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5/12/2007

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Cowboys Mini Camp Day 1 Notes

Football is in the air, as the Cowboys began their offseason Mini Camp. Let's take a look at the headlines in today's mini camp.

TO
The leading headline of course was Terrell Owens. TO was not expected to participate during this mini camp; however, surprisingly he did participate quite a bit. He caught a couple of passes, including a deep bomb from Tony Romo. TO caught everything thrown to him, no dropped passes.

Ellis Update
Greg Ellis was at mini camp, but he was not practicing on field; instead, Ellis was on the sideline working on his rehab with some intense agility drills. Wade Phillips commented on the future of Greg Ellis, and Phillips said: "He's our starting outside backer," "Everybody saw last year what happened when he wasn't there. He can be a dominant player."(DMN) Ellis looked in great shape and apparently there are no signs of a limp. Good news to hear all around. Several players see Ellis as the leader on defense including 2yr DE Jason Hatcher whom we interviewed a couple of weeks ago.

Carpenter playing at MLB again?
Today the Cowboys worked Carpenter at MLB, and why wouldn't they, he's a very athletic gifted tackler. Phillips keeps repeating the notion that he wants the best players on the field and he wants to utilize their strengths in a way that will benefit the team. Carpenter is not a bust, and did not have a disappointing year. To even think he did, is a farce. Carpenter was held back by Parcells to a degree, but once he was injected at the end of the season and playoffs, you could see the first round talent was the real deal. The question however remains, where is he going to play? MLB or OLB?

I'm confident Carpenter will be on the field on a regular basis. Does that mean Carpenter could replace James at MLB? Yes, its a possibility and to not consider that would be plain dumb. James struggled in coverage bigtime, and Carpenter is a well rounded player that can do a better job. Carpenter could also see time at OLB in the nickel, were his coverage skills could come into play again. Carpenter knows this and says: "It was a rough transition last year," Carpenter said. "But looking at it this year, I feel confident that I can play either/or and be successful at both. I just want to be out on the field making plays."(DMN)


Romo on Fire
Romo has been hard at work mentally and physically. Romo was on fire today when he connected for 16 of 20 during 11-man drills today against the defense. Even though the high pressure packages on defense were not in effect, Romo still looked sharp by several reports from this first mini camp. Romo has been relieved of duty on field goals and Brad Johnson will be the new holder thankfully.

Julius Jones Not Practicing With Team?
From DMN: Julius Jones is getting the majority of the reps with the first-team offense, but he hasn't necessarily made a great impression on Wade Phillips.

Phillips pointed out that Jones is one of the only guys that hasn't been working out at the Cowboys' facility. Jones opted to work out in Arizona instead.

Phillips noted that Jones, who is chiseled as usual, appears to be in great shape and knows the team's new pass protection schemes. But Phillips prefers his players to work out with the team strength coaches. Phillips also believes the off-season conditioning program is important to the "team aspect."

Phillips Differentiates Between Laid Back & Hardwork
I knew this would come into question, but Coach Phillips made it clear today during his press conference when it came to his coaching styles and philosophy. Phillips said: "Hard work and good times go together," Phillips said. "But hard work has got to come first."(DMN)

Isaiah Stanback Still Learning
Last year the Cowboys used a 4th round pick on Skylar Green in hoping he would be the answer in the return game; however, this was not the case and Green is no longer with the team. A year later, the Cowboys are still looking for an answer. Stanback was drafted this year in the same round and is a converted QB to WR/PR specialist according to the Cowboys. Playing WR for Stanback is nothing new, he actually started out as a WR, but was converted to a QB. Kinda sounds like Patrick Crayton who the Cowboys hope to have the same conversion success with Stanback. Today Stanback did field some punts. "Stanback looked like a beginner back there. He had trouble judging a few punts, although he fielded every ball cleanly during the second practice.

The other Cowboys who caught punts today are Terence Newman, Patrick Crayton, Jamaica Rector and Quincy Butler." (DMN)

Rookie QB Matt Moore Looked Bad?
Apparently undrafted rookie Matt Moore looked horrible today, and was outplayed with 3rd string incumbent Matt Baker. From DMN: Moore's first pass in 7-on-7 drills was picked off. He fumbled his first snap in 11-on-11 drills. He didn't do anything too impressive with any of the few other reps he got. Incumbent third-stringer Matt Baker looked much better, but it's not like the job will be determined by the events on the first day of minicamp.

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