keeps booming these 60- and 70-yard punts (OK, with the wind on Monday), someone is going to investigate to see if they placed like titanium on top of his foot where all those little bones were busted in Arizona . . . . While kicker Nick Folk is probably boring himself to death just running these days after surgery to repair the torn labrum in his right hip, he says he'll progress to kicking a volleyball on Monday . . . And noticed when rookie David Buehler was doing some place kicking on Monday, McBriar and Sam Hurd were doing the holding. Also, Matt Stewart, once the backup deep snapper in Atlanta for DeCamillis, was practicing doing so next to L.P. Ladouceur . . . .
This from Romo when asked if tight end Martellus Bennett had matured and is taking the game more seriously than some perceived last year: "There is no set rule you have to be a certain way to win." Just remember this about last year's second-round draft choice. He's been 22 years old now for all of three months. Think back when. On second thought, maybe don't . . . Ball sure continues to break on the ball from the safety position he's learning, seemingly making at least one breakup a practice . . . .
Since he's arrived, first-round pick Bobby Carpenter always has been a guy without a home, er, position, being move from outside linebacker to backup inside, back to outside, then back to the weak inside and now the strong inside. But he's getting his chance to make a home for himself as the other linebacker on the nickel next to Bradie James, the spot Kevin Burnett had been playing. His ability to react to what he sees will determine if he gets that spot or if starter Keith Brooking (second-team nickel) is asked to remain a three-down linebacker . . . There are some questions which don't go away, no matter how many times they've been asked since there is always someone new around to ask again. Take Patrick Crayton. His question of the summer remains "Do you feel like the forgotten receiver," in reference to so much being made about Roy Williams taking over for What's His Name and the expectations surrounding Miles Austin. Says Crayton, "Am I supposed to get mad about that?" Yeah, really. Just do what you did in 2007, like catch another 50 balls for 700 or so yards and seven touchdowns, given the opportunity . . . .
Good to see Greg Ellis catch on with Oakland, and while numbers haven't been announced, there has been talk of a three-year, $15 million deal. All the Cowboys care about is if he is paid at least $1.5 million, because that's the portion of his $4.15 million base salary they had guaranteed. If and when he earns that, the Cowboys would get a rebate on the $1.5 million being charged to their cap. There also was a $1.5 million completion bonus on his base salary, meaning if he completed the season he'd get paid another $1.5 million on top of the $4.15 million base. The Cowboys were being charged that, too. Releasing him did potentially clear $5.61 million, providing he makes at least $1.5 million this year . . . .
Of the young receivers out there, seventh-round pick Manuel Johnson seems to have been overshadowed by free agents Kevin Ogletree and Julian Hawkins. But Tuesday morning he had his best off-season practice of the seven we've been able to watch . . . Saw in one defensive set rookie Michael Hamlin was lined up as a linebacker, sort of in the spot Anthony Henry was playing some last year . . . Here is what I like best about Michael Hamlin, DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens. These young kids will compete now . . . .
Some might say he's being defensive, but really he's being somewhat accurate, Romo saying when asked about the offense struggling last year "We struggled from a media and fans standpoint . . . we can score 30 points a game and go 6-10 and we struggled." His point being, during the Great Offensive in 2007, the Cowboys averaged 28.4 points a game. During last year's perceived Great Depression, the Cowboys averaged in the 13 games Romo started - and remember, three of them wearing a cast on his right little finger - 24.7. Once again, scoring six points in the season finale at Philadelphia during the Cowboys' inconceivable, team-wide no-show, clouds the entire picture and lowered what had been a 26.25 scoring