Jul 31, 2014; Oxnard, CA, USA; General view of banners at Dallas Cowboys training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome To Cowboys Camp Catastrophe...

Remember a few years ago, when Wade Phillips was patrolling the sidelines and there was the condescending moniker of Camp Cupcake?  The 2014 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp is quickly become Camp Catastrophe…

Truth be told, it actually started back in minicamp on May 27th when Sean Lee torn his ACL.  Ironically, the gap between then and the first day of camp provided fans with the same hope all other 31 teams have when camp opens.  Everybody’s on equal ground and every player looks like they can be a productive member of the squad…

And then reality hits…

And starting guard Ronald Leary hurts himself running a conditioning test that the coaches cancelled but the players administered because they wanted to show leadership and dedication…

And defensive end Anthony Spencer starts the season on the PUP list because all he can currently do is run in a straight line, recovering from the microfracture surgery that happened almost a year ago…

And rookie defensive end Ben Gardner hurts his shoulder on day one of actual padded practice which he has not yet returned from…

And then defensive tackle Terrell McClain, expected to push for a starting spot, hurts his ankle and oft always injured safety Matt Johnson hurts his hamstring yet again…

And then rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, expected to be a key contributor to the defense, breaks his foot and is out 8-10 weeks which translates into no training camp, no conditioning, no actual football activity until, at minimum, October which likely dulls any chance of an impact being made this year.

“Next Man Up” is becoming “Next Man Down.”

All this and that’s not even discussing that mysterious calculation of “100%” Tony Romo who takes days off, doesn’t participate in full practice and states he might not even play in the first pre-season game.  This would all be fine, except, you know; he’s supposed to be 100%.  All this and that’s not even discussing the sad passing of Brandon Carr’s mother, resulting in him being nowhere near Oxnard, California.  All this and that’s not even discussing a knee injury to Morris Claiborne which could be a tweak or could be something else since he’s missed both practices after it happened on Wednesday.  All this and that’s not even discussing the idiotic commentary from Jerry Jones regarding Josh Brent and Johnny Manziel.

Here are a few thoughts Jerry.  Let someone else provide another chance to a marginal player who killed his own teammate because he was too stupid and selfish to make an obvious decision.  When asked about Josh Brent, say: “We wish him the best in what his future holds, but it won’t be with the Dallas Cowboys.”  Sounds a lot better than:

“He can be a great example,” Jones said. “There’s no place like the NFL to rehab your credibility or show that you are contrite. It’s a great opportunity for him under the circumstances to have made the mistake that he made to do some real good, help a lot of people and basically leave a better taste in people’s mouths about Josh Brent.”

Or when someone asks you about Johnny Manziel, say something like: “I’m sure he’ll be a good football player but I am also sure Zack Martin will be a cornerstone of this team for a long, long time.” Sounds a lot better than:

“But Manziel is special. I know him personally. I know that he is going to be a success in the National Football League. And it was a hard decision. And it is one that I will probably for the rest of my career think about.”

You sound like a guy who left his girlfriend and will always wonder what could have been instead of making sure the current person you’re with knows you’re happy in that situation.

The good news in all of this is that there is plenty of time left in camp for things to turn around after a nightmare first week.  Leary being removed from the PUP list and Spencer recently indicating he is feeling a lot better about his knee is a decent start.  Maybe either Dartwan Bush or Martez Wilson or both can become the 2014 George Selvie.  Maybe Carr will play inspired and have a Pro-Bowl season dedicated to his late mother.  Maybe Rolando McClain and Henry Melton will be better than expected and provide this team with some help in the middle of the defense.

At this point, I’d just be happy to have the injury bug fly somewhere else.

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Tags: Brandon Carr Dallas Cowboys Demarcus Lawrence Jerry Jones Morris Claiborne Tony Romo

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