The news-making earthquake turned out to be little more than a casual Texas thunderstorm. After a brief "drop, duck and cover", this is what I survived to see on Tuesday afternoon:
*Cornerback Terence Newman’s strained groin will keep him out three weeks. I say the Cowboys better keep an even closer watch on Pacman Jones, who just became even more valuable.
*The familiar face strolling the sidelines this afternoon? Gil Brandt? Nate Newton? Michael Irvin? Duane Thomas? All here indeed. But this one was none other than former scouting director and forever Jerry Jones crony Larry Lacewell. He’s here as a consultant, same role he served for the Saints two summers ago. “I got them to the NFC Championship Game, so let’s see if I can work my magic here,” Lacewell joked. Proving he’s still got it, Lacewell finished an ESPN Radio interview with Dale Hansen by slugging him in the shoulder and remarking “Switzer said to tell you ‘Hi’.” Touché.
*The Cowboys are careful not to yap about the Super Bowl per se, but with all the accolades being tossed around they’d better win the damn game by three touchdowns. I’ve only been here two days but I’ve already heard that this year’s team has the best coaching staff in Jerry’s 20 years, the best kicking game in club history and, most recently, the best depth since the ‘90s dynasty. “No doubt,” Jerry said. “It’s the best depth we’ve had since we won our last Super Bowl.” Added Lacewell, “Getting the same results, now that’s a different story. But, frankly, yes, I see comparable talent to the teams in the ‘90s. These guys already had all the ingredients and they went out and added three impact players in Tank Johnson, Pacman and Zach Thomas.”
*Honestly, I know nothing about the guy, but a Cowboys’ scout I trust whispered to me this afternoon that offensive guard Joe Berger (signed last November when he was waived by the Dolphins) will wind up pushing Kyle Kosier for the starting job. Stay tuned.
*Sam Hurd dropped consecutive passes in practice, prompting him to stay afterward and catch balls fired from a machine at point-blank range.
*If linebacker Zach Thomas – wearing No. 55, built like a fire hydrant and in on every single pile – doesn’t remind you of Lee Roy Jordan then you’re not a true Cowboys fan.
*Former Titans’ offensive coordinator Norm Chow was a camp visitor. Chow, now the OC at nearby UCLA, had six plays in Tennesee’s offensive playbook specially designed for Pacman Jones. Hmm. Interesting.
*Let’s finish with good news for fans of the English language. Former Cowboy Emmitt Smith is out as ESPN studio analyst. Though, in hindsight, his misspeaks were fantastic blog fodder. So long, Emmitt. We will’t misses you somes. -- Richie Whitt