With no practice tape to break down from Wednesday, I thought that I would take this opportunity to go through my list of players that I voted for in our DallasCowboys.com writers poll of top ten players of training camp.
DeMarcus Ware- This was a no brainer for several reasons. He has been the most dominate player in the camp. He works daily against the best offensive linemen on the squad and is rarely defeated or put in a bad situation. His health and fitness level are at an all time high and the scheme really plays to his strengths. Dez Bryant- Bryant has once again showed up to camp with a purpose in mind and that was to improve to become a more complete receiver. We all understand his skill level, but where he really has improved his overall game is on the mental side and as a blocker. What Bryant has shown is when he understands what his responsibilities are, he can be an even more dominate player. He is also understanding of how to use his big body to cause problems for defensive backs off the edge. For him, it’s all about being that complete player. Sean Lee- If there was a player on this squad that was built for this Monte Kiffin 4-3 scheme, it is Sean Lee. His ability to read and react to what he sees is rare. To play Mike linebacker in this scheme, you have to be able to tackle in space and on the move. Lee is also outstanding when it comes to understanding pass coverage. He is rarely out of position and he has been physical enough to handle a guy like Jason Wittendown after down. He really has shown to be a complete player.
- Jason Witten - I really like what I have seen from Witten in this zone scheme as a blocker. He has the understand of how to position himself to secure the block but he is also crafty enough to know how to put his hands inside to also control his man. His route running has been on point and his hands in the red zone have been clutch. Father Time might be knocking on some players doors around the league but not this guy.
Jason Hatcher- This has been a real surprise for me in camp because I really wasn't sure how well he would consistently hold up inside. He has been playing the under tackle but will shift to nose when Jay Ratliffreturns to the lineup. Hatcher has been consistent in his approach and he has developed some extra pass rush moves. He has played with power which is something that I questioned coming into camp. I will be interested if he can continue this positive trend but in this camp, he is starting to erase my doubts. DeMarco Murray- The most complete back on this squad is DeMarco Murray. We have not had a chance to see it in these preseason games but in observing these practices day-after-day, you can see him playing at a high level. He has shown a physical toughness and desire to prove those wrong that believed he couldn't stay healthy. He has run the ball with a nasty streak, been consistent catching the ball and been solid on his blitz pickups. His preparation for this season has clearly shown. Orlando Scandrick- There are those of you reading this I am sure are saying that we have seen this before from Orlando Scandrick only to be disappointed in the end. Scandrick has a different look about him this season and its just not the mental side of the game which he has always excelled. Where Scandrick has been different in my view is in the physical side of the game. He is finishing more plays, he is making it tough for receivers to catch the ball on him. He is fighting down the field better. There were times where you would see him clutch and grab which would result in fouls but we are seeing a lot less of that. His game overall, just has a different feel. Lance Dunbar- For Lance Dunbar, his rise up to this level started all the way back in OTA's and minicamps. Dunbar has always been quick but he appears to have taken that to a whole new level. He has been explosive and with the ball in his hands, has been a nightmare for tacklers to deal with in the open field. He has an outstanding feel for how to get the ball to the edge or make the cut inside. He is catching the ball well and with soft hands but where he has improved is as a pass blocker. His height limits what he can accomplish but the heart and desire make up for that. He is not afraid to step up and his technique is clearly better. Coaches are gaining more confidence in him each practice. Ernie Sims- If there are players that are playing with chips on their shoulders, Sims is the leader of that group. I honestly gave him little shot at this 53 man roster with some of the young players that were added to this group, but he once again proved me wrong. Sims has a real shot to not only make this roster but to start. You can just see in his body language that he is clearly on a mission. Between plays, you don't see him standing around the other linebackers, he is off on his own. He has no friends on this team, at this point. Matter of fact the only time I have seen him smile was when he young son was running around on the field after practice. Sims has been everywhere on the field. When watching tape, you don't have to ask what number he is wearing. It has been a shame that he is missing practice time with this groin injury but until then, he has been outstanding. Sterling Moore- When I observe Sterling Moore down-after-down, I am not surprised that he is playing the way he is. He has been physical both run and pass but he has also shown the ability to both play on the outside and in the slot. I really have been impressed with him in coverage. He doesn't give receivers much room in route and when the ball is in the air, he really does a nice job of finishing the play. The way he is playing, it is going to allow this staff to be patient with B.W. Webband his development as a corner. Moore gives this squad a great deal of flexibility and if they have to match team's this season with multiple wide receivers, they should be a good shape.