Category Archives: NFL Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Update

AROUND THE NFC EAST – DOWN THE HATCH: Washington Redskins will open 2014 training camp without Jason Hatcher | Former Dallas Cowboys DE sidelined

AROUND THE NFC EAST - DOWN THE HATCH - Washington Redskins open 2014 training camp without Jason Hatcher - Former Dallas Cowboys DE sidelined

RICHMOND, Va. — Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden says defensive end Jason Hatcher and three other players will be sidelined when training camp practice begins Thursday.

Gruden said today that Hatcher, defensive end Stephen Bowen and receiver Leonard Hankerson are still recovering from knee surgeries, while backup guard Maurice Hurt is out of shape.

Hatcher, acquired as a free agent from the Dallas Cowboys, had arthroscopic surgery last month. He is expected to return quicker than Bowen and Hankerson, who had more significant injuries.

The coach says quarterback Robert Griffin III’s physical condition is “not an issue” 18 months removed from major knee surgery. Says Gruden: “The key for him is to learn from his mistakes.”

Gruden is leading a camp for the first time. He says he’ll have “butterflies” making sure everything’s right.

THE BOYS ARE BACK: Wheels down in Oxnard | Dallas Cowboys rested and ready | Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 Training Camp

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Upon wrapping up the team minicamp on June 19, which followed several weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), official Dallas Cowboys on-field action ceases for awhile, giving the players about five weeks off before they report for training camp in Oxnard, Calif., on July 22.

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DEZ DUO IN BIG-D: Dallas Cowboys sign WR Dezmon Briscoe to 2014-2015 training camp roster; DT Chris Whaley waived

THE DEZ DUO IN DALLAS - Dallas Cowboys sign WR Dezmon Briscoe to 2014-2015 training camp roster; DT Chris Whaley waived - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys added another Dez to the receiving group, less than 24 hours before the team departs for training camp.

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MUDDLED IN THE MIDDLE: Dallas Cowboys scrambling to set linebacker unit without star anchor Sean Lee | 2014-2015 linebacker position outlook | Eleven LBs Remaining | Analysis

MUDDLED IN THE MIDDLE - Dallas Cowboys scrambling to set linebacker unit without star anchor Sean Lee - 2014-2015 linebacker position outlook - The Boys Are Back

What’s the Deal?

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TRAINING CAMP LIVE: Watch the Silver and Blue Debut at AT&T Stadium (Video)

Training Camp LIVE - Silver and Blue Debut 2013 - The Boys Are Back blog - Watch Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp LIVE: Silver and Blue Debut

Join Bryan Broaddus and Nick Eatman from Cowboys Stadium as they give you a look in to the Cowboys Silver and Blue debut practice. Duration – 17:31

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The Dallas Cowboys open practice, at the newly named AT&T Stadium, is a chance for the rookies to get a feel for the stadium before Saturday’s first preseason home game. It’s a chance to try out the new turf and for the local fans to get an up-close look at the 2013 team. 

New turf was installed in the off-season, and the Cowboys are getting a chance to try it out.

“I think it’s good for us to be able to get out there and run around a little bit, have a real football practice instead of just walking around or jogging around on it before the game,” Garrett said. “I think that’s a good thing for our team. We’ve got to take advantage of it.”

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2013 TRAINING CAMP WRAP-UP: Jason Garrett end of camp press conference (Video)

2013 TRAINING CAMP WRAP-UP - Jason Garrett end of 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp press conference

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media for the final time from training camp in Oxnard, California.

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Video - Allen - We've built a good foundation Video - DeMarcus Ware - Effort is key to turnovers - The Boys Are Back blog 2013 Video - Barry Church - Texas 2 defense communicating well - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

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BROTHERLY LOVE: Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb honors teammate by wearing J.J. Wilcox’s No. 27 in practice

BROTHERLY LOVE - B.W. Webb honors J.J. Wilcox by wearing Wilcox's No. 27 in practice

Dallas Cowboys rookie cornerback B.W. Webb wanted J.J. Wilcox to know that he was thinking of him. So Webb wore Wilcox’s No. 27 jersey to practice Friday.

“That’s like my brother, so I’m just showing my love, let him know I’m still here with him,” Webb said. “Whatever he needs I’ve got him.”

Wilcox has been excused from practice since his mother, Marshell Wilcox, became gravely ill. Marshell Wilcox died Tuesday after a long battle with lupus, a chronic and lifelong autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs. The funeral is Saturday in Cairo, Ga.

Wilcox is expected to rejoin the team in Dallas.

“I’ve talked to him,” Webb said. “He’s doing a little better, but it’s hard right now. I can’t imagine losing your parent. I’m just want to let him know I’m here for him if he needs anything.”

Webb will wear his own No. 20 in the game Saturday against the Cardinals.

2013 PRESEASON INJURY UPDATE: Ronald Leary to undergo arthroscopic surgery on right knee tomorrow

2013 PRESEASON INJURY UPDATE - Ronald Leary to undergo arthroscopic surgery on right knee tomorrow - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys’ problems at the guard position have taken another hit.

Second-year pro Ron Leary is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Friday, a procedure that will put his chances of playing the Sept. 8 opener against the Giants at AT&T Stadium in jeopardy.

Leary sat out of Wednesday’s walk-through practice in Oxnard, which put David Arkin running with the first-team again at left guard.

Leary had been working with the starters since he returned from a hamstring injury two weeks ago. Leary took every snap of the Aug. 5 game with the Dolphins in Canton, and also played into the second half against Oakland last week.

Fortunately for the Cowboys, the injury is to his right knee and not the left knee that scared off many teams from drafting Leary in 2012.

This injury further raises the question about the Cowboys’ interest in veteran Brian Waters. The club has reached out to the 36-year old veteran who hasn’t played since 2011. Waters, a five-time Pro Bowler apparently has interest in playing again, but doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to join a training camp.

The Cowboys tried to sign veteran Brandon Moore last week but the former New York Jet standout decided not to reunite with coach Bill Callahan and chose to stay retired.

Don’t forget about veteran Nate Livings, who also had a knee scope two weeks ago and has a shot to be ready by the start of the season.

For Saturday’s game in Arizona, the Cowboys are expected to start Arkin at left guard and Mackenzy Bernadeau on the right side.

BEACH BOUND ‘BOYS: Jason Garrett calls team bonding ‘a really important piece’ of training camp

BEACH BOUND ‘BOYS - Jason Garrett calls team bonding 'a really important piece' of training camp - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – Instead of the afternoon practice, the Cowboys got a day at the beach Wednesday. But barely. Coach Jason Garrett put a challenge out after the walk-through – he broke everyone up into six groups, assigned them a quarterback, and if the quarterback could hit the crossbar with a throw from 35 yards, it was a day off for everybody.

Every quarterback missed, even trick-shooter Alex Tanney, although Nick Stephens came very close twice. Then Garrett took his second throw, and apparently hit the money bar.

Apparently, because even though the throw appeared to miss, the team got the day off.

“Why is it disputed?” Garrett said with a laugh in his daily press conference.

Uh, because it missed?

Garrett smiled, “It looked like the crossbar to me.”

Linebacker Sean Lee said, “It’s fun. Coach Garrett is unbelievable to play for, not only from a motivational standpoint for football, but for making it great, making it fun for us.”

Garrett said the players deserved a day off.

“I thought yesterday was probably our best practice of training camp, and in fact we had to kind of cut it a little bit short at the end,” he said. “It was very physical, very competitive. We worked really hard to put our players in competitive situations. It’s a really important thing for individual players and for your team, and our team has embraced that. I think yesterday was probably as good as it’s been in terms of the competition on both sides since we’ve been here in Oxnard. We were planning on doing this anyway – we had three good days of practice coming out of the Oakland game. Our guys have worked hard, and I just think it’s the right thing to do. I think they responded well to the work we had earlier in the week – give them a little bit of a break, come back tomorrow and start getting ready for Arizona.”

For coach Jason Garrett, part of the benefit of camp away from home is a chance for the players to bond.

“They’re together. They eat meals with each other. They get tape,” Garrett said. “Everything they do is kind of next to each other, and we think that’s a positive thing. You can create that same environment at home. I’ve been part of that as both a player and as a coach. So you just kind of figure it out. But that’s a really important piece of training camp. You better make sure that happens.”

Veteran cornerback Brandon Carr said the team is a family, and training camp is “like a family vacation for us, a bonding experience.”

Here are some more notes from the Cowboys’ morning walkthrough session:

  • Guard Ronald Leary missed walkthrough with a knee problem. Garrett said Leary will undergo an MRI on Wednesday. He added that this injury doesn’t appear to be related to Leary’s previous one.
  • Garrett listed cornerback Morris Claiborne as “day-to-day,” though he didn’t rule out the possibility that Claiborne could play Saturday against the Cardinals. “We think he’s getting better. The week is moving along here, so we’ll see if he’s able to come back and do anything tomorrow,” Garrett said. “If he can’t do anything tomorrow, he won’t play in the game on Saturday … He might play a little bit in this game if he responds well here in the next 24 hours, but if not he’ll probably get ready to play next week.
  • Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus spoke to the team ahead of Wednesday’s walkthrough. Garrett said Butkus talked about the privilege of playing in the NFL.(Video | Audio)
  • Butkus called linebacker Sean Lee and “old school” player. Garrett said he made sure his middle linebacker got a chance to speak to the Hall of Famer while he was with the team. “It was a privilege for all of us to have him around,” said Garrett of Butkus.

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Boys hit the beach
Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Dallas Cowboys bonding at the beach - The Boys Are Back blog
Jason Garrett Press Conference 8/14/2013 (Duration – 5:09)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media after completing his teams morning walkthrough.

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2013 PRESEASON INJURY UPDATE: Cowboys LG Ronald Leary to have a precautionary MRI on his sore left knee

Roster Rundown - Ron Leary Might Be Ready To Compete This Year - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Just as Ronald Leary was getting settled in at left guard with the first team, he missed today’s (Wednesday) walk-through with a sore left knee. He will undergo an MRI later, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

The Dallas Cowboys don’t believe Leary’s knee injury is serious, but the soreness is persisting.

“He has a knee that’s been bothering him a little bit, so he’s going to get an MRI today, and we’ll just see what it is,” Garrett said.

Several teams passed on Leary last year because of a chronic condition in the left knee called osteochondritis dissecans (os-tee-o-kohn-DRY-tis DIS-uh-kanz), a joint condition where a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone beneath it, comes loose from the end of a bone. The joint condition brings fears that the knee won’t hold up to the pounding it will take in the NFL. The Cowboys, though, targeted Leary as an undrafted free agent from Memphis, guaranteeing him $214,000 in signing bonus and base salary in 2012.

Garrett said Leary’s current knee injury is unrelated to his degenerative disorder.

The Cowboys have high hopes for Leary and moved him into the starting lineup when Nate Livings went in for knee surgery. This could be a setback for the second-year player depending on how long he is out.

“As a general statement, we want all of our players to practice and play as much as they can, but injuries are a part of the game,” Garrett said. “We’ll see what [the MRI] looks like and move forward.”

David Arkin replaced Leary in the lineup Wednesday.

The Cowboys already were thin at the position with Livings, Kevin Kowalski (knee), Ryan Cook (back) and Ray Dominguez (shoulder) out. They tried to sign Brandon Moore last week, but he retired before reporting to camp. The Cowboys are in a holding pattern with veteran Brian Waters, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2011. They offered the Waxahachie (Texas) resident a contract, but he has yet to commit.

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON HGH: NFLPA memo tells NFL players that testing is closer

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON HGH - NFLPA memo tells NFL players that testing is closer - Population Study during training camps - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

The NFL Players Association has “tentatively agreed” to human growth hormone (HGH) testing and accompanying punishment for the 2013 regular season, according to a union memo.

The memo says that a first offense for any player who tests positive for HGH will bring a four-game suspension. The NFLPA will allow the league to obtain 40 blood samples for HGH tests each week during the testing, according to the tentative agreement.

The NFL denies that an agreement has been finalized.

“We do not have yet a comprehensive agreement for HGH testing and decline to comment on the union’s memo,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

The sides agreed on all procedural aspects of HGH testing. The last sticking point remaining is the appeals process and the presence of a neutral arbitrator. The memo from the NFLPA revealed some of the details of the testing.

Every player in the NFL will provide a blood sample in training camp for a “population study” that will determine what level of HGH will result in penalties, the union wrote in the memo. Eight players randomly will be chosen from five teams each week during the regular season for testing. The memo says the comprehensive agreement likely will be finalized soon.

The entire memo can be seen below:

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RULED AND SCHOOLED: Dallas Cowboys rookie corner B.W. Webb gets counseling from Tony Romo

RULED AND SCHOOLED - Dallas Cowboys rookie corner B.W. Webb gets counseling from Tony Romo - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Count quarterback Tony Romo as one of the people rookie cornerback B.W. Webb sought advice from after his bad outing in the 19-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders last Friday. Webb gave up six catches for 65 yards in coverage and fumbled a punt that led to the game-deciding score.

Coach Jason Garrett was critical of Webb’s demeanor and confidence in the game and the rookie fourth-round pick acknowledged that he let his poor play at cornerback bleed into the fumbled punt.

“Yeah, I guess I thought about my bad plays too much,” Webb said. “I didn’t really put them behind me. In this league you to put those in your back pocket and keep going. I kind of dwelled on those too much and it led into the punt, dropped the punt so it was just…I got to put things behind me and get on on with the game.”

dallas cowboys head coach jason garrett talks with dallas cowboys quarterback tony romo - the boys are back blog

Webb said he talked to a few people after the game for advice, including cornerback Brandon Carr and secondary coach Jerome Henderson. He also approached the veteran quarterback for his perspective.

“His position is crazy and you have your up and down games,” Webb said. “He really told me you got to be able to put that in past. He told me he messes up at times and coaches jump him and it’s on to the next play, just getting that perspective from especially him.”

In two games, Webb has played 108 plays. He has been targeted 13 times, giving up 10 catches for 94 yards.

EXPANDING THE TEXAS 2 DEFENSE: Monte Kiffin prepping defenders for zone read offense

EXPANDING THE TEXAS 2 DEFENSE - Monte Kiffin prepping defenders for zone read offense

The Dallas Cowboys defense got a glimpse of the zone-read offense in the 19-17 loss to the Raiders last Friday and it wasn’t pretty.

Oakland Raiders backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor six times for 88 yards in the game. 

Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and his troops get a pass for that performance because they didn’t work on it at all in practice before the game. 

There will be no excuses when the regular season starts. The Cowboys have two games each against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles — two teams who use the read option as a big part of their offense. There is also a good chance they see Pryor again when they face the Raiders on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s no surprise the Cowboys took time in Monday’s practice to work on the read option, using receiver Dwayne Harris as the scout team quarterback.

“We’re going to see if from a lot of different people,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly the teams that have done it and it’s been effective for them, they will probably have the same type of package and they will grow their package. As you know, it’s a copy cat league in a lot of ways so other teams certainly will make it part of what they do on offense. So, we have to be ready for it. This is a good week to do that, last week, as you know we played Sunday in Canton and turned around and played Oakland on Friday night. So it was a short week in terms of installation and working on any new stuff. This is a longer week for us and it gives us a chance to work on some of those things that will show up on the season on both sides of the ball.”

The Dallas Cowboys have the added advantage or disadvantage of Kiffin facing the read option, especially that of Eagles coach Chip Kelly, during his time at Southern California the past three years. Kelly’s Oregon offenses averaged 601 yards and 50 points against Kiffin’s USC defenses, including a 730-yard output in a 62-51 victory in their final meeting in 2012. 

“Well, Monte’s just a great coach,” Garrett said. “He’s been a great coach for a long, long time. We have a good defensive staff. A lot of those guys have come from the college game. Monte being there just recently helps. He faced Chip Kelly when SC played Oregon, and regardless of that, the challenges that we’re going to face with Philadelphia and some of the other teams are going to be significant for us. They’re significant for the league. And we’ve got to be on top of that.”

2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp - Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Jason Witten, Will Allen - The Boys Are Back blog

Photo: Dallas Cowboys already have the speedy linebackers to help defend against the read option offense.

2013 COWBOYS ROSTER UPDATE: Dallas makes a few personnel changes on special teams

Dallas Cowboys Joseph Randle (35), Terrance Williams (83) with Gavin Escobar (89)

Photo: Dallas Cowboys rookie WR Terrance Williams returning to the field

OXNARD, Calif. – The Dallas Cowboys made some personnel changes today (on Sunday) involving special teams, an area that struggled somewhat in Friday’s second preseason game in Oakland.

However, the changes made weren’t exactly a result of Friday’s problems or even deemed solutions to the miscues.

The Cowboys added punter/kicker Brett Maher and long snapper P.J. Mangieri. Both played collegiately at Nebraska.

The Cowboys had to waive long snapper Jackson Anderson, the only player who did not play in the Raiders game. The team already had an open spot on the roster after cutting guard Jeff Olson on Thursday. But the Cowboys also waived punter Spencer Benton last week after he had four punts for in the first preseason game against Miami.

Last year, Maher was 20 of 27 on field goal attempts and also had 61 punts for a 41.8 yard average.

Mangieri played four years at Nebraska, serving as the full-time snapper for punts, field goals and extra points.

It’s likely the Cowboys would like to give veteran L.P. Ladouceur some rest over the next three preseason games. Maher will likely serve as the kickoff specialist and could relieve kicker Dan Bailey and punter Chris Jones occasionally as well.

Injury and Practice update:

The Dallas Cowboys return to practice at 7:15 p.m. (Dallas time). They will be without receiver Cole Beasley, who sprained ligaments in his left foot in the game against the Raiders. They will get back receiver Terrance Williams, who sat out more than a week with a concussion.

Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (hamstring) and defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee) are among the players who will remain out until after the Cowboys return home next week.

ROOKIE FACING ADVERSITY: Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb draws wrath of Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys rookie cornerback B.W. Webb fumbles punt - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

As a fourth-round draft pick, B.W. Webb’s spot on the roster is all but guaranteed. The Cowboys have carried David Arkin, a fourth-round pick in 2011, for two years. But if Webb wasn’t a high pick, he might be in danger of not making the roster.

The William & Mary product has struggled mightily thus far.

He had three tackles in 76 plays in the Hall of Fame Game against the Dolphins, giving up four passes for 29 yards while being targeted six times. He had three tackles against the Raiders and was a favorite target of Raiders’ quarterbacks. He also fumbled a punt.

As if it couldn’t get worse for Webb, he was called out by his coach — who rarely does that publically — afterward.

“You are not allowed to have one of those nights,” Garrett said. “One of things you are looking for in any kind of players, a young guy or a veteran is you want to make sure they respond to the successes and adversities of the game. He had a couple of missed tackles early on for him. I thought he came back and tackled better. Then, he had the dropped punt. You’re not allowed to have bad nights. You never excuse it away to that. You have to keep battling, fighting, whatever opportunity you get, you’ve got to make sure you are taking advantage of it.”

It is safe to say Webb will not be used on punts. His fourth-quarter muff was recovered by the Raiders at the Dallas 9, and they scored the go-ahead field goal.

“Certainly, he’s got enough skill and has done enough good things out there,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “We’ve seen him on punts and seen him have to get used to it. He’s not ready, as far as training camp is concerned, to drop back there and get under those punts. We saw that some in training camp. We’ve seen it. It was disappointing he couldn’t get his feet back under him and get back and at least recover the ball. First of all, it really gave us an uphill battle in the ball game. That will be something I’m sure he keeps in his mind.”

DALLAS COWBOYS FAMILY: Cornerback Brandon Carr watches his first son’s birth on FaceTime

dallas cowboys players congratulate defensive back brandon carr (39) after his second interception against the san diego chargers - the boys are back blog

Technology can be a wonderful thing.

In the old days, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr would have missed the Monday birth of his son, Austin.

Carr had just returned to Los Angeles with teammates from the Hall of Fame Game when he received the word that his fiancée was in labor. He packed a bag and headed back to the airport. He was able to watch the birth on FaceTime.

“I saw everything I needed to see,” Carr said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (see below). “I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it.”

Carr spent two days with his family — he also has a daughter — before rejoining teammates at practice Thursday. He is expected to see some playing time against the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.

“No sleep at all, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Carr said. “It was a good feeling to be there and actually see your first son. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and bring it all in. The last two days have been good. It’s a blessed feeling.”

That’s good Dad Work right there.

RELATED: Brandon Carr returns to camp after welcome his first son, Austin

Brandon Carr hasn’t been in camp the past two days, but he is the player who is the most weary. He spent two days at home with his fiancée and his newborn son, Austin, who was born Monday.

“No sleep at all, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said the Cowboys cornerback, who returned to practice Thursday. “It was a good feeling to be there and actually see your first son. I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and bring it all in. The last two days have been good. It’s a blessed feeling.”

Carr, who also has a daughter, Sidney, flew back with the team from the Hall of Fame Game, arriving at LAX early Monday morning. He packed a bag and headed back to the airport after getting news that his fiancée was in labor. He watched the birth on FaceTime.

“I saw everything I needed to see,” Carr said. “I saw it all. Technology is wonderful these days. Sometimes you can’t control what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to go with the flow. I made the most of it.”

Now, he’s ready to play. The Cowboys starters are expected to play a series or two against the Raiders on Friday night.

“I’m ready to get it on,” Carr said. “I’m pretty fresh and ready to get out there and run around and get some action finally and get ready for the season.”

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Moore and more

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE - Jason Garrett press conference–Moore and more - The Boys Are Back blog
Jason Garrett press conference 8/07/2013 (Duration – 14:03)

Jason Garrett speaks to the media after completing his teams morning walkthrough.

Click HERE to watch video … Click HERE to listen to the audio

OXNARD, Calif. – Former Jets guard Brandon Moore was the primary topic of debate during head coach Jason Garrett’s daily press conference between the morning walkthrough and afternoon practice today (Wednesday).

Garrett said he had a conversation Tuesday night with Moore, who was expected to sign with the Cowboys. It seemed then that it would work out, but Moore had a change of heart. He woke up the next morning and decided he didn’t want to play football anymore.

“You just try to address the needs where you have them, and Brandon’s a guy who’s been a good football player in this league for a long time,” Garrett said. “He’s been a starter for the Jets for a number of years. Bill Callahan coached him and has a relationship with him, and we had a conversation with him and thought he might be able to come in and help our team out.”

The Cowboys training camp roster is depleted on the offensive line, particularly on the interior. Guard Nate Livings is out after minor surgery on his knee, while guard Mackenzy Bernadeau is just now returning to practice after missing the beginning of camp and most of the offseason. Interior offensive linemen Ryan Cook and Kevin Kowalski have also been out with injuries during most of camp.

Garrett said the Cowboys will continue to look around the league at players that can help the team, but football’s not a good game to play if a player isn’t 100 percent committed.

“We respect that decision and we’ll try to evaluate that position and see if we can address it as we go forward,” Garrett said.

Here are some other notes from Garrett’s conference:

  • Travis Frederick played mostly at center, but he also got some work at guard during the Hall of Fame Game. The Cowboys have said they’d like Frederick to be their center, but Garrett said the team has a while to figure out their best five offensive linemen to start against the Giants in the opener.
  • Bernadeau is back at practice, but Garrett said there’s obvious rust right now as he works back in from injury. Bernadeau also missed a lot of time before last season, and Garrett said that’s where players grow and develop. He said Bernadeau needs to get more snaps, which could happen this weekend.
  • Free agent guard Brian Waters is also available and could be a target to sign. Garrett didn’t want to speculate whether or not the team would try to reach a deal with the veteran, but he also didn’t deny that he was a possibility. “The biggest issue with Brian right now is he hasn’t played in 18 months, so you have to figure those things in,” Garrett said.
  • The Cowboys had their first fight of camp Tuesday, as Ernie Sims and Lance Dunbar got in a tussle that then involved other teammates. Garrett didn’t mind it and said the healthy competition is good for the team, but he also has to remind guys they’re teammates.
  • Speaking of Sims, Garrett was complimentary of how the linebacker’s performed since he joined the team midway through last year. He said he came in with a “this is my last chance” mindset.
    “Ernie has done that, and he really has played well,” Garrett said. “He’s played well on defense, he’s played well on special teams, he’s playing with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder.”
  • The defense dominated the majority of team drills Tuesday. Garrett said the offense has to respond during the afternoon practice Wednesday.
  • Kicker Dan Bailey drilled a 59-yarder at practice Tuesday. Garrett said there could be a compelling argument that he does his job as well as anybody on the team. He said Bailey’s a great football player, outstanding athlete and as cool as they come on the field. He also complimented Bailey’s preparation.
  • The Cowboys will head to Oakland tomorrow, where Jason Witten got hurt in the preseason last year. Garrett was more concerned with Witten personally than on the football field. “There were a lot of emotions we all had,” Garrett said. “Whenever you talk about an injury to an internal organ, you’re certainly very concerned.” He described Witten, who vowed to play in the opener right after he heard he injured his spleen, as a great example “for football and really all of humanity.”
RELATED: Scout’s Notebook – Brandon Moore didn’t seem like right option

Scout's Notebook – Brandon Moore didn't seem like right option - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – Here are some observations from the film room in Oxnard:

  • It appears that the front office reached out to former New York Jets guard Brandon Moore in an effort to try and bring him on board to start at the right guard spot on this club, but Moore elected to stay away from the field and retire from the game. My view of Moore wasn’t as positive as what this front office had at the time, but I don’t want to focus on that. I have said that all along and I believe it even more now, it’s about keeping Travis Frederick at center and not moving him to guard, but they also want to put the best five players on the field and if Frederick gives them that option, they would do it. I have observed Mackenzy Bernadeau these last two practices and I believe that he can handle this job. I like what I have seen from Ronald Leary and that gives me hope as well, but I honestly believe that keeping Frederick at center is in the best long term interest of this team. I have had my issues with Phil Costa but in this scheme he has a much better chance of succeeding, but I also feel like Frederick is a better player. As much as everyone thought that Moore was the right option, I didn’t feel that way. It’s been my experience that sometimes the moves you don’t make are the best ones.
  • There were some nice battles in practice Tuesday at some different positions. Jason Hatcher and Ronald Leary hooked up several times, with each player at times getting the better of the other. Hatcher continues to show quickness at the point which put Leary in some tough situations but, Leary was able to counter with power that put Hatcher on his heels. Doug Free and George Selvie went at it as well. Selvie was running with the first defense and was having his hands full with Free who continues to do a solid job with his technique both run and pass. Selvie’s best trait in camp has been his relentless way in which he has attacked the tackle as an up field rusher, but Free was up to the challenge. Selvie didn’t do much until he moved down inside over the guard in a special scheme.Sterling Moore had some nice battles with Dez Bryant and Dwayne Harris in the team period and later when the squad went into the two minute drills. It was a nice bounce-back day for Moore who I felt like didn’t play his best against the Dolphins.
  • A player in camp that has played with a chip on his shoulder throughout has been linebacker Ernie Sims. Sims has been one of those players that has had very few reps where he hasn’t been around the football. There has been a physical side to his game that tends to upset the offensive players. He is always reaching, grabbing or poking at the ball 20 yards down the field. On Tuesday, he instigated the first fight of training camp with running back Lance Dunbar. Dunbar’s disgust with Sims happened on the previous play before the altercation when Sims gave Dunbar a shot after the play was done and you could tell then that Dunbar was none too happy about it. On the next play, Dunbar starts on a zone play to his right and he is stopped on the play but with Gary Brown yelling to him to finish the play, he tries to once again get going but this time, Sims has a hold of him and slings him to the ground in which Dunbar comes firing off the ground and hits Sims with a two hand shove to the chest. To Dunbar’s credit, he had enough of Sims and wanted to let him know about it. But there was also two other things that were interesting about the rumble, is that rookie Joseph Randle came sprinting in the pile to help Dunbar and DeMarcus Ware being the heads-up player that he always is, picked the ball up off the ground and took off running like it was a fumble. No blows were thrown but I guarantee that Ernie Sims will continue to get under everyone’s skin and he has no problem with that.
  • I observed a different wrinkle for the offense on Tuesday working out of the pistol formations with DeMarco Murray in the backfield. Callahan showed a couple of creative plays out of the look that put the ball in Murray’s hands in space that were productive. On defense, Monte Kiffin used what I would call a “Double Eagle” or “Bear Front” when he covered the center and two guards, then had his defensive end standing up on the outside with the Sam linebacker standing up on the strong side. With the three inside defensive linemen, it gives him the option to run games out of the front to attack blocking schemes and with the two standing defenders, he can create one-on-one matchups that potentially can win on the outside.

Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Scout

2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Dallas Cowboys vs Miami Dolphins - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference 8/06/2013 (Duration – 18:21)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discusses:

  • Brandon Carr’s absence today
  • Matt Johnson injury status
  • Ronald Leary reps in Hall of Fame Game
  • Importance of linemen conditioning
  • Kyle Wilbur
  • David Arkin strides
  • George Selvie’s performance
  • Monte Kiffin turnovers and strategy (Holloman)
  • Mindset with new defense
  • “Come to Jesus” meeting with some of the new guys
  • J.J. Wilcox inconsistent play in first game (run conditioning)
  • Stern reminder of what’s expected of players
  • Messages that came out of the Hall of Fame experience
  • Special Teams progress with new coach
  • Mechanics of working with Bill Callahan as play caller
  • Working out the communication issues, strategy during game
  • Quick turnaround with game coming up on Friday
  • Cole Beasley technique and progress
  • Mixing in all of the running backs during preseason
  • How it felt to not be the play caller for the first time
  • Practicing in pads
  • Starters playing in Oakland game
  • Mackenzy Bernadeau update
  • Phillip Tanner attitude and progress
  • Backup middle linebacker status (competition)

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NFL ROOKIE TRADITION: Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick sings ‘I’m a Little Teapot’

NFL ROOKIE TRADITION - Dallas Cowboys rookie center Travis Frederick sings ‘I’m a Little Teapot’

If you were starting a new job and were required to sing a song in front of all of your co-workers, what song would you pick?

Would it be your favorite song? A song you think sounds good in the shower? Maybe something funny?

NFL ROOKIE TRADITION - Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick sings ‘I’m a Little Teapot’

Well, Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick went with humor when it was his turn to sing in front of his teammates in Oxnard, Calif.

The 6-3, 311-pounder picked “I’m a Little Teapot.”

“I thought it would be a good song,” Frederick said. “Obviously the point of it is to make yourself look like a fool, so I thought that was a good song to do that, and show your weakness and hopefully the team likes you.

“I gave it my all. I thought I did a decent job.”

When the first-round pick heard that some of his teammates said his song was the worst of the group, he replied: “Well, that really hurts.”

“I heard from several people that the execution was just fine, though,” he said. “It was good execution. I tried. I did what I could. I was enthusiastic about it.”

Second-round pick Gavin Escobar sang “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” The 6-6, 249-pound tight end choose the Temptations song because he had some experience singing it in front of a group.

Escobar said he performed the song with a few of his teammates during his freshman year at San Diego State. The group went around to several sororities, singing songs in an attempt to promote the football team.

Fourth-round pick B.W. Webb said Escobar did “alright.”

Who was the worst?

“J.J. [Wilcox] was by far the worst,” Webb said. “He sang a Big Poppa song. He was terrible.”

Webb had not yet performed in front of the team at the time he was interviewed, but said he was going to sing “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye. When a TV reporter asked for a preview, Webb responded: “Not happening. I don’t want to embarrass my mother like that.”

Asked if he was a good singer, Webb replied: “Not at all.”

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT: Injuries to Dallas Cowboys linemen a concern leading up to Hall of Fame game

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Injuries to Dallas Cowboys linemen a concern leading up to Hall of Fame game

OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys continued their 2013 training camp on the week of the Hall of Fame game. This year, Jason Garrett’s new schedule gives even more time between the lighter morning walk-through and the afternoon practice.

Main Story:

Even the fact the Cowboys brought in one of the best guards in the world, it still couldn’t help their guard situation on the field – an issue that even got worse at the end of this week.

The Dallas Cowboys welcomed NBA point guard Chris Paul, a perennial All-Star for the nearby Los Angeles Clippers. But they have their own dilemma on the offensive line, where they had just two healthy guards for the morning walk-through practice.

That changed when they signed former TCU guard Jeff Olson, who was able to practice that afternoon. However, early into his first practice, Olson met up with Jason Hatcher in a pass-rushing drill. The defensive end got the better end of the matchup, resulting in Olson not only getting poked in the eye, but also had to leave practice with possible signs of a concussion.

So once again, it left the Cowboys scrambling to finish practice. Ron Leary and David Arkin manned the position, while Phil Costa took some second-team reps. Also, converted tackle Edawn Coughman had to move back to guard once again in a backup role.

The Cowboys are without projected starters Mackenzy Bernadeau, who has been out all of camp with a hamstring injury, and now Nate Livings, whose knee injury will force him to undergo an MRI Thursday night. It’s likely both players will miss Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game against Miami.

Ray Dominguez (shoulder) and Kevin Kowalski (knee) are also banged up and unable to practice.

The Cowboys will likely have to keep looking on the wire for available help at guard. Earlier this week, a report surface linking the Cowboys to free-agent veteran Brian Waters. After Thursday’s practice, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said the team will explore all options regarding the position, and certainly didn’t dismiss the possibility of signing Waters, who turned 36 in February.

“We’ve obviously got injuries and we’ve got guys who aren’t back out here yet,” Jones said. “If we can improve our football team, and our roster … if the right situation presented itself and we felt like the guy could come in here and help our team for the year, we’d look at that as well. We’re keeping all options.”  

Quick Hits:
  • Lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan and Clippers point guard Chris Paul showed up to practice Thursday. He said he’s as serious a fan as it gets and used to sleep in Cowboys sheets. He couldn’t wait to send pictures of the day to his dad, because his family loves the Cowboys. Paul used to act like Ken Norton playing linebacker in the backyard as a child.
    “I’m like a little kid,” Paul said. I’ve done a lot of good things in my career, but this is one of the highlights of my life. Growing up just watching the Cowboys all day every day, these guys probably have no clue what it means to me.”
  • Former Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry was also in attendance Thursday. Henry played four years for the Cowboys (2005-08) before he was traded to Detroit in exchange for backup Jon Kitna.
  • Jason Witten ended the day on a high note for the offense. He’s been getting more involved in the red zone recently and showed Thursday that he’s still got the ability to get behind the defense, coming down with a deep grab from Tony Romo to bring the offense near the goal line during team drills right before practice ended.
  • Linebacker David Albright missed practice Thursday with tightness in his back. Justin Durant returned to the linebacker corps after taking a veteran day on Tuesday afternoon.
  • Defensive end Ben Bass got tangled with an offensive lineman during the full team portion of practice. Bass went down and seemed to aggravate the same ankle that limited him last week, but he got up and returned to the huddle.
  • Wide receiver Tim Benford had a scary moment during one-on-one drills early in the afternoon session. While chasing a deep ball to the back corner of the end zone, Benford over ran the field and slammed into the restraining fence for attending fans. Trainers rushed over and spent five or so minutes attending to him, but Benford quickly hopped up and returned to the drill.
  • On his first rep back in practice, Benford caught a crossing route from Romo in seven-on-sevens and scored a touchdown.
  • Tight end Andre Smith appeared to aggravate a hamstring injury during Thursday’s practice.
  • Collision of the day goes to running back DeMarco Murray, safety Will Allen and center Travis Frederick. Murray took a handoff from Romo and broke off right tackle, where Allen raced up to meet him. Murray bounced off Allen and actually wound up smacking helmets with Frederick, his own center. Frederick fell over backward and looked pretty bewildered about what had just happened.
  • Offensive tackle Tyron Smith got himself pulled for his efforts against defensive end DeMarcus Ware during full-team drills. Ware pushed past Smith continuously en route to terrorizing Romo. Ware had three unofficial sacks on the day, going along with sacks from defensive end Kyle Wilber and George Selvie.
  • Kicker Dan Bailey missed two field goals early in field goal drills, but he rebounded to make five straight. He was also perfect during full-team and red zone drills.
  • The Dallas Cowboys will put all remaining single-game tickets on sale to the general public beginning Friday, Aug. 2 at 10 am (CDT). Due to the large season tickets base for Cowboys games, there will be a very limited number of seats available for each of the Cowboys home games this year.
Notable Standouts:

David Arkin – For no other reason, the third-year pro is getting through practice without any injuries. No other guard in this camp has been able to say that. But he’s also holding up rather well in team drills. He had nice some blitz pickups, showing good awareness and had some intense battles in the middle with Sean Lissemore on the first-team offense.

Kyle Wilber – Putting DeMarcus Ware in this category is getting old. Ware only had three sacks in the practice. But his backup was showing up, too. Wilber had some Ware-like pressure a few times coming off the edge. He’s starting to show a combination of speed and strength. Wilber has been able to dip around the tackles with moves, and also a bull-rush attack with his power. He’s not Ware by any means, but is certainly making big strides in this camp.

Tony Romo– The quarterback was pretty sharp in both 7 on 7 and team drills. He was especially good in the Red Zone offense, finding holes in the defense for multiple touchdowns, oftentimes hitting Miles Austin and Cole Beasley underneath. He also threw a perfect strike to Jason Witten to end a team drill, resulting in about a 35-yard touchdown.

Play of the Day:

It wasn’t the best day for Kyle Orton during the 7-on-7 red zone drills, but it did allow J.J. Wilcox to stand out. After throwing a pick toward the sideline that Brandon Underwood fought to grab, Wilcox demonstrated the athleticism and playmaking ability that the Cowboys thought he had when they selected him in the third round.

As Orton weighed his options toward the goal line, he spotted Cole Beasley separating from coverage as he ran toward the back of the end zone down the middle of the field. That’s when Wilcox came over the top and leaped way up in the air to secure the pick and take it the other way.

Injury Report:

Returned to Practice:
WR Dez Bryant (quad soreness) 

Left Practice:
G Jeff Olson (concussion-like symptoms)

Missed Practice:

LB Alex Albright (back) TE Andre Smith (hamstring)
G Kevin Kowalski (leg) G Ray Dominguez (shoulder)
C/G Ryan Cook (back) DT Landon Cohen (eye)
T Jermey Parnell (hamstring) DE Anthony Spencer (knee)
WR Danny Coale (knee swelling) TE James Hanna (hamstring)
DE Tyrone Crawford (Achilles) DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring)
G Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring) OT Demetress Bell (conditioning)
July 21 Signed T Demetress Bell, QB Alex Tanney, and Lavasier Tuinei. Placed G Mackenzy Bernadeau and DT Jay Ratliff on the active/physically unable to perform list and placed the following players on the active/non-football injury list: T Demetress Bell, C/G Ryan Cook, LS Louis-Philippe Ladouceur, G Ronald Leary, G Nate Livings, and WR Lavasier Tuinei.
July 23 C/G Ryan Cook passed his physical and returned to practice.
July 24 Released WR Lavasier Tuinei. Signed DT Landon Cohen and DE George Selvie.
July 26 G Nate Livings passed his physical and returned to practice.
July 29 LS Louis-Philippe Ladouceur and Ronald Leary passed their physicals and returned to practice.
Aug.  1 Released DE Cameron Sheffield and CB Devin Smith. Signed G Jeff Olson and T James Nelson.
Upcoming Schedule:

Friday, August 2
10:30 a.m. (PDT)         Walk-Thru
12:00 p.m. (PDT)         Coach Garrett press conference
4:45 p.m. (PDT)           Practice

Saturday, August 3
                                    Team Travel to Canton, Ohio

Sunday, August 4
7:00 p.m. (PDT)           Dallas vs. Miami (Hall of Fame)

WITTEN STOLE MY LINE: Shut the —- up!!!

dallas cowboys tight end jason witten 2012 2013 training camp - the boys are back blog

You can hear a lot of things at training camp.

You don’t often hear Jason Witten’s voice ringing out in anger from the huddle: “Shut the —- up!”

But anybody within 100 yards of the huddle on Thursday heard just that. Stunned, everyone wondered, “What was that about?”

“Aw, nothing personal. It’s just part of being in the huddle,” Witten said after practice. “I don’t really want to talk about it.”

Well, coach Jason Garrett did say he wanted vocal leaders. Witten is vocal. But the well-respected “Senator” isn’t often vocal like that.

Of course, 12 days of camp with three to go before a game can add stress to any practice.

“Hey, look. It’s time to compete, it’s time to go,” Witten said. “Wasn’t anything personal. Just excited to be out there playing.”

Sure was a lot of excitement for one practice.

TONY ROMO PRESS CONFERENCE: Lucky to have Jason Garrett

2013 TRAINING CAMP REPORT - Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo interview - The Boys Are Back blog

Tony Romo Press Conference – Lucky to have Jason Garrett (Duration 15:20)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo talks about a range of subjects, including:

  • Impressed with how quickly 2013 rookie draft picks are adapting
  • How he feels while getting back into football shape
  • Asked if he’s getting more than usual amount of ice tub this year
  • Offseason preparation, can’t duplicate 11-on-11
  • Intent of playing in upcoming Hall of Fame game
  • First preseason game playing percentage for him is the same this year
  • Coaching receivers and expanded role in offense
  • Dealing with national media and local critic speculation
  • Getting Witten more involved in the redzone this season
  • Expectations coming into the 2013-2014 season
  • Thoughts on the upcoming visit to Canton, and the Hall of Fame
  • Larry Allen memories when him and Witten were rookies
  • Communication with teammates while on sidelines, meetings, etc.
  • Thoughts on new personnel packages and plays coming this season
  • Working with Travis Frederick
  • Asked about his legacy as a QB in Dallas
  • Bill Parcells influence on him
  • Relationship with Jason Garrett
  • Text that Bill Parcells sent him after signing new contract
  • What it’s like to practice against guys like Carr, Ware, Lee, Carter
  • Miles Austin, Dez Bryant
  • Intensive running routine of Dallas receivers
  • Dunbar impressing, DeMarco, Randall, Tanner
  • Talking to kids at his football camps
  • How the past two 8-8 seasons fit into the big picture

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2013-2014 TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Jason Garrett press conference–Rookie Review

Jason Garrett press conference - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys training camp update - Blue White scrimmage - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference – 7/30/2013 – Rookie outlook (Duration 13:01)

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett speaks to the media during his daily press conference in Oxnard, California. Garrett discusses:

  • 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster
  • Ronald Leary back from knee tweak
  • DT Nick Hayden playmaker mentality
  • Ronald Leary growth since last season
  • Tony Romo playing status
  • Ronald Leary role as guard
  • Nate Livings overcoming rust
  • Thoughts on Yankee’s coach Joe Giradi’s speech
  • Preseason games effect on camp/season
  • 2013 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Report Card (Video | Audio
  • First four draft picks taking first-team reps with starters
  • Player combinations with coordinators, Monte Kiffin
  • LB Ernie Simms fit into new scheme
  • Bill Parcells, Hall of Fame inductee, influence on Garrett

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TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND: Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Scoring Chances

TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND - Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Scoring Chances - The Boys Are Back blog


Watch the 1-on-1 period in the redzone drills. End-of-game special situations that concluded with a surprise call by Bill Callahan. (Duration – 9:09)

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TRAINING CAMP ON-DEMAND - Watch the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard–Scoring Chances defended - The Boys Are Back blog

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