2011 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Day 7: My Top 10 Observer-ations
For a couple of anxious minutes last Friday the Cowboys thought they'd signed Nnamdi Asomugha. Then on Monday for a curious second we thought they'd acquired Bears' receiver/returner Devin Hester. Huh is right. DallasCowboys.com sent out a text/Tweet yesterday announcing "Cowboys Sign Hester!" Hey, look, we all make mistakes. I make my share, believe me. But there's a big difference between signing Devin Hester and, yawn, Jason Hatcher.
9. We have ourselves a kicking competition. While David Buehler is clearly stronger on kickoffs, rookie free agent Dan Bailey is more accurate on field goals. The former Oklahoma State star made his first 12 field goals before missing two on Sunday, then went 4-of-4 Monday. Buehler also was perfect yesterday.
8. Player who's nabbed my eye early in camp: Raymond Radway. The free-agent receiver from Abilene Christian has caught everything thrown his way, wide open and in traffic.
7. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan isn't afraid to speak his mind. Yesterday he sorta, but didn't really take a shot at the Eagles, calling some team "all-hype." Said Ryan in trumpeting his secondary, "I don't know if we win all-hype team. That might have gone to someone else, but we're going to beat their ass when we play them." I like his bravado. But, honestly, at this point of a seriously dull and inactive camp, I wouldn't mind a pinch of hype as well.
6. Not sure why, but Sunday night at Rosario's in San Antonio for the first time in my life I tried Lengua. That's right, cow tongue. Tender. Salty. Not terrible. But kinda like skydiving, I think it's a one-and-done for me.
5. Talked to Jay Ratliff on the radio immediately after Monday's practice. Still in his full uniform, he gulped two 20-ounce Gatorades like they were thimbles of water and killed half of a 64-ouncer during our 10-minute talk. And, for once and for all, he said he's not moving to defensive end. Of all the areas the Cowboys need to fix, nose tackle ain't broken.
4. Head coach Jason Garrett is in charge, no question about it. The other day owner Jerry Jones was going on about possibly carrying two kickers on the roster. Garrett called the notion "premature." Imagine Wade Phillips disagreeing with anything Jerry said? And Garrett has also instituted a new policy in which rookies are given white pants and helmets without stars. The players, so goes Garrett's premise, have to earn their stars. In the old days of Tom Landry, veterans were allowed to wear white (cooler) pants while rookies and newcomers wore the silver-blue game pants during camp.
3. The Cowboys' main free agents signed are all familiar faces: Doug Free, Kyle Kosier, Kenyon Coleman, Jason Hatcher and Marcus Spears. Whether it's Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones or Dez Bryant, seems like there's always been a new "Wow" player in camp. Not this year. At this point the only prominent new face will be starting right tackle Tyron Smith. Hmm.
2. Players are off today. Good time to take a break from football and ogle Rihanna's bountiful booty.
1. Props to second-year receiver Dez Bryant. He's catching everything, signing more autographs than any player, not asking rookies to carry his pads and, most importantly, hustling his ass off. After DeMarcus Ware intercepted a Tony Romo pass in the afternoon and headed up the sideline, Bryant sprinted about 30 yards and poked the ball free from the linebacker from behind. Reminiscent of what Don Beebe did to Leon Lett in Super Bowl XXVII, except the stakes were slightly diminished.
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