What Do OTA's Mean?

Remember, no update on Orlando Scandrick, who showed up with an infection leaving his left eye swollen shut. He thinks he'll be ready to go next week since you could actually see the eyeball on Wednesday . . . . 

Some glimpses: Saw wide receiver Isaiah Stanback run by everyone on a straight go-pattern for what would have been a touchdown . . . Saw Felix Jones on kickoff returns - remember, no tackling - make a sharp cut to scoot through a wave of tacklers mighty uncommon to the average guy. Reminded me of why I was holding my breath every time Missouri kicked to him in the Cotton Bowl this year . . . For some reason, this No. 37 kept flashing in plays. OK, I admit, I had to look him up: Tyler Everett, a first-year free agent from Ohio State listed as a corner but appearing to be playing some safety. Even the head coach mentioned his name as we walked to the coaches locker room . . . . 

Speaking of safety, and you might want to black out this graph, but with Pro Bowl safeties Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams choosing not to attend this week's workouts, the Cowboys had Pat Watkins and Courtney Brown working with the first-team defense. Now hold it, and nothing wrong with Watkins there. Saw him make back-to-back plays, breaking up a Brad Johnson pass and intercepting one from Richard Bartel. Remember, though, the Cowboys moved Brown from corner to safety last year. Good ball skills, but he's got a lot to learn . . . And let's get something straight. I keep reading Hamlin can not attend the OTA's because he hasn't signed his franchise tender. Phooey. He can be here, but he chooses not to as some sort of protest against the one-year franchise tag since he wants a long-term deal. Remember, Chris Canty hasn't signed his restricted free agency tender yet but he's here practicing and working in the off-season conditioning program. I know, I know, voluntary . . . As for Roy Williams, oh wait, I already made my point about him missing the "voluntary" workouts this week. Sorry, I'm really not one to pile on . . . .  

If you are wondering who else the Cowboys have to play behind James at the "Mike" inside linebacker spot, there is first-year free agent Tyson Smith working there now, 6-2, 240 from Iowa State. Smith played in three games with the Giants, along with a playoff game, in 2006, after getting signed off their practice squad in early November but then in 2007 was released on the final cut bouncing around on a couple of practice squads before landing on the Cowboys' practice squad to finish off the season . . . Jones, the one who owns the Cowboys, went out of his way when talking about the running backs to mention Alonzo Coleman, last year's rookie on the practice squad, saying he has enough quickness and skill that "frankly, he can be a factor." . . . Oh and defensive coordinator Brian Stewart made sure I hadn't forgotten about corner Quincy Butler, who spent the past two years on the practice squad, though played one game in 2006 on special teams . . . . 

The reticent Marion Barber evidently learned one thing from new agent Drew Rosehanus while spending time this off-season working out in Miami: "Next question," the phrase Rosenhaus made famous during Terrell Owens' (is that my first reference to T.O.?) brouhaha in Philadelphia. Heard Barber repeatedly take the Fifth when asked several uncomfortable questions he didn't want to answer Wednesday during one of his rare interviews. By the way, the money didn't get him talking, and at least he was honest when asked why he decided grant the media horde around his locker an interview, saying, "Uh, Rich made me do it," making reference to Rich Dalrymple, Cowboys longtime PR guy. Maybe it's the start of something new, because, really, Barber is a good guy and he's interesting, when he allows you to discover that . . . Man, locker rooms are tough. Get a raise like that at work, and your co-workers will be PC, congratulating you. Might even send you a card or something. Sign a contract for $45 million like Barber did, and you got all the guys out on the field calling you "Fresh Legs" since he missed Tuesday's workout and hadn't attended the off-season strength and conditioning program, working out on his own instead. Asked if anyone heaped good-natured grief on him Wednesday, Barber said, "Everybody."

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