Some thoughts and observations from the Cowboys first mini-camp practice of the week.
- I thought it was an outstanding day for the defensive tackles on this team during the practice as a group.
Jay Ratliffand Jason Hatcherwere disruptive throughout the day. Depending on the call, there were times where Hatcher lined up as the three and Ratliff as the one and he was a handful for Travis Frederick.
Hatcher had a couple of plays where he was explosive up the field, one time using a swim move going to his right beating the block of
- If it is possible for a player to continue to take his game to another level,
Jason Wittenis doing his best to make that happen. Witten has always been super competitive in the way he practices but with veteran safety Will Allenback at practice, Witten did his best to try and wear him out with his routes.
Allen prides himself as a physical cover man did his best to match Witten who is a nightmare to deal with because of how well he understands how to run his route that puts the defender off balance. He did a nice job of leaning on Allen to give himself room in the route, then later came back against
What I have also noticed more about Witten and this offensive scheme that he is running more routes down the middle of the field in the red zone. Too many times in the past seasons when drives have stalled in the red zone, I often wondered to myself, why not try and get the ball to the best player on the field when it comes to playing in a tight area and making a contested catch. It appears that the coaches are trying now to get him more in the mix which a good thing. If
- On Monday, I wrote that I had my eye on
B.W. Webbto see if he could have a type of practice where it gave him a little momentum going into Oxnard. Today with Morris Claiborneout of the lineup, he showed up with some quality work when he was asked to work with the first defense in the nickel and with the twos when he worked inside on the slot.
One of Webb’s best traits is his footwork and the quickness of his feet. On a route today against
Webb managed to keep inside position on the route all while playing the ball in the air. Later in the blitz period, Webb was in the slot on coverage off the defensive right side and Kiffin sent him on a blitz like he had done with Ronde Barber for so many seasons while in Tampa. Webb timed the blitz perfectly and was on
- On my twitter account every time a player gets released from another club I am always asked if that player is a fit for this club. If I don’t have a good thought one way or another, I usually ask someone in the organization that would be able to steer me in the right direction. I had a good idea that the Cowboys like Mike Kafka the quarterback that the Patriots released on Monday and there was most likely a shot of them putting in a claim on Tuesday which they did but he was awarded to Jacksonville because they had a worse record than the Cowboys. I see today that Baltimore released fullback Vonta Leach and he is free and clear to sign with any team. Would Leach be a good fit for this offense? My answer would be no from what I have seen scheme wise from Garrett and Callahan. This team is working one single back runs with a combination of tight ends playing in the roles of the “H” and “F”. I have yet to see a run where they have used a true fullback like in years past. The majority of their runs have been zone calls or out of the pistol formation with a hand off to a back behind the quarterback. As the front office has continued to add tight ends to this roster, it was very clear that the fullback was a position that was going to get phased out and after watching Callahan calling plays in the running game, I believe that even more. Vonta Leach is a heck of a football player but in what this football team is trying to accomplish scheme wise, he is not a good fit and that is the bottom line.