Dallas Cowboys meet fans in California
1. Quarterback Tony Romo is not overweight. There was a picture that went viral on Saturday of a seemingly portly Romo running out on the practice field. The picture was misleading. It was taken at a bad angle. Romo will never be confused with a bodybuilder, but he is not overweight and out of shape. Romo had his busiest and most productive off-season since 2012. Don’t be misled. He is fit and ready to go.
2. Orlando Scandrick is working at left cornerback with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne alternating at right cornerback when the Cowboys are in their regular defense. When the Cowboys go nickel, as they will 70 percent of the time or more in the season opener against the New York Giants, Carr will be on the right side and Claiborne will be on the left. But there is no question that Scandrick is the team’s No. 1 cornerback. He is ahead of where he was last year despite coming off season-long rehab and he will be counted on to make plays.
3. Rookie linebacker Jaylon Smith opened camp on the non-football injury list and continues to be a long way from contributing. The Cowboys remain high on him. Vice president Stephen Jones believes one year from now everyone will be raving about Smith and talking about he might have been one of the best draft picks in history of the franchise. We just have to get to next year.
4. Defensive end remains a mess for the Cowboys on paper with DeMarcus Lawrence suspended for four games and Randy Gregory possibly out for the season. The Cowboys will trot out the unproven likes of Ryan Russell, David Irving, Charles Tapper, Benson Mayowa, Lawrence Okoye, Mike McAdoo and Zach Wood in practice in hopes of developing a few a capable pass rushers until Lawrence returns. Mayowa and Tapper have the most promise. While the situation itself is depressing, the Cowboys believe they are better off than they were in 2014, when Jeremy Mincey and George Selvie were the starting ends and Lawrence had zero sacks as a rookie. Lavar Edwards was the fourth end. Lawrence is already better than Mincey and Selvie, and the Cowboys believe the rest of the group are more athletic and active overall.
5. Look for Anthony Hitchens to start at middle linebacker in place of the suspended and AWOL Rolando McClain. Hitchens will most likely handle running downs with the Cowboys putting Justin Durant on the field next to Sean Lee on passing downs. Durant considered retirement before signing with the Cowboys a few weeks ago. The Cowboys want to get the most out of him without wearing him out. Durant has played a full 16 games just once in his nine-year career.