him every snap they could at the position they drafted him to play.
“For a young guy, he really seems to grasp what we’re trying to get accomplished in a short period of time,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “The challenge for him is blocking across from him. It’s Hatcher. It’s Ratliff. It’s some of those guys. That’s a tough ball snap. I think he’s understanding that.”
Frederick said he’s got the big stuff down. It’s the little stuff he’s working on now – “the technique things here and there, instead of trying to pick up a playbook and pick that stuff up,” he said. “I feel like I’ve picked that up pretty well as far as assignments and stuff like that, but obviously, there will be little things here and there.
“And once we start seeing some different defenses, it’s going to be a little bit more as well. Right now, I’m just focused on working on a lot of the little technique stuff in pass protection and running and taking advantage of a lot of the things that Coach Callahan has taught me.”
Callahan is good with that. Frederick at least doesn’t have to be shown twice.
“You tell him one time, and he gets it,” Callahan said. “He may err on occasion, but he’s not a repetitive error guy. He’s not going to make the same mistake twice. He listens, he learns. He understands the situations that he’s in and he can fix it on the move. He can rectify them pretty quick. So it’s been a real positive from that sense.”
IRVING, Texas – Most players don’t look back at a season with 11.5 sacks and five forced fumbles and call it the most difficult time of their professional career.
But that’s how DeMarcus Ware referred to his 2012 season, in which he dealt with more injuries than he could have possibly imagined. The first hit him early in the year, while the rest limited him later on.
“Training camp, I tore my hamstring, so I was dealing with that the whole season,” Ware said. “I fractured my right wrist, wore a cast on that. It’s fine now. I had an elbow harness on and the last three games I tore my labrum. I had an elbow and a shoulder harness on. I didn’t have that arm.”
Ware’s 11.5 sacks were his fewest since 2009, when he totaled 11. He’s finished each of his last seven seasons with double-digit sack totals, so even through all the injuries, he was bound to reach the quarterback better than most outside linebackers or defensive ends throughout the league.
He compiled four of his forced fumbles and nine of his sacks within the first eight games of the season. Most of his sacks occurred before a hyperextended elbow and a torn labrum in his shoulder rendered his entire right arm practically useless.
“I still had my feet, being able to run,” Ware said. “It was hard. But the thing is, it’s what you’re out there playing for. There was a passion of playing with your teammates and being part of the Dallas Cowboys organization.”
Ware still found a way after all the injuries to play in all 16 games. He’s suited up for every game of his professional career since getting drafted in 2005, and he doesn’t plan on missing any time now that the 2013 season is getting underway.
In his first season as an NFL defensive end, Ware’s easing into Organized Team Activities after undergoing surgery on his labrum after the season. He elected not to get surgery on his elbow.
“I actually feel pretty good,” he said. “I’m probably about 85 percent. I’ll be ready for the season. It’s a process, a process of healing and rehabbing and getting ready.”
The former linebacker said he’d never dealt with injuries that completely stopped him from doing what he knew he could do. He could go out and pass rush, but his body wouldn’t allow him to make the same moves he was accustomed to making throughout his career.
“That’s sort of discouraging,” Ware said. “But getting out there and still playing and fighting through it, I think that was the main thing.”
Just like Jason Witten, who somehow suited up to start the season after lacerating his spleen in the preseason, Ware was a veteran who wasn’t going to miss time.
Ware finished with just 2.5 sacks the second half of the year, but teams still had to account for No. 94 on the outside. That allowed players such as Anthony Spencer, who compiled eight of his 11 sacks the final half of the year, to thrive.
“Sometimes your presence out there is a lot more than what you think,” Ware said. “If you’re hurt, you still can get the double teams that can really free a lot of other guys up. You might not be as productive, but it’s going to transition. There’re 11 guys out there. The other 10 need to make plays while you’re out there still doing what you can do.”
The Cowboys expect Ware to come back and play the same way he had in the past at the start of this season, and he’s excited about how he fits in with the schemes of new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.
“It’s very simple, but it’s a lot of technique work that goes into it, which Marinelli and Kiffin are teaching,” Ware said. “I think it’s going to be really great for us. I see the corners out there locking guys up and playing really well, and Sean Lee, he’s being that vocal mike ’backer for us. I think this transition is going to be really good for us.”
Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware sits down with Rowan Kavner to discuss what he called his toughest season as a professional athlete. (Duration 4:16)
IRVING, Texas – Not much has changed for Cole Beasley as he enters his second season in the NFL, apart from his appearance.
The former SMU receiver shaved off the long locks and added 10 pounds to his frame, but on the football field it’s a lot of the same, as he attempts to once again make the team and make a difference out of the slot.
“After a year, you start to know what to expect,” Beasley said. “It kind of helps your thought process on how you’ve got to get your mind ready and focused to go into practice every day and getting better each day. That’s what you have to do to make it in this league.”
Terrance Williams is now added to the fold, while Kevin Ogletree is subtracted. Alterations happen within an offense and the personnel every season, and Beasley knows everyone who comes in to compete at receiver possesses talent every year.
He’s not worried about the competition around him, because it’s not changing any time soon. Instead of concentrating on his potential for playing time, he focused on a personal goal for the offseason.
“Mine was mostly to put weight on,” he said. “I had a little setback with my shoulder injury the last game last year. That threw me off a little bit. But I came back pretty quick, and I probably gained 10 more pounds than what I was last year.”
Beasley injured his AC joint going out for a pass in the final game of the season against the Redskins. He couldn’t lift weights for two months after the season and could barely do a pushup seven weeks in. Once he could start lifting, it didn’t take long for him to recover. But the entire healing process took longer than he would have expected.
“I kind of slowly came back into it,” he said. “I probably started doing stuff a little before I was supposed to, but it was just light bands stuff. I was just trying to get it strong. That’s probably why it was sore for a little bit longer. It was sore enough to where I could feel it but it wasn’t too bad. Then I just started lifting weights, and now it’s just completely gone.”
Now, he enters the season healthy and ready to find a role in the offense with a new receivers coach in Derek Dooley. He can already tell this year’s Organized Team Activities are more focused on the basics and keeping things simple to let the players use their talents and make plays without overthinking.
Other than that, not much is different for Beasley, apart from his knowledge of the offense and, of course, his new appearance. As for the newly shaved head, those who liked his old curls are still in luck.
“It’s really simple, it just got hot,” Beasley said. “I practiced one day with it, it was too long though. I’ll let it grow back.”
DeMarco Murray’s injured hamstring continues to keep him sidelined at the Dallas Cowboys’ offseason practices, but the absence of the team’s top running back isn’t keeping coach Jason Garrett up at night.
Speaking at a news conference in Irving, Garrett dismissed the notion that injuries to Murray and several other players are a pressing issue at Valley Ranch. Murray has missed nine games due to injuries over his first two NFL seasons.
“I just think with all the guys with any kind of hint of injury this time of year, we’re very cautious,” Garrett said. “We don’t want to take any backward steps. They’re all progressing well in their rehab. They’re all working hard. So, we just want to keep them moving forward, and (Murray) falls into that category as well as a number of other guys.”
Other players limited by injuries include:
- safety Will Allen,
- wide receiver Tim Benford,
- linebacker Justin Durant,
- rookie safety Jakar Hamilton,
- defensive end Anthony Hargrove,
- quarterback Tony Romo,
- running back Joseph Randle and
- fullback Lawrence Vickers.
Injuries decimated the Cowboys’ defense last season, but Garrett said it’s way too early to think the team won’t be healthy this season.
“You want to keep injuries to a minimum, obviously – and kind of injuries,” he said. “If you look around the league, there are probably a lot of teams that are going through the same kind of things we’re going through, and you’ve just got to manage the right way.
“If we were playing on Sunday, we might handle these things a little bit differently. But, again, you want to err on the side of caution this time of year, and we have to do everything we can as an organization to keep these guys healthy.”
RELATED: DeMarco Murray determined to play all 16 games this season
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray knows he can’t win the battle of perception.
He joined the Cowboys as a third-round pick in 2011 with a reputation of being injury prone in college at Oklahoma, despite owning the school records for points, touchdowns and all-purpose yards.
Murray then missed nine games his two seasons combined, prompting the Cowboys to draft Oklahoma State star Joseph Randle in the fifth round this year to help shoulder the load going forward.
Now Murray is sidelined for the start of OTAs with a tweaked hamstring. He missed all of last week and Tuesday.
While he said he doesn’t worry about the injury-prone label, he does plan on changing the perception in 2013 by doing something he has never done before: play all 16 games.
“That’s something I can’t control,” Murray said of the critics. “I can’t control if anything happens. All I can do is go out there, play hard, play fast, play physical. Once I’m out there, I don’t think there’s any question about anything. “…I am going to play all 16 (games) this year, and I’m excited. It’s going to be a great year for us.”
If Murray plays all 16 games, it should be a great year for the Cowboys.
One thing he has proved over his first two years is that the Cowboys are better when Murray is in the lineup and running well. He has 218 carries for 1,100 yards in Cowboys’ wins in 2011 and 2012 compared to 107 carries for 466 yards in losses.
His importance is not lost on the Cowboys, who support the decision by Murray and the trainers to take it slow during OTA workouts so he can be ready to live up to his promise of a full season on the field.
“DeMarco, he’s going to be good,” receiver Dez Bryant said. “The thing about it is, we’re in OTAs and we don’t want to get him out there when he’s not ready and something comes up. We need him throughout the whole year. Not only for DeMarco but for every player, we don’t want to rush anybody. He’s a great player and he’s probably one of the biggest pieces to this puzzle. He’s doing fine.”
Said tight end Jason Witten: “I think it’ll be huge for us. He’s a guy that plays hard and runs hard. I think we’ll do a better job offensively running the ball. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on that. He’s a dynamic back who can create a lot of things for you. He’s got to be healthy and out there. He’s worked hard to get there, and hopefully we’ll get to see him here in these OTAs. A lot of that has been tightened up. We can’t be in those situations that we were last year. It’s just too hard to overcome.”
The second week of organized team activities started for the Dallas Cowboys today (on Tuesday). As expected, Tony Romo remained out of the mix.
Romo is unable to practice after having a cyst removed from his back in April. The quarterback hasn’t started working with the Cowboys’ 2013 NFL Draft picks: center Travis Frederick, tight end Gavin Escobar and wide receiver Terrance Williams.
Romo was asked what he misses by being forced to sit out early practices.
“I think sometimes timing,” Romo said Tuesday. “But at the same time, I’m going to wear that out with them, too. I’m sure they’ll want to get out of here a little bit in June and July, but I’ll probably force the hand a little bit to keep them around and it’ll be a good thing for us. It’ll be just a bonus, time wise.”
Meanwhile, the quarterback said he watched film on Escobar and Williams prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, per the request of general manager Jerry Jones.
Romo would like to take part in the Cowboys’ June 11 to 13 minicamp. He can fret about timing, but time remains on his side.
A lot was said (and implied) last week about Tony Romo’s lack of participation in the teams OTA’s. The fact is, Romo was very involved in the activities with coaches and teammates … both on the practice fields and in the clubs meeting rooms.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo directs teammates during the Dallas Cowboys first OTA practice at Valley Ranch
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo directs teammate Jason Witten after he runs a pass route.
Tony Romo warms up arm during the Dallas Cowboys first OTA practice
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo tries not to collide with Dez Bryant as he runs a pass route
IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo wants to take part in the June 11-13 mini-camp.
Romo had a small cyst removed from his back in April and has been limited in his conditioning work for most of the offseason. He has only recently done some light jogging to go with work on the bike and elliptical machines. He has not done any sprinting.
Over the next few weeks, he will be able to make progress in his conditioning to get on the field for full-speed practices.
Romo’s experience has been touted for his ability to be more involved with the game planning and instillation means so much, then OTA’s in May will not be a great deal of help.
Let him work through some individual drills the way DeMarcus Ware is doing. Ware is coming off major shoulder surgery. He could take part in full practices if necessary, but the Cowboys are being conservative with his comeback.
There are $108 million reasons why the Cowboys must do the same with Romo.
Below, is a series of videos published this week about the Dallas Cowboys. Some shows are long, which are ideal for lunch breaks or listening to something while you work around the house (or yard). You’ll hear from coaches, players, and staff …directly. Check em out:
Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick Travis Frederick joins Jeff and Josh, as do Sean Lissemore and fourth-round rookie B.W. Webb
More videos …
The Dallas Cowboys Week-1 OTA’s wrapped up today, with three days of practices and exercises. The team will have a total of ten days of these activities … three more next week, and four in the final week. Click HERE to see the full off-season NFL calendar for the Dallas Cowboys.
Bill Jones and Mickey Spagnola wrap up the first week of Dallas Cowboys OTA’s on The Blitz.
WASN’T NEED-TO-KNOW: Why the Cowboys waited until OTAs began to tell everyone about Tony Romo’s cyst
The Dallas Cowboys waited until OTAs began to tell everyone about Tony Romo’s cyst and that he wouldn’t be practicing since he had it removed from his back.
So why the big secret? Why not announce the procedure when it was performed on the $108 million quarterback, who would be held out the entirety of OTAs, not just for a practice or two? Routine stuff — surgery successful, expect a full, quick recovery, yada yada yada.
Romo’s reasoning: if it doesn’t help the team, why bother?
“I don’t feel it’s in anyone’s best interest just to come out and talk about anything that goes on,” he told reporters Tuesday at Valley Ranch. “It doesn’t help your football team. Predominantly, most of the decisions you make are about helping the football team, and that’s what you fall back on in those decisions.”
So Romo and the Cowboys decided not to say anything until they had to. They figured a 20-minute gaggle with reporters after the first practice would get the news just as well as a quick email blast.
“Well, I don’t talk to you guys very often,” Romo said. “I figured it was just easier than to schedule a press conference and say, ‘Hey, I had a minor procedure. All right. Goodbye.’
“It seems silly, honestly.”