By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
Rookie Bobby Carpenter has been moved to inside linebacker, where he is backing up Akin Ayodele.
THE T.O. SHOW
Wide receiver Terrell Owens
may not be getting in sync with his teammates on the field because he remains sidelined with a sore hamstring, but he is doing his best to be a good teammate off the field. Owens sponsored a barbecue for the players Sunday in Camarillo, Calif.
Cowboys coach Bill Parcells gave the players Sunday off. It was their first free day since the start of training camp.
A group of players spent Saturday night in Santa Barbara, where they ran into Michael Jordan at the restaurant/bar Tonic. On Sunday, several played golf, including quarterback Tony Romo.
Rookie linebacker Bobby Carpenter planned to spend Sunday at the beach. The Ohio native said he's never seen the Pacific Ocean and wanted to check that off of his to-do list.
On the move
Because the Cowboys are pleased with Greg Ellis' switch to linebacker, they decided to move rookie first-round pick Bobby Carpenter from the outside to the inside. He is now backing up Akin Ayodele at weakside inside linebacker.
The move is fine with the Ohio State rookie, who said that, heading into the draft, most 3-4 teams pegged him as a weakside inside linebacker. The Cowboys drafted him with the intention of playing him at strongside outside linebacker because that's where they had a need. With Ellis, Al Singleton and Rocky Boiman there now, the need is not as great as it once was.
Rooting for Ellis
Greg Ellis admittedly remains uncomfortable at linebacker. But he is comforted by the support he's getting from the players and coaches.
"People seem like they want me to get it and do well," Ellis said. "It seems like you guys [the media] do. I don't know, maybe some of you all want me out of here. [But] it seems like everybody is supportive...Bill [Parcells], the defensive coaches, even the offensive coaches. It seems like they are trying to aid me in getting better at it."
Bill Parcells is an advocate for player safety. But he is not a fan of the horse collar rule -- not the previous one nor the updated version.
Thanks largely to Cowboys safety Roy Williams, the NFL last year outlawed tackling a player by pulling on the back of his shoulder pads and yanking him to the ground. This year it's illegal to do the same act by grabbing the jersey.
"I've never been too fond of trying to legislate against a player's instincts," Parcells said. "There are just things that happen. You grab something. It's not that you are trying to be malicious or commit a foul or do anything. You're just instinctively trying to tackle a guy. I think sometimes we get a little too cute, so to speak, on what we are trying to do, with the intention of being good all the time. I just think it's hard to legislate against something that is pretty instinctive for a guy who's been playing this game his whole life."
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