Packing Up

Camp MVP
Josh: For the first week, DeMarcus Ware was making things really difficult for the offense because starting left tackle Doug Free wasn't practicing. He was constantly in Tony Romo's face – even more than usual.
Nick: This one might be the easiest for me because I can't see one player that was more dynamic in this camp than Dez Bryant. And more importantly, I do think he's the most valuable. He's the most talented player on the team and the drop-off behind him seems pretty drastic.
Rob: Tony Romo, because he did his best to keep this team together during the lockout. That's what the starting quarterback is expected to do. Then he showed up for camp and looked healthy, confident and efficient for two straight weeks.

Offensive Surprise
Rob: Phil Costa did a nice job filling in for Andre Gurode at center. It wasn't perfect, and he doesn't have ideal size, but he battles and he's another young lineman the team feels good about going forward.
Josh: I really didn't think we would see David Arkin doing many good things here because of the huge step up in competition. But he's been fairly impressive – a tough guy.
Nick: It's hard not to be surprised about seeing so many Lonyae Miller stories two weeks into camp. Yes, he was a product of injuries to Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray, but for now, he's taken the opportunity and ran with it.

Defensive SurpriseNick: Not signing Nnamdi Asomugha. All summer I thought the Cowboys would just make it happen and standing there on the field at the Alamodome and watching Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones hand their phones to Rob Ryan, it seemed like a done deal. When it fell through, it was certainly a big surprise.
Rob: We knew Victor Butler had ability, but Rob Ryan's scheme might lead to a breakout season. Butler has been active in various packages. In a defense based on pressure, he's another pass rusher who can find a role.
Josh: The Cowboys clearly didn't think Sean Lissemore was ready for a big role, since they signed three free agent ends, but he's made some plays and shown the ability to get to the quarterback.

Special Teamer To Watch
Josh: Dan Bailey would be an obvious answer, but I think the kicking job still comes down to David Buehler. There's a lot of time left in the competition, and if he makes his field goals in the preseason games, he'll keep the job.
Nick: I'm going to keep an eye on Corey Adams, the long snapper from Kansas State. While L.P. Ladouceur has been the most consistent player the Cowboys have had, it's still a business. If Adams can provide an upgrade on the coverage aspect of the position, coupled with being about a half-million cheaper, a change there wouldn't be out of the question.
Rob: Rumors of running back Tashard Choice's impending departure were premature. But there's no question Lonyae Miller is pushing for a job. If Miller can help Joe DeCamillis on the special teams units, too, he might really have a chance.

Best Undrafted Rookie
Rob: Raymond Radway stood out from Day 1, so he's the pick. He's got size and speed and pretty good hands for a guy known more for track than football. Could be a Miles Austin or Sam Hurd circa 2006 – a small-school, undrafted receiver who makes it.
Josh: Raymond Radway hasn't been perfect, by any stretch, but the Abilene Christian receiver has definitely flashed some athletic gifts. He's a fast guy with some size, and that will earn him a decent chance to stick around.
Nick: The best in camp has been Radway from ACU but receivers are easily evaluated. I think OLB Alex Albright might turn out to be quite a find. He'll need to play his way onto the roster through special teams, but I'm interested to see him in the preseason games.

Don't Be Surprised If ...
Nick: A veteran defensive end gets released. The way Sean Lissemore has played, it's hard to think he won't have a role. And then Hatcher, Spears and Kenyon Coleman were all signed, making it seem like they were priorities. So you just have to wonder if Igor Olshansky will have a place on this squad.
Rob: The Cowboys eventually add a veteran guard. They expected Montrae Holland to replace Leonard Davis, but his inability to practice has been a concern. Rookie David Arkin's play could change their mind.
Josh: The Cowboys keep four running backs this year. Lonyae Miller is giving reason to believe he can play in this league, and probably won't make it through waivers, while Tashard Choice might be too good to let go.

This Team Might Miss ...
Josh: The Cowboys should be wary of Montrae Holland's injury troubles at camp, and David Arkin is still very much a rookie trying to make a giant leap in his career. They might wish they still had Leonard Davis when it's all said and done.
Nick: While he didn't have much left as a starter, just having veteran Marc Colombo on the squad wouldn't be so bad right now. Sam Young has never played a game and hasn't looked all that impressive. Colombo wanted to stay, even at a cheaper price and reduced role, but now he's in Miami to no one's surprise.
Rob: Leonard Davis, for the above-mentioned reasons. Of all the veterans released before training camp, Davis was arguably the one guy who didn't have a clear replacement. He also looked to be in great shape the week he got cut.

Memorable Moment:
Rob: Who was on the other end of the phone line with Rob Ryan during practice? What was the reason for Jerry and Stephen's fist bump? Both added an air of mystery to camp and the team's admitted pursuit of Nnamdi Asomugha. Interesting day, to say the least.
Josh: Pee Wee Herman showing up on the practice sideline sort of showed that no matter how business-like Jason Garrett wants to make things, the Cowboys are still very much a circus act.
Nick: That crazy day on the field where it seemed like the Cowboys were going to sign Asomugha will always stand out. Just seeing Rob Ryan on the sidelines with Jerry Jones' phone, presumably talking to Nnamdi or his agent, while Terence Newman is running drills 10 yards away as the powers at be openly discuss the possibility of replacing him – a wild scene for sure.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising