"We want it as low as it can be, but obviously it can not be so low that the guys are calling bank shots," Cowboys public relations director Rich Dalrymple said.
Position: Cornerback/Safety Height/Weight: 6-1, 200
College: Cal Poly
NFL Exp: R
How Acquired: D7a-'07 (212th overall)
Hometown: Berkeley, Calif.
Fitting In: The seventh-round draft pick was moved from cornerback to safety on his second day of camp. Brown has veterans Roy Williams, Keith Davis and new safety Ken Hamlin ahead of him, along with Abram Elam and Damarius Bilbo, but he's still managed to get a decent amount of reps. If Brown can show the Cowboys an ability to play safety and cornerback and maybe fit in as a backup nickel guy, he would become very valuable to this team.
So Far: Brown has been on the third-team defense during practice, but sure seems to have some nice cover skills when working in individual drills.
Best Asset: Brown was notorious for shutting down opposing receivers in man coverage, not allowing a touchdown reception in his final two years at Cal Poly where they routinely assigned him the opponent's top receiver. His speed and size give him a chance to make the transition to safety, as long as he is willing to hit in the running game.
You Should Know: Football is life for this California native, one who was talented enough to also run track in high school. For better or worse, Friday night is the start to his singing career, as he is the rookie of choice to croon away at dinner. Stay tuned.
A Mouthful: "It doesn't matter who I go to (on the team), they've all been really helpful to me, in making the adjustment (to safety)."
With Ellis still rehabbing his Achilles, the Cowboys didn't waste any time getting first-round draft choice Anthony Spencer working with the first team Friday in his first full practice of training camp. By time Spencer signed on Thursday, he was only able to participate in the latter portions of the day's second practice. But that quickly changed, with Spencer replacing rookie free agent Alex Obomese on the first team.
As for third-round pick James Marten, who also signed Thursday, but only in time to participate in about half of Thursday's second practice, he was working with the second team at right tackle, still behind veteran Jim Molinaro, who has been replacing rehabbing starter Marc Colombo.
Former Pro Bowl tight end Jay Novacek was in town for a couple of appearances, so as many other former Cowboys players have done from the previous Super Bowl teams, he dropped into practice on Friday.
Novacek was sort of an expert on two fronts: Playing the tight end position and Cowboys new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, his teammates with the Cowboys for five seasons in Dallas.
Once practice was completed, Novacek met with the tight ends and gave them a few tips on how to run certain routes as a tight end. The young group was all ears.
"The first thing he pointed out to me was his relationship with Troy," Cowboys current Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten said, referring to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. "Troy knew where (No.) 84 was at all times. I think the first thing was finding that relationship with your quarterback on the field. And the second thing was he had such patience and really a feel for that system, and hopefully I can get that over these next few weeks of camp."
Novacek had only the utmost respect for Garrett, who like himself, picked himself up as a virtual unknown to become a longtime NFL player.
"He had to learn how to do it on his own, and that to me, is what makes a great coach," Novacek said of the Cowboys former backup quarterback for seven seasons. "You don't necessarily have the talent that some people do, but yet still survive to play the game. He had to know what his capabilities were to be successful. And that was very similar to myself. I was too small and wasn't strong enough and I had to figure out ways to get it done myself. And he was just like that.
"When you have someone who is always thinking like that and having that ability to improve the way you think about the game, I think they will be a great coach."
Novacek will sign autographs from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop in the RiverCenter Mall here in San Antonio.
Eye on the Ball
Cowboys rookie wide receiver Isaiah Stanback had an extension cord and a bag of tennis balls in his hand as he walked on the practice field about an hour before the start of Friday's afternoon practice.
No, Stanback isn't taking up a new sport. He's simply doing everything he can to make the adjustment to wide receiver.
And one of the new drills he does before each practice is catch tennis balls from a ball machine. Now Stanback will use the normal Jugs machine as well to catch regular footballs. But he figures if he can practice catching a tennis ball, the football should be rather easy.
In one bag of balls Friday, Stanback caught all but two of the 25 balls that shot out to him, probably 15 feet away.
"It's a good drill," he said. "I need to do everything I can to get ready."
Now, all the rookie has to do is get healthy. Stanback, who missed both mini-camps with a Lisfranc foot injury he suffered in college, is bothered by shin splints that have kept him from practicing here at camp.
"Hopefully, it'll only be a few more days before I get out there," he said.
Jerry Jones was asked which players had caught his eye after the fourth practice of training camp, and the team owner and general manager listed Leonard Davis, Jason Hatcher, Ken Hamlin, Terrell Owens, the running backs and Terry Glenn . . . Sunday's practice will be broadcast on the NFL Network as if it were a game. Fran Charles will be the host and former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders will provide analysis. Prior to the broadcast, Sanders will get fans' opinions from the seats of the Alamodome . . . When asked if Marion Barber would be challenging Julius Jones for the starting running back position, Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips said, "We're going to have two backs playing, so I don't see any difference from last year." . . . As for why he jumbled up the lockers back at The Ranch, mixing the offensive players with the defensive players, Phillips said, "I just saw when I went in the locker room, I just saw one group here, one group here and one group there, and if you're in a family, you need to know who is in the family." . . . Friday's practice was by far the most physical yet, as a good amount of hard hits were dished out by various players, including Roy Williams and rookie Deon Anderson. Phillips said the aggressiveness is a good thing, but cautioned that "we don't want to kill our own guys."