Camp Cowboy: Early Observations From Afar

I'll be down in San Antonio for Dallas Cowboys' training camp next week. For now, I'm making calls. Talking to spies. Trying to get the skinny by chewing the fat.

Some thoughts:

  • New offensive tackle Alex Barron is better than expected. And Doug Free has struggled with his quickness at left tackle. That competition is considered open.
  • Same at free safety, where second-year player Michael Hamlin is showing ball-hawking skills not possessed by Alan Ball. Keep an eye on that battle.
  • Kicker David Buehler made all of his field goals Monday. His longest was from 40 yards. So far, so good.
  • Wish Dez Bryant would've diffused this hazing story by carrying Roy Williams' pads and turning it all into one big, bonding joke. But instead, he literally ran from the media Monday. As one of the team leaders, tight end Jason Witten said the issue -- he called it an issue -- was handled internally. Sorry Dez, but this reeks of diva.
  • As for football, most impressive thing about Bryant isn't his hands, but his sneaky speed. He's blown by cornerback Mike Jenkins three times in three days.
  • Though he's considered the speedy change-up to Marion Barber's pounding, Felix Jones now outweighs Barber by four pounds-- 218 to 214.
  • After bitching and moaning and skipping some OTAs in the off-season, receiver Patrick Crayton is at training camp and catching everything thrown his way. He's also working at holder on kicks. Good for him. The more professionals on the team the better.
  • Coach Wade Phillips has lost 30 pounds on the Nutrisystem diet. Good for him.

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