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News: Mosley: 20 Questions: Who's on the bubble?

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by LaTunaNostra, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    20 Questions: Who's on the bubble?
    11:46 PM CDT on Monday, July 26, 2004

    By MATT MOSLEY / DallasNews.com


    When Cowboys coach Bill Parcells says he's going on vacation, he means it. He's done everything but board the windows at Valley Ranch since last month's minicamp.

    But with training camp just around the corner, fans are hungry for Cowboys news. And that's why we'll address a different topic every day until the first practice July 31 in Oxnard, Calif.

    Which Cowboys veterans are on the bubble?

    In only the past couple of days, the Cowboys have released tight end James Whalen, defensive tackle Willie Blade and they're preparing to release quarterback Chad Hutchinson.

    Blade's release will probably send a message to other veterans. He started 15 games last season, but he didn’t work hard enough in the off-season to make it to training camp.

    Fourth-year safety Tony Dixon would've been on the bubble had Darren Woodson not gone down with a back injury. Now, Dixon and Keith Davis will each get a long look.

    Fullback Jamar Martin can blow open holes in the running game, but he's a non-factor in the passing game and he’s not a threat to run. He's going to have a hard time beating out Darian Barnes and free-agent rookie Lousaka Polite.

    Safety Lynn Scott and linebacker Markus Steele, both unrestricted free agents after this season, will also have a tough time making the team. Scott is a heady player, but he hasn't made much of an impact the past couple of seasons. Steele emerged as a solid special teams player last season, but still doesn't appear close to seeing time at linebacker. He barely made the team last season. It'll be another close call during this training camp.

    E-mail mmosley@dallasnews.com

    20 Questions:
    12. Which veterans are on the bubble?
    13. How would Eddie George fit in?
    14. What does the new receivers coach bring to the team?
    15. Will the return game improve?
    16. What rookie free agents can make the team?
    17. What will happen at fullback?
    18. How many QB's can one team have?
    19. Who's next at safety?
    20. Could the Cowboys finally have a viable pass rush?
  2. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    I wonder who has the best shot of taking Steele's spot then?

    O Neil is also mostly a Special Teams player at this stage. Maybe we bring someone in later on?

    There's the rookie UFA Thornton, but I thought of him more likely as a Practice Squad candidate in 2004.

    Finally, there's the LB we picked up from the Rams, but I think he's been injured off and on.
  3. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and Brew... Staff Member

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    I'm rooting for Steele - I like the guy and think he's a decent player.
  4. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    Personally, I don't think we have another LB on our roster to-date to take Steele's spot.

    I don't think any of the guys I mentioned above are better than Steele at this stage . . . .
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and Brew... Staff Member

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    I was surprised his name got mentioned, frankly.
  6. Smith22

    Smith22 Well-Known Member

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    He has some talent and ability, but he is lacking a little in the brains department from what I remember. I would like to see him make it.
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Red, White and Brew... Staff Member

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    Morning Smitty - never heard that about Steele but maybe that's part of the problem.
  8. Smith22

    Smith22 Well-Known Member

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    Morning Sarge. You have to love the size his brings to the table, but the guy has to start showing something more than just being a special teams guy. We can easily find cheaper players for special teams duty. Singleton and Coak aren't exactly spring chickens either, so you know he will get every chance to make it if he shows something.
  9. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Linebackers
    50 Brooks, Jamal LB 6-2 240 4 Hampton
    52 Coakley, Dexter LB 5-10 236 8 Appalachian St.
    56 James, Bradie LB 6-2 243 2 Louisiana State
    59 Nguyen, Dat LB 5-11 243 6 Texas A&M
    54 O'Neil, Keith LB 6-0 230 2 N. Arizona
    58 Shanle, Scott LB 6-2 245 2 Nebraska
    51 Singleton, Al LB 6-2 228 8 Temple
    55 Steele, Markus LB 6-3 240 4 Southern Cal
    53 Thornton, Kalen LB 6-3 245 R Texas

    Also look for Ogubugu To play up some this year.
  10. Chuck 54

    Chuck 54 Well-Known Member

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    I think Steele makes the team because he can back up on the outside and in the middle...he's done it. That's not a great way to have a solid career, but when you don't draft any LB's or sign any FA LB's, you can't go cutting your backups, especially the only ones with game experience.

    Right now, Steele and Brady are the only guys on the team who could probably go in a game and play.
  11. Woods

    Woods Active Member

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    Exactly.

    Unless, of course, we add a decent veteran later on during TC/pre-season. But as for now, I still think Steele has the upper hand on making the roster at LB.
  12. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Did Mosely lift this right off of InmanRoshi's post from yesterday? The names mentioned are almost identical... :eek:

    BTW, watch out for Shanle...
  13. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    I hope Scott Shanle makes the roster over Steele. Shanle is a very good athlete for someone 245. He was a high school sprinter and while at Nebraska he was asked to provide man to man coverage against tight ends and running backs. He made the Rams roster as a 7th round rookie because of his ability on Special Teams, so he can already provide what Steele does. Unlike Steel, maybe after 4 years in the league Shanle might be able to contribute as a LB too. The Rams reportedly sick to their stomachs to have to release him, but were forced to clear room to call up two offensive linemen from their practice squad when other teams were trying to claim them.

    I earlier noted how funny, aribitrary and fickle the line is between fan favorite and goat is among marginal players, and I firmly believe many people like Markus Steele just because he has a cool sounding name.
  14. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    A couple of reports had Parcells intriqued with Scott Shanle last year.

    Keith O'Neil finished right behind Steele (16) on special teams with 15 tackles.

    Veteran Jamal Brooks is back for another try and he's a capable reserve MLB and special teams performer.

    And rookie tweener Kalen Thornton likely needs to play like a banshee on special teams if he hopes to challenge for a roster spot, IMO.

    Steele's going to have a fight on his hands, it appears.

    May the best man win.

    I didn't consider Dixon a lock before the Woodson injury, but I didn't see him as on the bubble either.

    Dixon is a better special teams player and reserve strong safety than Lynn Scott is, who's going to fill those roles in his place?
  15. Hollywood Henderson

    Hollywood Henderson Benched

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    I agree, Dixon, was easily ahead of Scott and as for Steele, I think when he had surgery 2 years ago it really hurt his strength...It says he is 240 lbs but the guys arms are very small (For a NFL LBer)...

    The x Cornhusker I think has an edge over Steele and I wouldn't be suprised to see Thorton make it on the 53 man if he can play ST's and show he can get to the passer in preseason...He has the size/speed ratio Parcells likes...
  16. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I am curious to see if Brady continues on what seems to have been a nice offseason.

    I would think the battle between him and Dex may be one of the top things to watch for in camp.
  17. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Kalen Thronton was once regarded as a legit NFL defensive end prospect at Texas, but he never got over the hump.

    I hope he transitions well to the OLB/DE role Parcells looks to have in mind for him and he must hitch his wagon to special teams to buy developmental time, IMO.
  18. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Expectations are clearly up for Mr. Bradie James.

    Parcells has lovingly dispensed plenty of cheese in his direction during his few press conferences.

    I think Parcells wants James to become the weakside starter and for Coakley to accept a role as a nickel 'backer.

    Coke needs to make more big plays if he wants to keep his job, IMO.

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