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Two Weeks 'til Training Camp Fever

Tony Romo and Terrell Owens are by far the undisputed Dallas Cowboys newsmakers each and everyday. The majority of the articles out on the web are either centered around Romo or Owens, and that's not a bad thing. It just shows where the media is focusing on here. You have Romo, the young talented, debonair Hollywood QB that keeps him newsworthy on and off the field. In addition, you have Owens, one of the best receivers in the game today, media proclaimed bad boy, and the media just waiting for his next whatever. How will Garrett use our brightest superstars in his new offense? I expect us to come out swinging on opening day, and people are gonna say "uh oh, these guys are gonna be the team to beat" ranks our QB roster and gives us their thoughts on Romo and our backup QBs:

14. Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo had a storybook season in 2006, going 5-1 in his first six starts and giving the Cowboys great production at the position. But he struggled down the stretch, throwing too many interceptions and fumbling too many times while the Cowboys finished 1-4 in his final five games. The coaches are hoping that the Romo they saw early in the season is the one they get in 2007. He has excellent physical skills as a passer and his mobility allows him to make plays with his feet. However, he must do a better job of playing under control, being patient and not turning the ball over. Aging Brad Johnson will be the backup and mentor to Romo. Although his physical skills are limited, he still knows how to read a defense and get the ball to the right place. Young Matt Baker will be the No. 3 QB, and although he has good developmental skills, he's a long way from the field.

I think Baker takes the final #3 spot, we'll see him get some reps in preseason to gauge where we're at in his development, the other two guys the Cowboys brought in here, are way too raw, and not even close to being on a 53-man roster.

ProFootballWeekly doesn't think Garrett will employ much shotgun at all with his new offense:

Don’t expect a ton of shotgun formations this season from the Cowboys. It is something the fans clamored for in the past, mostly when Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback, but it appears to be a mere part of the package and hardly a major one. Look for new coordinator Jason Garrett’s offense to resemble the Ernie Zampese school of thought more than anything. The offense is likely to be based on timing, with precise routes based on the different depths of the drops, and frequent use of the shotgun would muck that up a bit. Still, that doesn’t mean the team will utilize a true West Coast offense. In fact, most of the receivers — and even the tight ends — are buzzing about the fact that there appear to be a greater number of deep passes in the repertoire. In Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, the Cowboys have two strong deep-route runners, but spies say not to forget about Patrick Crayton, who could enjoy a nice niche as a breakout player in the new scheme.

Yes, Garrett's offense will resemble Zampese and Turner's, but I expect Garrett to add his own twist, there's always an evolution in football schemes, and I'm excited to see what Garrett adds. I mean, this guy is no slouch, he's a sports guru, he went to Princeton, and he has the bloodlines:

As a coach, he says he looks for players "who are committed to working hard and will buy into what you are doing."

As a former quarterback, Garrett knows the importance of having a top-notch quarterback. So, what should high school coaches look for when filling that all-important role?

"You want a guy with good character," he advises. "You want a guy with leadership and work ethic, not just a guy who can throw the ball far."

That certainly was true of Garrett during his playing days. He's also aware of the need for the quarterback to fit the system, and vice-versa.

"It's important to get your quarterback on board with what you're doing because a lot of times the rest of the team will follow his example," Garrett said. (NFLHS.COM)

Bucky Brooks from looks at the Cowboys challenges for this upcoming training camp:

Challenge No. 1: Build the offense around the strengths of Tony Romo.

Romo led the Cowboys to the playoffs and earned a Pro Bowl nomination as a first-year starter. His 65-percent completion percentage and 95.1 passer rating both ranked near the top of the league. With that kind of production, it's obvious that the Cowboys should build their offense around the Romo's strengths. As a polished passer with outstanding poise, patience and athleticism, Romo has the skills to play any style of offense. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett...

Challenge No. 2: Tweak the 3-4 to feature a more aggressive pass rush.

The 3-4 defense new coach Wade Phillips is installing is vastly different than the one used by his predecessor Bill Parcells. Phillips runs an aggressive package built on the strength of his personnel that features an assortment of games, stunts and blitzes to add pressure. The Dallas defense he inherits has several pieces in place. DeMarcus Ware possesses the skills to be on of the top pass rushers in the league and under Phillips the third-year pro will be used exclusively as a pass rusher. And if Phillips stays true to the philosophy that he used in San Diego, he will find an unsung player on the opposite side with complementary rush skills. Shaun Phillips quietly posted double-digits in sacks opposite Shawne Merriman in San Diego and...

Challenge No. 3: Make Terrell Owens a big part of the offense.

The temperamental super star brings lots of baggage, but no one can dispute the talent or impact that he has on an offense. With 85 receptions for over 1,100 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdown receptions during an off year, he still deserves to be mentioned as one of the top receivers in the game and merits top billing in the Cowboys' offense.
In my opinion, Challenge No.4 would be to get the ball in Witten's hands more and frequently. Garrett will utilize Witten as he was suppose to be used. Witten is a receiving TE, not a blocking TE. Get Witten in the game early, and soften up the field, and let our running back tandem tear it up as a result.


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