of evidence enough to sign him to a blockbuster deal? Wouldn't they at least want to see a little more, say, for the first month of the regular season? And as for Romo, is he confident enough in himself to play hardball for a Matt Schaub-type contract - six years, $48 million, complete with $7 million in guarantees? Understand, though, $10 million of his deal is a roster bonus after three years. While Romo went to the Pro Bowl this past season, Schaub has yet to win his first NFL start. Plus, if the Cowboys weren't sure even after this year, they could buy themselves another year by issuing Romo the franchise tag, which this year is paying quarterbacks $12.6 million on a one-year deal, about what the Saints guaranteed Drew Brees last year on his multi-year deal. That would be a huge pay raise from the $1.5 million base Romo will earn this year . . . .
Did you notice Terrell Owens didn't say much, if anything, during the three days last week the media had locker room access? What a concept. Nothing could be misconstrued or sensationalized. Did your mom ever tell you silence is golden? . . . Just happened across this stat today: When it came to third-and-either-1-or-2 yards in 2006, the Cowboys converted 18 of 27 when running the ball. That's 66.67 percent, or two-thirds. To me, not good enough from such close range. They need to be in the ballpark of Seattle, which converted 84 percent of their running attempts, or the Giants, who checked in at 78 percent. Then you can brag on your offensive line . . . .
Seems everyone wants new head coach Wade Phillips to compare San Diego outside linebacker Shawne Merriman to the Cowboys outside backer DeMarcus Ware. He keeps saying not the same player. "I see two Pro Bowl players," a politically-correct Phillips said. "Merriman is more of a power guy. DeMarcus' great strength is his quickness . . . he has really quick feet." . . . Rookie free-agent quarterback Matt Moore has finally finished his semester at Oregon State, and was expected to report this week. He's got some serious catching up to do, and the pressure will be on to show something over the next month in some individual workouts since fellow rookie free agent Richard Bartel caught the staff's eye over the past couple of weeks. "We'll try to catch him up as much as we can," Phillips said. Can't see the Cowboys taking five quarterbacks to camp, though Phillips said nothing's been decided yet. Someone is likely to go, either Bartel, Moore or first-year quarterback Matt Baker, the team's practice squad guy last year . . . .
Might have been some complaints about the intense heat and humidity during the mini-camp practices, but none registered by inside backer Bradie James, who grew up in Monroe, La., and knows a little something about humidity. "I wouldn't want to do anything else," James said when asked about practicing in this stuff. "I wouldn't want a desk job. I'd rather be out getting a tan." Cute . . . . One of the more legitimate battles for a starting job in training camp will be at fullback between Oliver Hoyte, Lousaka Polite and sixth-round draft choice Deon Anderson, who so far appears to be everything the club thought he'd been when taking him with the draft's 195th pick. Would appear two of the three make the team, and it might come down to special teams play. As advertised, Anderson does have an infectious personality . . . . Just happened to notice that since former Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter was suspended for two games by his latest employer, the Bossier-Shreveport BattleWings of af2 fame, he has yet to play another game. The Wings (8-2) have gone 3-1 under the guidance of rookie quarterback Gary Cooper of Grambling State . . . .
You know, for the record, there was really no official announcement this past weekend that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett would call plays this year, although it was assumed since he was given that title. He didn't say, "I'm the play-caller." Nor did Phillips say so of Garrett. But when Garrett was asked what type of play-caller" he'll be, the former Cowboys backup quarterback for seven seasons said, "Hopefully the guy who calls the right ones." That's all it took for a proclamation to be issued . . . .
And we go to Wade Phillips for the final word on all this mini-camp and OTA