Well week one of the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp is over and based on hearing from friends at the facility in San Antonio, watching ESPN, Local News, Sports Talk Radio and Cruising the internet. I have come up with these observations.
For this week Ill look at QB’s, Receivers, Running Backs and Safety. Although the starters are basically known, I think they should be discussed as that’s really what people want to know about.
QB-Tony Romo has been throwing well, he is hitting his first reads and following his progression well. Checking down to the second or third options with Confidence. He seems to really be taking control. The leadership question was answered well with his play at camp. On a direct interview with Jerry Jones on ESPN, he said that Romo is displaying the type of leadership that is expected of a Dallas Cowboys Quarterback.
BACKUP QB-Jon Kitna is doing well and from listening to interviews with Cowboys Personnel, understands his role. Watching him practice, you know immediately what we were missing last year with Brad Johnson as our backup. The Cowboys team will have more confidence if Romo goes down again this year. Kitna like most new players in a new system has some plays where there have been timing issues, and missing some open reads. Getting familiar with the timing of the Cowboys offense will fix these issues. The big difference, he has the arm-strength to threaten teams deep, and the athletic ability to win games.
ROOKIE QB-Stephen McGee coming to us from Texas A&M is exactly what you'd expect, a young QB that has a long way to go, but with the drive to learn. McGee will probably make the team as the 3rd quarterback which we have not carried for a few years. However McGee is a long way from being ready for the NFL.
WR-Roy Williams himself is not the dominant player at training camp that Terrell Owens was, but he is definitely helping other receivers get open. Romo seems to be getting his timing down with Roy Williams. The big difference this year is he seems not to be forcing the ball into Williams if he is covered the way he did with Terrell Owens. Romo is spreading the ball around which gives me great hope for this season.
WR-Patrick Crayton has been what we've come to expect, solid and dependable
WR-Miles Austin hasn't been special yet, but he is making good progress in this camp and his abilities over the past couple of days have started to show.
WR-Sam Hurd started off slow but in the last couple of practices has started to come into his own. Hurd, just basically gets open and makes catches. He has the ability and will make a decent 4th receiver.
WR- Isaiah Stanbeck had not blossomed in this camp, but think about it, has he ever since he has been with the Cowboys, I personally do not see what the Cowboys see in this player. He drops passes and from the time he has been a Cowboy has been plagued with injuries. I think its time to cut ties and move on.
WR- Mike Jefferson and WR-Willie Reid are the main reasons I think we can pass on Stanbeck. They have turned in very solid performances. Jefferson has done a complete 180 over his last try out with the Cowboys 2 years ago and is playing smart, catching everything in sight. Reid, may not make it as a receiver but the Cowboys could use him on special teams while they develop him as a receiver. There is one other receiver on the list, WR-Kevin Ogletree, not making a lot of noise but nonetheless doing a good job.
RB-Felix Jones and RB-Tashard Choice have looked like just what the doctor ordered. Choice has been showing an unbelievable ability to run in traffic and gain yards. We will be very happy with our running game this year.
RB-Marion Barber because of his style of play is at a disadvantage at this point in camp because harsh physical contact and the brutal punishing of tacklers is not really part of these early training camp days. I don’t know about you Cowboys fans but I’m not all that concerned.
Now just a little on the defense because the Safety Position is the area that most concerns me.
S-Michael Hamlin, needs work on defensive coverage’s and reaction time. Hamlin does have good athletic ability and if he gets his hands on the ball it’s usually his. He is a player to watch.
Thats it for bright spots! S-DeAngelo Smith hasn't really done much of anything so not much to report. S-Pat Watkins, S-Jerome Carter who by the way looks more like a linebacker and S-Alan Ball, all get the same report as Smith. Are you worried about Safety yet? I am! If the Dallas Cowboys Defense has one weakness it is the Safety position which we have yet to shore up. I realize that its only the 1st week of camp but this is an issue, and with the Philadelphia Eagles much improved Offensive attack we could have serious problems.
Final Grade for week one: