Camp Cowboys Top 10 Observations: Day 7
Well, you are ready for some aren't you?
10. Cult hero/roster longshot Jesse Holley had his highlight of camp, catching a slant in front of Orlando Scandrick during team drills. There. You happy?
9. Weird - unusually intense - afternoon practice here at The Alamodome. When's the last time you heard of an interception by linebacker Bobby Carpenter followed by a reception by backup offensive tackle Pat McQuistan? Happened.
8. Receiver Roy Williams doesn't strip naked after practice. It only looks like it. Williams has a habit of getting out of his shoulder pads, jersey, pants and shoes - leaving him in only black bike shorts and black socks. "From far away I look totally nude," said Williams. "All black, baby." Quarterback and former Lions teammate Jon Kitna isn't amused. "Put some clothes on!" Kitna jokingly screamed toward Williams. "You're naked!"
7. Noticed a small tweak in Tony Romo's game: Most of the time - most, I said - he's now putting two hands on the ball when floating in the pocket. Can't be a bad thing.
6. We've written about Free Reign and their record deal. Come to find out that bassist/offensive lineman Leonard Davis gets his musical lessons from none other than Dwayne Hegger of Dallas' own Emerald City.
5. The Cowboys, via public relations poobah Rich Dalrymple, are attempting to quash detailed information about their unique formations and/or plays during camp. For example, a double-reverse receiver pass back to Tony Romo is off-limits. Interesting. Once upon a time Jimmy Johnson almost put me in a full-Nelson because I detailed his team's two-minute drill plays before a playoff game, but the last time I checked practices at The Alamodome are open to the public, much less media and even potential "spies" from other teams. "Yeah, we're putting in the triple lindy," Wade Phillips joked. "And we're going with some 'Diamond' and a 'Radar' on defense." He was joking, but apparently the offensive coaches are in mid-season sensitivity. Right, Dale Hansen?
4. I hear the Cowboys have already sold 20,000 of those $29 Party Passes to the Cowboys Stadium lid-lifter on Sept. 20. Doesn't get you a seat, per se, but a spot in the building in one of the massive stairwells or party decks behind each end zone. Talking with Jerry Jones the other day, he thinks he could actually push the attendance to 120,000 for a game. "There were 82,000 for the soccer games," he gushed. "And the place just engulfed all of them." With the Party Pass you park in cash parking at Rangers Ballpark or you could land a Blue Parking pass for a cool $75. You heard me right - Seventy-five smackeroos. To park.
3. Ready for the hyperbole of camp? Try this on: Not only does Sam Hurd think Felix Jones is better than Philadelphia Eagles' Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook, but "he's 10 times better." Hurd was half-kidding but, still, ridiculous. Eagles' bulletin board here we come.
2. Finally, some hitting. After Carpenter picked off a deflected Tony Romo pass, defensive lineman Jay Ratliff laid a low block on offensive lineman Marc Columbo. Which, on the seventh practice in four days, incited a riot. Well, actually it was sort of a bench-clearing brawl. In the middle of the melee: Terence Newman, trying to play peacemaker.
1. He's been called everything. Bust. Barbie. Boobie. Probably worse. Unlike you - and me - Carpenter hasn't given up on himself. "To your chagrin I stopped reading stuff about me a long time ago," the first-round pick in 2006 told me this afternoon. "People have been hard on me but I'm the most disappointed in myself. I thought by now my career would be further along." Funny, me too. Not exactly a vote of confidence when the Cowboys draft four linebackers, but for now Carpenter is getting a chance - probably his last - to get on the field as a passing-down linebacker. "I still think I can play," he said. "I've got some stigmas attached to me. But hopefully I can shed those and make them disappear."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.