IRVING, Texas – Some more notes on what I'll be watching for this week, as the Cowboys get underway in their third week of OTA practices. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said last week that he doesn't like to use the term "experiment" when moving players around these offensive and defensive schemes. That said, this is the perfect time of year for the coaching staff to see what all they have from their personnel.
- I will be interested to see this coming week how many times we see the ball go in the direction of Devin Street with Tony Romo on the field. With no Dez Bryant and Romo's familiarity with what he has in Terrence Williams -- will there be a connection between him and the second-year receiver? All we have heard this offseason is that Street could be just as good as Williams if given the opportunity. The key will be whether Street can earn that trust from Romo like the other receivers have on this squad. Street is going to have to prove that he can run all the routes, either between the 20's or more importantly in the red zone, where Williams has been super productive. Street has the size and skill to win on his routes consistently, but if he is not able to finish, then that's another story. We have seen over the years that if Romo has faith in a receiver, he will find a way to get them the ball. Street needs to start to earn that trust.
- In my previous article Monday morning for DallasCowboys.com, I wrote about the various combinations we are seeing in the secondary. I made a mention of where they have been playing Byron Jones on both sides and in the slot. I believe there is going to be a time where we see Jones playing as a free safety in this scheme. I thought it would have been during training camp, but after last week's action covering Jason Witten out of the middle field and the fact that these defensive coaches have thrown a great deal on his plate and he has responded well, we could see him get some snaps there more likely sooner than later. I thought that these coaches would just ease Jones in and let him learn as he goes but that's not going to be the case at all.
- The more I think about how Rod Marinelli is going to play his dime package, the more I believe that his one linebacker on the field will be Sean Lee, and to be honest, this should not come as any surprise. If you look at the current linebackers on the roster the ones that have the best cover skills are Rolando McClain, Anthony Hitchens and Lee. The coaches have been very cautious with Lee and not getting him involved in much team work, but keep an eye on what they do with him this week, working him potentially in some 7-on-7 drills where they continue to find ways to get him in the mix without taxing him physically. This type of work will surely make him happy after watching all last season in the early part of these camps.
- I really do like the prospects of Greg Hardy and Tyrone Crawford working together as nickel rushers, but in going back and studying some Hardy film from his days in Carolina -- I was also able to observe him play some under-tackle inside, as well. With what I have seen from Randy Gregory as a rusher, the thought of having both Hardy and Gregory coming off that right side seems to be an even better combination for their nickel package. I am not saying that we will see Hardy inside on the majority of the snaps because he is an elite rush end, but if Marinelli can get to a package where he has DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory on the field -- he is much closer to the type of pass rush that we see in Seattle.[embeddedad0]