This was my 2nd year in a row visiting training camp. It feels so very good to be amongst the Cowboys. As much fun as winning is, it’s also just great to observe the team. Great to simply see them and observe the effort they make to be good enough to make a living at this and in part reward the loyalty of fans who pay to see them. Oxnard is a wonderful setting for camp. The temperatures, the surroundings, the beaches, the crude amenities of our facility. We watched the Tues (7/30), Thurs (8/1) and Friday (8/2) practices. On the downside, it saddens me and angers me to observe some “fans” who treat players IMO without the dignity we all deserve from each other. Example – heckling Anthony Armstrong while going through drills. Telling the b/u punter who cares enough to sign autographs that nobody wants his. And then fans wonder why some players act like jerks. I really wish that fans who disrespect players or anyone else in that fashion would be kicked out of practice. Honestly, I think it’s difficult to gather a whole lot of definitive insight at camp. Most of the time there is activity all around. You watch one group but you’re missing another. Your view is compromised by distance or obstructed by players, coaches etc. Even then, you’re only seeing snippets, not the entire body of work. Definitely fun, definitely helpful, but not definitive in predicting results. So now that I have discredited everything , here are my thoughts & observations. Ware & Dez are simply larger than life. They have a whole nother gear or level athletically that others do not. I think its going to be really interesting to watch their accomplishments this year. Both have their moments where they simply look unstoppable. Romo is the man. He commands this offense by his presence. The players acknowledge it with their demeanor. He sets the pace and he sets the bar. I tried to find some physical shortcoming per the Babe observations. If its there I can’t see it. He looked smooth, easy, comfortable and yes, very sharp. I’ve read some reports of Terrance Williams dropping passes but I didn’t see it. Instead I observed a sense of him making his claim to belong. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s ready today, or will make a huge impact, or won’t be overwhelmed at times or even a lot. Simply, it’s my prediction that he will find his place in time. He very much looks like a keeper to me. Harris has a certain electricity to him IMO. I like it when he gets the ball in his hands. To me there is a sharp contrast to him now versus last year’s camp. Carries himself with so much more confidence. Beasley. Impressive that a man of his physical stature can compete and win at this level. No one can match his quicks. No one. Great hands. If the team can afford his somewhat narrow contribution – he can certainly fill a role. Even he has a confidence to him now. The rest of the WR’s: I can see some of the fuss being made about Rogers. But he also reminds me a bit of Andre Holmes in his size, length and the downsides of that build. Takes him a while to gather, be quick in tight places etc. I don’t think he’s going to make the roster this year personally. Jared Green was more impressive to me. Benford was inconsistent when I watched him. Armstrong & Amos certainly have skills but nothing that screams “carry a 6th WR” IMO. Danny Coale was in pads Thursday but obviously just beginning to work his way back. He’s in a really tough spot. He needs more time. Hopefully he is willing to go PS for another year. TE: Good grief these guys can catch. Yes, Escobar at times flashes superior hands but it is often difficult to pickup because the QB’s are so precise. Hanna made a play Friday that wowed me when he elevated and showed some great hands. He only practiced the one day but he flashed on that day. He’s one to watch this year IMO. Witten was outstanding of course and impressed multiple times down the seam. Romo will no doubt get a strong mention in his HOF speech- what a duo. RB: All three looked good – make that four. Quiet camp for Murray vs last year IMO when he just stood out but I think that is mostly because the team is repping so many others and protecting some of their precious commodities early. Dunbar is just a baby-faced kid but does intrigue with that speed & quickness if they can feature that some. Tanner looks back in the race. Legs always moving, picking his way, enough burst, enough pop. My hope in him is renewed. Lawrence too flashes that speed & quickness. Wilcox is another that has a bit of that larger than life presence. Not every play – but then you see it. Definitely has the look of a playmaker if he can display the necessary base consistency. Had a pick-6 one day where he certainly looked like a ball-hawk. I saw nothing from Johnson. Not a bad thing IMO just no standout moments to date. I thought Nick Stephens & Tanney both played pretty solid – meaning the whole thing doesn’t grind to a halt when they take over. Better, I’ll say than last years Rudy Carpenter. I think it’ll be interesting to see them today. D-Line: As mentioned earlier, I think its going to be very exciting to watch Ware in this defense. A man amongst boys. Hatcher too looks physically superior at times. Ratliff must be near returning. Watching his sideline workouts he went pretty hard sometimes but nothing with contact of course. Bass sat out I think both padded practices so nothing to report there. Didn’t really catch much of Hayden or any other d-lineman. O-line: Can’t say that I learned anything about individuals here beyond confirming who is getting the reps. Bernadeau returned for Friday’s walk-through and immediately resumed starting RG status. Otherwise it was Arkin. When Leary returned it was shared duty with Livings til the latter opted for knee surgery. Frederick got all the 1st team center reps. I don’t see any indication at this point of Costa moving to 1st team. You see Fred at RG sometimes with the 2’s but it sure looks like Tyron, Leary, Fred, Bern, Free at this point. The thing I think I see at this point, is more consistency across the board. Less of certain players getting beaten badly. That is better than this time last year. Can we become cohesive, solid and consistent? Remains to be seen. Leary & Bernadeau are just now getting started in camp. CB’s: Didn’t see much of Claiborne (migraine). Carr looks solid though unspectacular. No sense as yet that this pair of CB’s is ready to be a talked about duo. Solid, but beatable. Didn’t see much of Scandrick but Sterling Moore seemed to show up quite a bit – in a good way. BW Webb is slowly trying to find his way. Kid is a class act. Signed autographs everyday. Polite, well-mannered. Wife held the door for him at In-N-Out Burger Thursday night – he was courteous and appreciative – just a real nice, and very young looking kid. There by himself and no evidence anyone else besides me recognized him. I’m rooting for him. Kickers: Though Bailey did miss a couple, it’s always by narrow margins. Never see him shank or chunk. He is so smooth and confident. Couldn’t get a great feel for Jones. No real struggles, nothing real impressive. HC: Garrett’s presence is more apparent at this camp IMO. Probably because he’s not as chained to the offense. I think no play-calling is a good move for him that will pay dividends. We’ll see. Never been to other pro camps but Garrett’s are crisp and quick. Boom, boom, boom, station, station, station. He has a presence. Assistants: Boy this seems like an impressive group to me. All these guys command attention and respect and the players give it. Kiffin, Marinelli, Callahan, Pollack, Henderson, Dooley, Bisaccia. Forgot to look for Eberflus. Really interested in what these guys can achieve. Run game: Definitely saw some guys break off some nice runs. But during goal line drills it remains shaky and tentative though I think in part because we’re not really cutting loose for fear of injury. Be interesting to see what today’s game shows. I could absolutely see it taking time for this run game to gel. I won’t get discouraged if it struggles today. Starting Guards not yet repping together. Feel free to ask questions. I’m sure I missed some topics of note.