Some observations from the film room in Oxnard:
- If you are looking for an area of improvement from Dez Bryant in this camp, his willingness to become a strong point-of-attack blocker is noticeable. He has really taken pride in his ability to get that big body on these cornerbacks and move them out of the way. One of his best blocks of the day came when he was the lead blocker on James Hanna's red zone screen. Hanna went out the gate and up the sideline because of Bryant's desire not to get beat with the ball behind him.
- What makes DeMarco Murray a complete back is his ability to stand in there and take on Sean Lee one-on-one during a blitz pickup. In my favorite drill of camp, Murray and Lee went at it toe-to-toe, with Murray getting the better of the linebacker several times. Murray's technique is outstanding in his ability to hit square but also fire his hands inside to control the rusher. Murry's ability to do that is an underrated skill, but he is outstanding at completing the task against a physical, relentless rusher.
- I do not believe this club will keep six wide receivers just because of some numbers at different spots. But if there is a case to be made for one, Anthony Armstrong is that guy. Where Armstrong has shined is making the contested catch. On Sunday, he snatched the ball at the highest point over the corner on a beautiful pass from Kyle Orton. Later in the period, Armstrong ran a little option route along the goal line and Orton was able to find him again. It has not mattered where Armstrong has run his routes -- he has shown the ability to consistently make plays for a staff that is looking for that type of player that could also be a factor on special teams.
- I had my concerns about Kyle Orton from what I had observed in the OTA's and the minicamps. But in this camp, he has been nothing short of outstanding in the way in which he has handled his opportunities. He has been accurate with his throws, but he has also been rock solid with his decision making. His ball has had pace, and when he has been asked to make the tough or tight throw, he has come up big. His work in the red zone -- the way he has moved the ball around --has been very impressive. His throw to Cole Beasley in the Oakland game was put in the perfect spot and then on Sunday, he came back with another throw to Armstrong that couldn't have been placed any better. There is no longer doubt in my mind that Kyle Orton would be ready if called on, whereas before, I was not so sure I could have said that. [embedded_ad]
- Defensive tackle Landon Cohen is a veteran player that honestly, I knew very little about. I remember visiting with Will McClay about him when he was signed and McClay was excited to not only have him on the squad but to potentially see what he could bring to the camp. McClay was worried about him getting in football shape, but that never appeared to be a problem. Cohen has come in and given these defensive coaches an explosive inside player that has shown the ability to be disruptive when he is in the game. When you see him live or on tape, he generally is the first man off the ball, and that doesn't matter if it's run or pass. He is extremely active and can be hard to block when he gets that jump off the ball. This scheme is all about getting players up the field and into the gaps with quickness and so far, Cohen has given these coaches a reason to pay attention.