Cowboys Training Camp 8.4.10: My Top 10 Observations
10. Linebacker Anthony Spencer missed practice after getting his foot stepped on in Wednesday's warm-ups, but it's a day-to-day thing. No biggie. Second-year player Victor Butler took his place and didn't look out of place at all.
9. Rough day for the offense. Tony Romo was harassed into several bad throws and had a shotgun snap from Andre Gurode sail over his head, and backup Jon Kitna jammed his finger taking an awkward snap from center.
8. Don't know if rookie fourth-round draft pick Akwasi Owusu-Ansah can play a lick, but in his first practice of camp yesterday it became evident immediately that the dude can fly. He'll get a shot at returning kickoffs.
7. It's been three years since I saw Jason Witten drop a pass in training camp. Some things you just take for granted. On the other hand, last year's darling Kevin Ogletree dropped two yesterday and is having a very mediocre camp.
6. Couple of trick-'em-dick-'ems the Cowboys worked on Wednesday: Patrick Crayton on a reverse; and an onside kickoff featuring an alignment using both kicker David Buehler and punter Mat McBriar. File that one away.
5. Owner Jerry Jones, like a lot of us, was wrong about Wednesday's unprecedented Texas Rangers' auction. Though he said he respects Nolan Ryan, he expected Mark Cuban to walk away with the team. "As far as I'm concerned, when Mark says he's going to do something, look out you will probably see it done," Jones said. "It's the old deal that says, 'You know they're going to move that mountain over there? And the [other] guy says, well get out of here. You can't do that. Who said they're going to do it? Mark Cuban. Where they're going to move it to?' "
4. Jones, by the way, says the NFL has unequivocal final authority on who owns its teams. He said several times owners have been shooed away before it even got to a formal vote.
3. Second-round draft pick Sean Lee looks like a keeper. After missing most of camp with a thigh injury he returned yesterday and had a sack against the first-team offense. Not saying Lee is the next Lee Roy Jordan, but he'll make us all - thankfully - forget about Bobby Carpenter.
2. Weird that with all the advances in technology and equipment, the blocking sled has survived. Nice to know something so simple and barbaric still has a place in football. On the other hand, some players warm up throwing, catching and yes - bump, set, spiking - volleyballs. Hide your eyes, Vince Lombardi.
1. When Emmitt Smith goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday he'll be inducted by Jones. The owner claims he'll be nervous, which is a good thing. He says he does his best work when he's "nervous, under the weather or had a few more than I should've had." Couple shots of tequila before a big speech. Words to live by.
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