I think that the advent of Twitter and social media has made mini-camps and OTA’s more enjoyable for fans. In the ’90s, you used to get an announcement or a few blurbs that the Cowboys were holding off-season practices. Now, not only do you get to know the dates, but you can pretty much follow along with the entire practice by reading the Dallas media’s tweets.
From what I’ve gleaned from the tweets, much like someone in Victorian England reading ticker wires, it appears that Dez Bryant is starting to take his steps as being the Cowboys’ #1 receiver and not just being some novelty that makes a few clutch catches for highlight tapes on Youtube with auto-tuned soundtracks. You know, in that regard, Dez Bryant is like a cute child actor all grown up. He can ham up the kid parts, but he looks like a creep at age 21 with a receding hairline and the rehab problems. But with the way Dez Bryant has taken over the #1 receiver role in mini-camps, for what that’s worth, it appears he’s finally arriving in to his own. Oh, and just ahead of schedule too because Michael Irvin didn’t even make his first Pro Bowl until his fourth season.
The #3 receiver role saw some good competition from Ogletree, Holmes, and Radway. I know we’re all expecting a duplicate performance of what Laurent “Lala” Robinson gave us last season, but I think just getting someone who doesn’t alligator-arm it or quit on his routes would be as much as we could ask. Truthfully, if not for Ray Radway’s bad break last preseason, he would be primed to take this role and then we would be praising Jimmy Robinson for making us a WR factor.
Bruce Carter saw some time out there since Dan Connor was injured. Carter was off the field a little bit due to some hamstring issues. I hope all that is precautionary, because we saw too many hamstring jobs for those three days. Even Kyle Orton had a pulled hamstring. I thought Mike Woicik was supposed to be the combination of Lourdes Cathedral and Green Lantern’s ring, giving our players the ability to super heal and have super endurance. Instead, we have these hamstrings pulled everywhere, and David Arkin is still getting bull rushed like Matt Hasselbeck’s O-Line in those State Farm commercials from 2007. I’m hoping it’s precautionary, and I’m hoping David Arkin’s problem is all technique since we’re down a guard thanks to Bernadeau having hip surgery.
The free safety position seems to be interesting. Here we’ve got Brodney Pool battling it out with Barry Church and Matt Johnson for the starting spot. I’m rooting for Barry Church or Matt Johnson, just because it would help promote my agenda that, while our drafting hasn’t been great, our “undrafting” since 2003 has been phenomenal. Frankly, if Brodney Pool wins the starting spot, I’m fine with that too. I’m not one of these crazinos that roots against Cowboys on the roster just because their presence farked up my mock draft or takes time away from one of my pet cats. You know the type I”m talking about.
One of the most promising moments from mini-camps was the fight at the end between Demarco Murray and Jason Hatcher. It shows that it’s serious business here at Valley Ranch, and that there’s urgency to get the job done. Now, I’m not going to display signs of having rotted my brain ingesting thujone by stating we’re A) going to the Super Bowl or B) we’ve got the most talented team in the NFL bar none, but I do think this is an optimistic sign. It shows our guys are competitive and they care, and they’re going to transfer it to the field. Who knows what kind of deal the NFL and the Maras have for Opening Night, but I can guarantee you that these 2012 Dallas Cowboys won’t look like the 1/1/12 Dallas Cowboys.
I talked with Landry Hat senior staff writer Jonathan Barger about his impressions on mini-camp. You can take a listen here.
Now we’re entering the boring phase of the off-season. If you’d rather do something other than collect your fingernail clippings in M&M Minis containers to trade on Craigslist to add to your Taco Bell mild sauce collection, you can check out my weekly installments of “What Would Have Happened If…?” where I examine what would have happened to the franchise had certain events turned out favorably for the Cowboys over the decades.