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The Steelers offense and defense looked awful in last night 31-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.    This team looked flat in their last dress rehearsal before opening day against the Cleveland Browns.  The main story was from the day before when running backs Le’ Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were arrested for marijuana possession, and Bell was also charged with driving under the influence of the drug.  I am disgusted with their actions and both should be punished for embarrassing the Steelers organization.  The NFL will wait for the legal matter to play it selves out.  They have to take random drug tests for the rest of the careers, and if either of them screw up again both men could face a 4 game suspension under the NFL substance abuse policy.  Head Coach Mike Tomlin was upset during the post game news conference, and the Steelers could punish both men without it hurting the team.   Blount has been through 4 teams in five years, and has some discipline problems while at Oregon.   On the other hand, Bell never had any off the field problems before this situation.  Bell is being mentored by Blount, and going in the wrong direction.   The Steelers signed Blount to 2 year contract, but could cut him after this season.   You win with men of character, but bad character guys could lead your team down the wrong road.   Le’Veon Bell has potential to be a star, but hanging around LeGarrette Blount could ruin it.  If Le’Veon Bell gets in trouble again his NFL career could literally go up in smoke.

I should be talking about the Pirates walkoff win over the Atlanta Braves 3-2 on a Gaby Sanchez sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning.   Instead I have to talk about Steelers running backs, LeGarrette Blount and Le’Veon Bell were picked up for possession of marijuana at McKnight Road an hour before they were going to Philadelphia to play the Eagles tomorrow night.  Bell was also arrested for driving under the influence, and both men had 20 grams of weed plus there was a woman with them.   Blount is with the team in Philadelphia, and Bell paid for his own flight to get there.   Bell took a blood test and it will take a month to be evaluated, and both men could be suspended for four games under the NFL substance abuse policy.  I am disgusted with these arrests and the Steelers should punish them for embarrassing the organization.

I was at the Steelers VS Bills game this evening and this is what I saw.    Ben Roethlisberger looked in midseason form going 8-11 for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Antonio Brown turned a routine catch into a 76 yard touchdown, and Markus Wheaton had a great catch for a touchdown.    Wheaton has made a lot improvement from his rookie year, but he had a finger injury that hampered his development.  Defensively Ryan Shazier had 11 tackles and made an interception they led to a touchdown.   The defense had a great game with 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries.   The second fumble was recovered by Howard Jones, and it led to the game winning field goal by Shaun Suisham to give the Steelers a 19-16 win over the Bills.

However they are areas of concerns that should worry Steelers fans.   The running game was non-existent this evening, and they have to improve that against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.   The run defense gave up 150 yards to the Bills, but it was done against 2nd and 3rd team defense.  The Bills offense had 358 yards overall, and had 84 plays to the Steelers 49.   The back up quarterback situation is a mess because they had two interceptions and two sacks, and if Roethlisberger get hurt the season could go down the tubes.    Thursday night game vs. the Eagles is the last dress rehearsal before the season opener vs. the Cleveland Browns on September 7th.

I attended the Steelers joint practice with the Buffalo Bills.  There was a stretching period and the Steelers were fielding punts via the Jugs machine.   The defensive line was working with the blocking sled.  The secondary was working on man to man coverage, and the quarterbacks were working on  passing drills.   The tight ends and the offensive line were working on blocking drills. Then when the teams started to practice it was wide receivers taking on the defensive backs.   For the Steelers Justin Brown and Lance Moore made some great catches.    Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton each made 2 great catches.   Bills first round pick Sammy Watkins made some great catches as well

When the team went to 11-11 drills LeGarrette Blount and Tauren Poole made some good runs.  C.J Goodwin made some good catches. Ben Roethlisberger made some good throws to Antonio Brown and David Paulson, but the Bills made some good plays on defense.   To close the practice there was some 7-7 drills with some passes complete to Heath Miller, Brown, and Wheaton.   Overall it was good practice and the game Saturday night will answer some questions for the upcoming season.

Read More at Rob Layton Sports

110

THE BOYS BAY-CITY BRAWL - Dallas Cowboys joint practice with Oakland Raiders gets physical, twice - The Boys Are Back 2014

Watch the fight that breaks out between Cowboys and Raiders | :48 | A fight breaks out during joint practices between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders. (Watch Video)

Players react to brawl; Mic’d Up Dez talks trash | 1:34 | See what Morris Claiborne had to say about the hit the instigated the brawl between the Cowboys and the Raiders. Also, listen to Dez Bryant talk some trash during practice. (Watch Video)

Training Camp – Cowboys WR’s vs. Raiders DB’s | 11:00 | Watch the joint practice between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders (Watch Video)

Jason Garrett Press Conference: First day with Oakland Raiders; Fights; Mo Claiborne | 16:43 | Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks with the media prior to today’s practice with the Oakland Raiders. (Watch | Listen)


OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys might have discouraged their players from getting into any altercations with the visiting Oakland Raiders, but it didn’t amount to much.

Two different scuffles between the teams dominated the center stage at an intense joint practice. Things ramped up first for the Cowboys defense first when Morris Claiborne and the Dallas secondary got into it with the Oakland offense.

Videos of the play show Claiborne making a tough tackle on Mychal Rivera near the sideline, dumping him to the ground.

“I just felt like the guy dropped his shoulder on me,” Claiborne said. “I just went up and went for the tackle, because he dropped his shoulder on me, and it turned out a brawl.”

With tensions already high, Oakland receiver Greg Little jumped into things and went after Claiborne. The altercation drew both teams to the sideline, where Little and Bruce Carter wound up going to the ground in a big scrum.

As if the teams weren’t enough, several fans entered the fray, tugging on Anthony Hitchens – and one fan swung a souvenir helmet at B.W. Webb.

“We just got into, man – two teams going after it, and there happened to be some fans, too,” Webb said. “I wasn’t expecting that, but whoever jumped off my back, I had to get them off.”

Not 15 minutes later, as the Dallas Cowboys offense went against the Raiders’ defense, it was J.C. Copeland and Oakland linebacker Justin Cole coming to blows. The pair fought through a long, physical block that only ended when Cole took Copeland’s helmet off, and the rookie dropped the linebacker to the ground.

“He kept putting his hands in my face, and, being the competitive type of man that I am, I just pushed him,” Copeland said.

It might not have been what Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wanted, but Copeland said it was good to get the competitive juices going against another team.

“It really is – I felt good about hitting somebody,” Copeland said. “I hadn’t hit anybody in a long time, so it felt real good.”

Copeland was in good company. Asked about the brawls, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he was excited to see the enthusiasm that resulted in getting two teams together for a practice – specifically teams with large local followings like the Cowboys and Raiders.

“It has always been about my town against yours. It’s always been about my team against your team. This is football,” Jones said. “You don’t really get to play 30 games or 20 games or 10 games with each other. It’s usually one, if it’s a division it’s two, so it really is the pride of going out there and who can get the pigskin in the end zone. So a lot of enthusiasm out here.”

Quick Hits:

  • The Raiders were located in Los Angeles from 1982 until 1994, and they practiced in Oxnard from 1985 until 1995. As a result, there’s a good deal of fan support for the team in the area. Claiborne said that enthusiasm gave him an idea that Tuesday’s practice would bring out a lot of effort – both from the fans and players. “I kind of knew it was going to be like this, because just walking around on the off days, you can see how many Raider fans and stuff are here,” he said.

    • Unlike many of his Raider teammates, Andre Holmes knew all about the Oxnard River Ridge practice fields. Actually it was just two years ago when the wide receiver showed up for Cowboys training camp in 2012 as the favorite to become the No. 3 receiver. Instead, he failed the conditioning test to open camp and never caught up on the depth chart, eventually getting released. Holmes has since landed with the Raiders and is now one of their starting receivers. In his second career start last Thanksgiving, Holmes had 136 yards on seven catches against the Cowboys. While he called that game “huge” for his confidence level, he was just as anxious to practice in a familiar atmosphere.

      “I was very excited to go against some of the corners I had to go against a couple of years ago,” Holmes said. “I know I’m a better player now. It was something I could prove to myself how much better I am. It was so close to being game-tempo that it was good work out here.”

    • Along with Holmes, other former players and coaches with Dallas Cowboys ties include long snapper Jon Condo, who was also once in Oxnard in 2005 training camp. Fullback Jamize Olawale, who was also here back in 2012, remains on the Raiders’ roster. Former Cowboys kicker and kicking coach Chris Boniol is now an assistant with the Raiders.

    • As expected, Tuesday’s attendance was easily the largest of training camp so far with 8,326 fans, which included a large contingent of Raiders fans. The Raiders actually trained at this same facility in Oxnard in the 1990’s.

    • Some of the celebrities in attendance Tuesday included NBA Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

      Notable Standouts:

      • Doug FreeThe veteran tackle enjoyed a nice practice, perhaps even better than camp standout Tyron Smith. The Raiders sent their three best pass rushers – Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack and Lamarr Woodley – against the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, and Free excelled. He stymied Tuck during his only rep of one-on-one drills, and he stuffed the explosive young Mack later on.

        • Morris Claiborne – It stood out to see Claiborne lead the charge for the defense during one of his first day’s back from injury. He wasn’t remotely hesitant to dump Rivera, who weighs in at a solid 6-3, 245 pounds. Cowboys coaches probably don’t want to see fights, but Claiborne’s willingness to hit is encouraging.

        • Jeremy MinceyMincey was one of the only Dallas defensive linemen who excelled in individual work against the Oakland offensive line. He got plenty of reps against the Raiders tackles, and he got around them a variety of ways – both slipping past them and bull rushing them to the ground.

          Play of the Day:

          It’s hard to pick a play other than the one  that started all the commotion. Rivera caught a short route down near the far sideline. Claiborne, who was dropped deep into coverage, raced up the sideline to make the tackle. Rivera dropped his shoulder low, and Claiborne wrapped his arms around him, picked him up and dropped him to the ground. The hit set the tone for the rest of practice.

          Transactions:

          August 9 – The Dallas Cowboys waived rookie free agent punter Cody Mandell (Alabama) and Waived/Injured rookie free agent running back Ben Malena (Texas A&M) on Saturday. The club also signed rookie running back D.J. Adams (Portland State).

          August 12 – The Dallas Cowboys waived guard Andre Cureton and signed guard Stephen Goodin and punter Tom Hornsey. The Cowboys also traded DT Ben Bass to New England for CB Justin Green.

          Injury Report:

          Returned To Practice:  
          CB Sterling Moore (CB) DE George Selvie (groin)
          Missed Practice:   
          DT Henry Melton (groin) CB Tyler Patmon (hip flexor)
          DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) TE Jordan Najvar (ribs, oblique; limited)
          S Matt Johnson (hamstring) WR Dezmon Briscoe (concussion)
          DE DeMarcus Lawrence (ankle) DE Anthony Spencer (knee)
          DT Amobi Okoye (illness) DT Terrell McClain (ankle)

          Upcoming Schedule:

          Wednesday August 13  
          11:45 a.m. (CDT) Jason Garrett press conference
          12:30 p.m. (CDT) Practice with Oakland Raiders
          5:45 p.m. (CDT) Walkthrough
          Thursday, August 14  
          12:30 p.m. (CDT) Walkthrough
          2:00 p.m. (CDT) Jason Garrett press conference
          5:45 p.m. (CDT) Practice

          RELATED: Tony Romo excited about his upcoming action against Baltimore

          OXNARD, CATony Romo should get his first preseason action this weekend.

          Romo said he thinks players have to play in the preseason if they’re able to, and after a couple strong practices, he’s feeling good about where he’s at physically.

          “I’m excited about Baltimore on Saturday,” Romo said. “Just kind of getting ready to get out there and play some football.”

          Head coach Jason Garrett said Romo’s looked more like his old self the last couple days, and that’s been evident with more accuracy on the deep ball. Romo said there’s no perfect guideline to go with as he returns from his back surgery, but he’s just been going as hard as his body’s telling him to.

          As days go by and his core continues to get strengthened, Romo continues to do more and more. He said after an offseason surgery, a player has to get back on the field to relearn some of the smaller things of the game.

          Because of that and to get the speed of the game down again, Romo believes getting work in the preseason is crucial.

          “I do know that from my perspective this game is not something you can just show up for and think that you can do,” he said. “I think it’s been proven far too many times that if you take too long of a break or don’t get reps under you that you can be exposed in certain areas.

          “I’m a firm believer that you have to play football to get better at football, and football’s a way of life. It’s not just a sometimes thing. It’s an all the time thing if you’re going to be a great player, and I think if you have the opportunity to play, you’ve got to play.”

          This will be Romo’s first game since the Week 16 tilt against the Redskins that ended his season early, but not before some late heroics in a win. Despite that, he said there’s not much more eagerness this week as there would be for any game he suits up for.

          “They’re always exciting,” Romo said. “The first time you play, your first game, your first road game…every game that you play, you’re not guaranteed anything. So it’s special just to play football. It’s special to play for the team that I get to play for. It’s special to get out there and put that helmet on. To me, I don’t take that for granted. It’s a great feeling when you do get out there.”

          Some people believe Romo needs more work after missing a lot of time in the offseason. Others may believe he needs less time to protect his back. Romo said it’s not really one or the other.

          “You need as much as you need to get ready,” Romo said. “Obviously, the older guys and the guys that have been through it probably don’t need as many reps as some of the younger guys. But at the same token, I think you always want to be that guy who wants the reps. As soon as you stop wanting reps, you’re in trouble.”

          If and when Romo gets in this weekend, it’ll be the first look at what happens when he deals with some contact. Although, according to Romo, he’s not concerned with that.

          “I took a hit from DeMarco actually the other day when I was dropping back, so I feel like I got that out of the way,” he said with a smile. “The second hit’s just nothing.”

          RELATED VIDEO: Tony Romo – Preseason reps; Scandrick suspension | 2:03 | Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo speaks after practice with the Oakland Raiders and discussed a handful of team issues. (Watch | Listen)

          Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, David Helman, Jason Garrett Press Conference, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Preseason, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys training camp 2014-2015, Morris Claiborne, Oakland Raiders

          Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

          99

          THE BOYS BAY-CITY BRAWL - Dallas Cowboys joint practice with Oakland Raiders gets physical, twice - The Boys Are Back 2014

          Watch the fight that breaks out between Cowboys and Raiders | :48 | A fight breaks out during joint practices between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders. (Watch Video)

          Players react to brawl; Mic’d Up Dez talks trash | 1:34 | See what Morris Claiborne had to say about the hit the instigated the brawl between the Cowboys and the Raiders. Also, listen to Dez Bryant talk some trash during practice. (Watch Video)

          Training Camp – Cowboys WR’s vs. Raiders DB’s | 11:00 | Watch the joint practice between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders (Watch Video)

          Jason Garrett Press Conference: First day with Oakland Raiders; Fights; Mo Claiborne | 16:43 | Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks with the media prior to today’s practice with the Oakland Raiders. (Watch | Listen)


          OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys might have discouraged their players from getting into any altercations with the visiting Oakland Raiders, but it didn’t amount to much.

          Two different scuffles between the teams dominated the center stage at an intense joint practice. Things ramped up first for the Cowboys defense first when Morris Claiborne and the Dallas secondary got into it with the Oakland offense.

          Videos of the play show Claiborne making a tough tackle on Mychal Rivera near the sideline, dumping him to the ground.

          “I just felt like the guy dropped his shoulder on me,” Claiborne said. “I just went up and went for the tackle, because he dropped his shoulder on me, and it turned out a brawl.”

          With tensions already high, Oakland receiver Greg Little jumped into things and went after Claiborne. The altercation drew both teams to the sideline, where Little and Bruce Carter wound up going to the ground in a big scrum.

          As if the teams weren’t enough, several fans entered the fray, tugging on Anthony Hitchens – and one fan swung a souvenir helmet at B.W. Webb.

          “We just got into, man – two teams going after it, and there happened to be some fans, too,” Webb said. “I wasn’t expecting that, but whoever jumped off my back, I had to get them off.”

          Not 15 minutes later, as the Dallas Cowboys offense went against the Raiders’ defense, it was J.C. Copeland and Oakland linebacker Justin Cole coming to blows. The pair fought through a long, physical block that only ended when Cole took Copeland’s helmet off, and the rookie dropped the linebacker to the ground.

          “He kept putting his hands in my face, and, being the competitive type of man that I am, I just pushed him,” Copeland said.

          It might not have been what Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wanted, but Copeland said it was good to get the competitive juices going against another team.

          “It really is – I felt good about hitting somebody,” Copeland said. “I hadn’t hit anybody in a long time, so it felt real good.”

          Copeland was in good company. Asked about the brawls, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he was excited to see the enthusiasm that resulted in getting two teams together for a practice – specifically teams with large local followings like the Cowboys and Raiders.

          “It has always been about my town against yours. It’s always been about my team against your team. This is football,” Jones said. “You don’t really get to play 30 games or 20 games or 10 games with each other. It’s usually one, if it’s a division it’s two, so it really is the pride of going out there and who can get the pigskin in the end zone. So a lot of enthusiasm out here.”

          Quick Hits:

          • The Raiders were located in Los Angeles from 1982 until 1994, and they practiced in Oxnard from 1985 until 1995. As a result, there’s a good deal of fan support for the team in the area. Claiborne said that enthusiasm gave him an idea that Tuesday’s practice would bring out a lot of effort – both from the fans and players. “I kind of knew it was going to be like this, because just walking around on the off days, you can see how many Raider fans and stuff are here,” he said.

            • Unlike many of his Raider teammates, Andre Holmes knew all about the Oxnard River Ridge practice fields. Actually it was just two years ago when the wide receiver showed up for Cowboys training camp in 2012 as the favorite to become the No. 3 receiver. Instead, he failed the conditioning test to open camp and never caught up on the depth chart, eventually getting released. Holmes has since landed with the Raiders and is now one of their starting receivers. In his second career start last Thanksgiving, Holmes had 136 yards on seven catches against the Cowboys. While he called that game “huge” for his confidence level, he was just as anxious to practice in a familiar atmosphere.

              “I was very excited to go against some of the corners I had to go against a couple of years ago,” Holmes said. “I know I’m a better player now. It was something I could prove to myself how much better I am. It was so close to being game-tempo that it was good work out here.”

            • Along with Holmes, other former players and coaches with Dallas Cowboys ties include long snapper Jon Condo, who was also once in Oxnard in 2005 training camp. Fullback Jamize Olawale, who was also here back in 2012, remains on the Raiders’ roster. Former Cowboys kicker and kicking coach Chris Boniol is now an assistant with the Raiders.

            • As expected, Tuesday’s attendance was easily the largest of training camp so far with 8,326 fans, which included a large contingent of Raiders fans. The Raiders actually trained at this same facility in Oxnard in the 1990’s.

            • Some of the celebrities in attendance Tuesday included NBA Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

              Notable Standouts:

              • Doug FreeThe veteran tackle enjoyed a nice practice, perhaps even better than camp standout Tyron Smith. The Raiders sent their three best pass rushers – Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack and Lamarr Woodley – against the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, and Free excelled. He stymied Tuck during his only rep of one-on-one drills, and he stuffed the explosive young Mack later on.

                • Morris Claiborne – It stood out to see Claiborne lead the charge for the defense during one of his first day’s back from injury. He wasn’t remotely hesitant to dump Rivera, who weighs in at a solid 6-3, 245 pounds. Cowboys coaches probably don’t want to see fights, but Claiborne’s willingness to hit is encouraging.

                • Jeremy MinceyMincey was one of the only Dallas defensive linemen who excelled in individual work against the Oakland offensive line. He got plenty of reps against the Raiders tackles, and he got around them a variety of ways – both slipping past them and bull rushing them to the ground.

                  Play of the Day:

                  It’s hard to pick a play other than the one  that started all the commotion. Rivera caught a short route down near the far sideline. Claiborne, who was dropped deep into coverage, raced up the sideline to make the tackle. Rivera dropped his shoulder low, and Claiborne wrapped his arms around him, picked him up and dropped him to the ground. The hit set the tone for the rest of practice.

                  Transactions:

                  August 9 – The Dallas Cowboys waived rookie free agent punter Cody Mandell (Alabama) and Waived/Injured rookie free agent running back Ben Malena (Texas A&M) on Saturday. The club also signed rookie running back D.J. Adams (Portland State).

                  August 12 – The Dallas Cowboys waived guard Andre Cureton and signed guard Stephen Goodin and punter Tom Hornsey. The Cowboys also traded DT Ben Bass to New England for CB Justin Green.

                  Injury Report:

                  Returned To Practice:  
                  CB Sterling Moore (CB) DE George Selvie (groin)
                  Missed Practice:   
                  DT Henry Melton (groin) CB Tyler Patmon (hip flexor)
                  DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) TE Jordan Najvar (ribs, oblique; limited)
                  S Matt Johnson (hamstring) WR Dezmon Briscoe (concussion)
                  DE DeMarcus Lawrence (ankle) DE Anthony Spencer (knee)
                  DT Amobi Okoye (illness) DT Terrell McClain (ankle)

                  Upcoming Schedule:

                  Wednesday August 13  
                  11:45 a.m. (CDT) Jason Garrett press conference
                  12:30 p.m. (CDT) Practice with Oakland Raiders
                  5:45 p.m. (CDT) Walkthrough
                  Thursday, August 14  
                  12:30 p.m. (CDT) Walkthrough
                  2:00 p.m. (CDT) Jason Garrett press conference
                  5:45 p.m. (CDT) Practice

                  RELATED: Tony Romo excited about his upcoming action against Baltimore

                  OXNARD, CATony Romo should get his first preseason action this weekend.

                  Romo said he thinks players have to play in the preseason if they’re able to, and after a couple strong practices, he’s feeling good about where he’s at physically.

                  “I’m excited about Baltimore on Saturday,” Romo said. “Just kind of getting ready to get out there and play some football.”

                  Head coach Jason Garrett said Romo’s looked more like his old self the last couple days, and that’s been evident with more accuracy on the deep ball. Romo said there’s no perfect guideline to go with as he returns from his back surgery, but he’s just been going as hard as his body’s telling him to.

                  As days go by and his core continues to get strengthened, Romo continues to do more and more. He said after an offseason surgery, a player has to get back on the field to relearn some of the smaller things of the game.

                  Because of that and to get the speed of the game down again, Romo believes getting work in the preseason is crucial.

                  “I do know that from my perspective this game is not something you can just show up for and think that you can do,” he said. “I think it’s been proven far too many times that if you take too long of a break or don’t get reps under you that you can be exposed in certain areas.

                  “I’m a firm believer that you have to play football to get better at football, and football’s a way of life. It’s not just a sometimes thing. It’s an all the time thing if you’re going to be a great player, and I think if you have the opportunity to play, you’ve got to play.”

                  This will be Romo’s first game since the Week 16 tilt against the Redskins that ended his season early, but not before some late heroics in a win. Despite that, he said there’s not much more eagerness this week as there would be for any game he suits up for.

                  “They’re always exciting,” Romo said. “The first time you play, your first game, your first road game…every game that you play, you’re not guaranteed anything. So it’s special just to play football. It’s special to play for the team that I get to play for. It’s special to get out there and put that helmet on. To me, I don’t take that for granted. It’s a great feeling when you do get out there.”

                  Some people believe Romo needs more work after missing a lot of time in the offseason. Others may believe he needs less time to protect his back. Romo said it’s not really one or the other.

                  “You need as much as you need to get ready,” Romo said. “Obviously, the older guys and the guys that have been through it probably don’t need as many reps as some of the younger guys. But at the same token, I think you always want to be that guy who wants the reps. As soon as you stop wanting reps, you’re in trouble.”

                  If and when Romo gets in this weekend, it’ll be the first look at what happens when he deals with some contact. Although, according to Romo, he’s not concerned with that.

                  “I took a hit from DeMarco actually the other day when I was dropping back, so I feel like I got that out of the way,” he said with a smile. “The second hit’s just nothing.”

                  RELATED VIDEO: Tony Romo – Preseason reps; Scandrick suspension | 2:03 | Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo speaks after practice with the Oakland Raiders and discussed a handful of team issues. (Watch | Listen)

                  Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, David Helman, Jason Garrett Press Conference, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Preseason, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys training camp 2014-2015, Morris Claiborne, Oakland Raiders

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

                  132

                  2014 PRESEASON ROSTER RUNDOWN - Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr returns - The Boys Are Back website 2014

                  Brandon Carr: I Worked Out In a Church Parking Lot | 5:07 | Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr returned to training camp after the passing of his mother last week. He talked about those difficult times and the support he received from his teammates. (Watch | Listen)


                  OXNARD, CA – For a couple of weeks while his teammates were out in California grinding through training camp, Brandon Carr was in the middle of his own grind.

                  Trying to be the rock of his family that was losing their mother, Carr was in Flint, Michigan tending to his mother, who passed away of cancer on July 31. With the funeral taking place last Tuesday, coupled with the Dallas Cowboys game in San Diego, Carr didn’t reunite with his teammates here in Oxnard until Friday night, followed by a walk-through Saturday morning.

                  But don’t think it was Carr’s first physical activity in the last few weeks. The veteran cornerback found some time and locations during his Michigan stay to keep his body somewhat in football shape.

                  “Wherever … Next door at the church parking lot or the church yard or I’d go to my high school or I’d go to another high school and mess up their turf,” Carr said. “Just wherever I could get a couple free hours of being away from the house. My brother did a great job of just kind of training me and helping me, push me along the way.”

                  While Carr was obviously wanting to be with his teammates at camp, he knew he was at the spot he needed to be.

                  “At the end of the day, you only get one mother,” Carr said. “This time, I had to be home. We had a wonderful week together and did a lot of great things, and I can smile about it.”

                  Carr also said he’s hopeful he can take some of this emotional experience and apply to the field this season.

                  “It’s been extremely tough, man,” Carr said. “Somebody that you’ve known your whole life that’s raised you, that’s made you a product of their environment. To see them fight the way they fought in the end and still be selfless, I’ve learned a lot from the situation about myself and just about life. Hopefully, I can use some of those things I’ve learned throughout the season this year.”

                  Head coach Jason Garrett has reiterated several times the Dallas Cowboys will give Carr or any other player all the time needed to deal with family matters. Obviously, he was excited to have one of his defensive leaders back on the field.

                  “It’s great to have him back. The last couple of weeks have been really challenging for him,” Garrett said Saturday. “It was the right thing for him to be there and to be with his family during this tough time. Now, somehow someway he’s got to get his mind rind and back to football the best he can. We’ll see how he is on the practice field and get him ready to go as fast as we can.”

                  The Cowboys certainly need Carr and any other healthy cornerback on the field. Along with his absence, the defense has been without injured corners Morris Claiborne (knee), Sterling Moore (groin) and Tyler Patmon (hip). Rookie DaShaun Phillips was injured as well and cut, forcing the Cowboys to sign Korey Lindsey, who had to play Thursday night without a single practice.

                  The Cowboys have unfortunately dealt with two other similar situations in the past year. Safety J.J. Wilcox had to leave camp last year as a rookie when his mother passed away. In December, Claiborne lost his father as well.

                  During Saturday morning’s walk-through, both Carr and Claiborne were back on the practice and rotating with Orlando Scandrick for first-team reps.

                  “We welcomed him back with open arms. That’s my guy. I love Brandon — and having him back, having him around, it takes a lot off us all,” Claiborne said. “Having his spirit around lifts us up. It’s one of those things where you don’t want to always bring it up. Like today, I wanted to ask him ‘How are you doing – like literally, how are you?’ He’s taking it like he should and things happen. You have to handle them a certain way, and he’s been handling it great.”

                  Carr said he was more than appreciative of the support he’s received from the Dallas Cowboys.

                  “Once again, they’ve done a great job of making me feel comfortable and letting me know they have my support and my back even though I was absent,” Carr said. “They sent flowers, food – they took care of myself and my family. It’s just a great big thank you to the organization. I got a lot of texts from guys who have been through similar situations. They were great for me. I’m just happy to get here and get ready to work with them.”


                  RELATED: Rookie OG Brian Clarke cut; replaced with AFL veteran OG Wayne Tribue

                  OXNARD, CA – Avoiding injuries is a huge task for all players at training camp, but especially the ones at the bottom of the roster fighting for a spot. Unfortunately for those guys, injuries can mean the end of the line, even before the first preseason game.

                  That was the case for guard Brian Clarke, a rookie free agent from Bloomsburg. Clarke’s groin injury forced the Dallas Cowboys to place him on the waive/injured list. That roster spot opened the door for the club to add guard Wayne Tribue, who worked out with the club August 3rd and officially signed his deal on the 4th.

                  Tribue was an undrafted free agent from Temple in 2012 and signed with the Broncos and spent just a week on the practice squad. He then joined the Saints and 49ers over the last year and was recently with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.

                  Tribue has an uphill battle to make the team at a guard position that features first-round pick Zack Martin, along with Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary on the left side. Veteran Uche Nwaneri has received some reps along with rookie Andre Cureton (waived, see below).


                  RELATED: Team adds Stephen Goodin, Tom Hornsey; releases Andre Cureton and Cody Mandell

                  OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys switched out a guard and a punter.

                  They added guard Stephen Goodin and waived guard Andre Cureton. They also added punter Tom Hornsey with the roster spot opened up by punter Cody Mandell’s release.

                  Hornsey won the 2013 Ray Guy Award for the best college football punter while playing for Memphis. The Australian isn’t the typical size for a punter at 6-3, 220 pounds and was a former Australian Rules Football player.

                  He went undrafted this year and spent time in rookie minicamp with the Jets. Hornsey led the nation with 95 punts in 2011 and averaged at least 42 yards per kick all four seasons at Memphis. He also had a long of at least 63 yards each of those four seasons.

                  Hornsey’s best year came this past season, as he averaged 45.2 yards per punt with a long of 79 yards. Given his size and athleticism, he was also a threat to fake and run.  He ran the ball once each of his past three seasons and got at least 14 yards each time.

                  Punter Chris Jones is still the front runner for the job.

                  Goodin has spent the majority of his career on the New York Giants practice squad, suiting up for one game with the team in 2013. The 6-6, 310-pound guard is a 25-year-old out of Nebraska-Kearney.


                  RELATED: New Dallas Cowboys DB’s to debut against San Diego without practice

                  OXNARD, CA – Cornerback Morris Claiborne didn’t play in last Thursday’s game against San Diego, as he continues to work his way back from tendonitis in his knee.

                  “… I’ll be doing the routine they have me doing on the field,” said Claiborne following the Cowboys morning walkthrough. “I’ll be doing some drills on the field, so I won’t be practicing.”

                  Claiborne is one of several hampered corners at a position that hasn’t been at 100 percent capacity since the start of camp. Brandon Carr has been absent since the Cowboys arrived in California, as he copes with the death of his mother. Claiborne hurt his knee last week, and that was quickly followed by injuries to Sterling Moore and Dashaun Phillips.

                  To offset those losses, the Dallas Cowboys brought in several new faces at the position. The team signed two new defensive backs – Korey Lindsey and Johnny Thomas.

                  Lindsey was a seventh-round draft pick out of Southern Illinois in 2011, and he has spent time with six NFL teams in the past three years. Thomas, a safety, played for Oklahoma State, where he was ruled ineligible for the 2011 season. He went undrafted in 2012.

                  Claiborne said he’ll continue to work on rehabbing his knee.

                  “I’m getting back – we’re just kind of managing it,” he said. “It is what it is. I’ll be doing the same thing I’ve been doing every day and just rehabbing.”

                  Claiborne said his hope going forward is to be ready to practice when the Dallas Cowboys return from San Diego, and to be ready to play for the second preseason game on Aug. 16 against Baltimore.

                  Coping with his third injury stint in as many training camps, Claiborne insisted he isn’t frustrated with the situation.

                  “I’m at a good place right now, I’m good. I’m not stressed out over anything,” he said. “I know this is like the third year that I’m missing time, but I’m in a better place right now than I was those last two years.”


                  RELATED: Club expected to sign rookie RB D.J. Adams; release Ben Malena

                  OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys are expected to sign rookie running back D.J. Adams, following an injury to Ben Malena against the San Diego Chargers.

                  Malena suffered a quad strain during a kick return in San Diego and has needed crutches in the days since. The Dallas Cowboys will likely waive/injure him to make room for Adams on the roster.

                  Coincidentally enough, Adams last team before this was the Chargers, who just beat the Cowboys in each team’s preseason debut. Adams played two seasons for Maryland, where he rushed for 239 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman.

                  He transferred to Portland State for his junior season, and he tallied 967 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 164 carries – an average of 5.8 yards per carry. He assumed the starting spot in 2013, and he tallied a fantastic 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns in 12 games.

                  The Chargers released him during their June minicamp in order to make room for a defensive signing.

                  Malena seemed like a longshot to make the roster, given the wealth of running backs above him on the depth chart, but the Cowboys were impressed with what he was able to show in his touches. If Adams can stick, he’ll be one of the guys the team looks to toward the tail end of the preseason.

                  Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys Roster moves, David Helman, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Preseason, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Nick Eatman, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Brandon Carr, Dallas Cowboys roster 2014-2015, Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Morris Claiborne

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

                  104

                  2014 PRESEASON ROSTER RUNDOWN - Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr returns - The Boys Are Back website 2014

                  Brandon Carr: I Worked Out In a Church Parking Lot | 5:07 | Dallas Cowboys CB Brandon Carr returned to training camp after the passing of his mother last week. He talked about those difficult times and the support he received from his teammates. (Watch | Listen)


                  OXNARD, CA – For a couple of weeks while his teammates were out in California grinding through training camp, Brandon Carr was in the middle of his own grind.

                  Trying to be the rock of his family that was losing their mother, Carr was in Flint, Michigan tending to his mother, who passed away of cancer on July 31. With the funeral taking place last Tuesday, coupled with the Dallas Cowboys game in San Diego, Carr didn’t reunite with his teammates here in Oxnard until Friday night, followed by a walk-through Saturday morning.

                  But don’t think it was Carr’s first physical activity in the last few weeks. The veteran cornerback found some time and locations during his Michigan stay to keep his body somewhat in football shape.

                  “Wherever … Next door at the church parking lot or the church yard or I’d go to my high school or I’d go to another high school and mess up their turf,” Carr said. “Just wherever I could get a couple free hours of being away from the house. My brother did a great job of just kind of training me and helping me, push me along the way.”

                  While Carr was obviously wanting to be with his teammates at camp, he knew he was at the spot he needed to be.

                  “At the end of the day, you only get one mother,” Carr said. “This time, I had to be home. We had a wonderful week together and did a lot of great things, and I can smile about it.”

                  Carr also said he’s hopeful he can take some of this emotional experience and apply to the field this season.

                  “It’s been extremely tough, man,” Carr said. “Somebody that you’ve known your whole life that’s raised you, that’s made you a product of their environment. To see them fight the way they fought in the end and still be selfless, I’ve learned a lot from the situation about myself and just about life. Hopefully, I can use some of those things I’ve learned throughout the season this year.”

                  Head coach Jason Garrett has reiterated several times the Dallas Cowboys will give Carr or any other player all the time needed to deal with family matters. Obviously, he was excited to have one of his defensive leaders back on the field.

                  “It’s great to have him back. The last couple of weeks have been really challenging for him,” Garrett said Saturday. “It was the right thing for him to be there and to be with his family during this tough time. Now, somehow someway he’s got to get his mind rind and back to football the best he can. We’ll see how he is on the practice field and get him ready to go as fast as we can.”

                  The Cowboys certainly need Carr and any other healthy cornerback on the field. Along with his absence, the defense has been without injured corners Morris Claiborne (knee), Sterling Moore (groin) and Tyler Patmon (hip). Rookie DaShaun Phillips was injured as well and cut, forcing the Cowboys to sign Korey Lindsey, who had to play Thursday night without a single practice.

                  The Cowboys have unfortunately dealt with two other similar situations in the past year. Safety J.J. Wilcox had to leave camp last year as a rookie when his mother passed away. In December, Claiborne lost his father as well.

                  During Saturday morning’s walk-through, both Carr and Claiborne were back on the practice and rotating with Orlando Scandrick for first-team reps.

                  “We welcomed him back with open arms. That’s my guy. I love Brandon — and having him back, having him around, it takes a lot off us all,” Claiborne said. “Having his spirit around lifts us up. It’s one of those things where you don’t want to always bring it up. Like today, I wanted to ask him ‘How are you doing – like literally, how are you?’ He’s taking it like he should and things happen. You have to handle them a certain way, and he’s been handling it great.”

                  Carr said he was more than appreciative of the support he’s received from the Dallas Cowboys.

                  “Once again, they’ve done a great job of making me feel comfortable and letting me know they have my support and my back even though I was absent,” Carr said. “They sent flowers, food – they took care of myself and my family. It’s just a great big thank you to the organization. I got a lot of texts from guys who have been through similar situations. They were great for me. I’m just happy to get here and get ready to work with them.”


                  RELATED: Rookie OG Brian Clarke cut; replaced with AFL veteran OG Wayne Tribue

                  OXNARD, CA – Avoiding injuries is a huge task for all players at training camp, but especially the ones at the bottom of the roster fighting for a spot. Unfortunately for those guys, injuries can mean the end of the line, even before the first preseason game.

                  That was the case for guard Brian Clarke, a rookie free agent from Bloomsburg. Clarke’s groin injury forced the Dallas Cowboys to place him on the waive/injured list. That roster spot opened the door for the club to add guard Wayne Tribue, who worked out with the club August 3rd and officially signed his deal on the 4th.

                  Tribue was an undrafted free agent from Temple in 2012 and signed with the Broncos and spent just a week on the practice squad. He then joined the Saints and 49ers over the last year and was recently with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League.

                  Tribue has an uphill battle to make the team at a guard position that features first-round pick Zack Martin, along with Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary on the left side. Veteran Uche Nwaneri has received some reps along with rookie Andre Cureton (waived, see below).


                  RELATED: Team adds Stephen Goodin, Tom Hornsey; releases Andre Cureton and Cody Mandell

                  OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys switched out a guard and a punter.

                  They added guard Stephen Goodin and waived guard Andre Cureton. They also added punter Tom Hornsey with the roster spot opened up by punter Cody Mandell’s release.

                  Hornsey won the 2013 Ray Guy Award for the best college football punter while playing for Memphis. The Australian isn’t the typical size for a punter at 6-3, 220 pounds and was a former Australian Rules Football player.

                  He went undrafted this year and spent time in rookie minicamp with the Jets. Hornsey led the nation with 95 punts in 2011 and averaged at least 42 yards per kick all four seasons at Memphis. He also had a long of at least 63 yards each of those four seasons.

                  Hornsey’s best year came this past season, as he averaged 45.2 yards per punt with a long of 79 yards. Given his size and athleticism, he was also a threat to fake and run.  He ran the ball once each of his past three seasons and got at least 14 yards each time.

                  Punter Chris Jones is still the front runner for the job.

                  Goodin has spent the majority of his career on the New York Giants practice squad, suiting up for one game with the team in 2013. The 6-6, 310-pound guard is a 25-year-old out of Nebraska-Kearney.


                  RELATED: New Dallas Cowboys DB’s to debut against San Diego without practice

                  OXNARD, CA – Cornerback Morris Claiborne didn’t play in last Thursday’s game against San Diego, as he continues to work his way back from tendonitis in his knee.

                  “… I’ll be doing the routine they have me doing on the field,” said Claiborne following the Cowboys morning walkthrough. “I’ll be doing some drills on the field, so I won’t be practicing.”

                  Claiborne is one of several hampered corners at a position that hasn’t been at 100 percent capacity since the start of camp. Brandon Carr has been absent since the Cowboys arrived in California, as he copes with the death of his mother. Claiborne hurt his knee last week, and that was quickly followed by injuries to Sterling Moore and Dashaun Phillips.

                  To offset those losses, the Dallas Cowboys brought in several new faces at the position. The team signed two new defensive backs – Korey Lindsey and Johnny Thomas.

                  Lindsey was a seventh-round draft pick out of Southern Illinois in 2011, and he has spent time with six NFL teams in the past three years. Thomas, a safety, played for Oklahoma State, where he was ruled ineligible for the 2011 season. He went undrafted in 2012.

                  Claiborne said he’ll continue to work on rehabbing his knee.

                  “I’m getting back – we’re just kind of managing it,” he said. “It is what it is. I’ll be doing the same thing I’ve been doing every day and just rehabbing.”

                  Claiborne said his hope going forward is to be ready to practice when the Dallas Cowboys return from San Diego, and to be ready to play for the second preseason game on Aug. 16 against Baltimore.

                  Coping with his third injury stint in as many training camps, Claiborne insisted he isn’t frustrated with the situation.

                  “I’m at a good place right now, I’m good. I’m not stressed out over anything,” he said. “I know this is like the third year that I’m missing time, but I’m in a better place right now than I was those last two years.”


                  RELATED: Club expected to sign rookie RB D.J. Adams; release Ben Malena

                  OXNARD, CA – The Dallas Cowboys are expected to sign rookie running back D.J. Adams, following an injury to Ben Malena against the San Diego Chargers.

                  Malena suffered a quad strain during a kick return in San Diego and has needed crutches in the days since. The Dallas Cowboys will likely waive/injure him to make room for Adams on the roster.

                  Coincidentally enough, Adams last team before this was the Chargers, who just beat the Cowboys in each team’s preseason debut. Adams played two seasons for Maryland, where he rushed for 239 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman.

                  He transferred to Portland State for his junior season, and he tallied 967 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 164 carries – an average of 5.8 yards per carry. He assumed the starting spot in 2013, and he tallied a fantastic 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns in 12 games.

                  The Chargers released him during their June minicamp in order to make room for a defensive signing.

                  Malena seemed like a longshot to make the roster, given the wealth of running backs above him on the depth chart, but the Cowboys were impressed with what he was able to show in his touches. If Adams can stick, he’ll be one of the guys the team looks to toward the tail end of the preseason.

                  Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys Roster moves, David Helman, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Preseason, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Nick Eatman, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Brandon Carr, Dallas Cowboys roster 2014-2015, Dallas Cowboys schedule 2014 2015, Morris Claiborne

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

                   

                  The NFL Season is almost here, and for the third straight year I will be making my NFL Season predictions. (here are my picks from 2012  http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2012/08/2012-nfl-predictions.html and 2013 http://noodleofnam.blogspot.com/2013/09/2013-nfl-predictions.html ) Feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think! Are you ready for some football!?

                   

                  AFC East

                  New England Patriots 12-4
                  Miami Dolphins 9-7
                  New York Jets 8-8
                  Buffalo Bills 6-10

                   

                  AFC North

                  Cincinnati Bengals 11-5
                  Baltimore Ravens 9-7
                  Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
                  Cleveland Browns 4-12

                   

                  AFC South

                  Indianapolis Colts 11-5
                  Tennessee Titans 10-6
                  Houston Texans 8-8
                  Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11

                  AFC West

                  Denver Broncos 12-4
                  San Diego Chargers 11-5
                  Kansas City Chiefs 8-8
                  Oakland Raiders 4-12

                  NFC East

                  Philadelphia Eagles 11-5
                  Dallas Cowboys 9-7
                  New York Giants 7-9
                  Washington Redskins 7-9

                  NFC North

                  Green Bay Packers 12-4
                  Chicago Bears 10-6
                  Detroit Lions 9-7
                  Minnesota Vikings 5-11

                  NFC South

                  New Orleans Saints 12-4
                  Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6
                  Atlanta Falcons 8-8
                  Carolina Panthers 3-13

                   

                  NFC West

                  Seattle Seahawks 13-3
                  San Francisco 49ers 9-7
                  St. Louis Rams 8-8
                  Arizona Cardinals 6-10

                   

                   

                  Playoffs

                  NFC Wild Card

                  Green Bay vs Tampa Bay

                  Philadelphia vs Chicago

                  NFC Divisional Round

                  Seattle vs Philadelphia

                  New Orleans vs Green Bay

                  NFC Championship

                  Seattle vs New Orleans

                  AFC Wild Card

                  Cincinnati vs Tennessee

                  Indianapolis vs San Diego

                  AFC Divisional Round

                  Denver vs Tennessee

                  New England vs San Diego

                  AFC Championship

                  Denver vs San Diego

                  Super Bowl

                  Denver vs New Orleans

                  Super Bowl Champions

                  Denver Broncos

                   

                   

                   

                  NFL MVP – Peyton Manning
                  NFL Passing Yards Leader-  Drew Brees 5,234 yards
                  NFL Touchdown Passes Leader- Peyton Manning 48
                  NFL Rushing Yards Leader- Matt Forte 1,673 yards
                  NFL Receiving Yards Leader- Calvin Johnson 2,032 yards
                  Receiving Touchdowns- Demaryius Thomas 15 TD’s
                  Rushing Touchdowns- Marshawn Lynch 14 TD’s
                  Sacks- Robert Quinn 21
                  Interceptions- Brandon Boykin 9
                  Rookie of the Year- Sammy Watkins

                  So there you have it. Those are my 2014 NFL predictions. If you agree, disagree, or think I’m crazy let me know!  But remember, these aren’t anything official, just predictions. And if any of us did have the actual answers Vegas would go broke!

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                  I was at the Steelers night practice at Latrobe Stadium, and it started with walk-throughs.  Then it was divide into offensive line blocking drills and covering punts.     Then more stretching and the offensive line did more blocking drills, plus the defensive line did pass rushing drills.   The quarterbacks did hand offs and screen passes to the running backs.  Defensive backs practiced intercepting passes.  Then the quarterbacks did passing drills to the wide receivers, and the quarterbacks did mobility drills.   Then the receivers took on the defensive backs in drills.   Then there was more special teams drills with kickoff coverage, and for young players you make any NFL team by doing well on special teams.

                  The team went to 11 on 11 drills, and the running game was featured with young running backs Tauren Poole, Miguel Masonyet, Le’Veon Bell, and Josh Harris carrying the ball.  The quarterbacks were able to complete some passes.  I was surprised that free agent quarterback Brendon Kay made some plays.  The only thing that was disappointing there were no goal line drills, but overall it was a good practice.   I will be at St. Vincent College for the scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills next Thursday afternoon at 5:30 P.M.

                  I watched Steelers Training Camp last Monday and this is what I saw.   Despite the rain it was a good practice and the first one with the pads on.  The running game will get a lot of better with an offensive line.  The passing game will be better as well, and Ben Roethlisberger looks in the best shape of his career.   The defense is younger and faster, and that will mean more turnovers and big plays.   The Steelers are coming off two straight 8-8 seasons, and they must have a fast start and that begins against the Cleveland Browns on September 7th.

                   

                  Okay so I had to simply call this the “Receivers Edition” instead of “Wide Receivers Edition” because I am including Tight Ends as well. We will look at upcoming milestones in Receptions, Receiving Yards, and Receiving Touchdowns. So lets get to it! (once again barring unforeseen circumstances).

                  Receptions

                  1,000

                  Andre Johnson- Currently at 927 receptions, Johnson has had 100+ receptions the past two seasons, and will become just the 10th player in NFL history to achieve 1,000 receptions in a career.

                  900

                  Jason Witten- The 9 time Pro Bowler has been an important piece to the Dallas Cowboys offense during his 11 seasons with the team. The Tight End is just a few games in need of reaching the 900 mark. (879 career receptions)

                  Anquan Boldin- Boldin thrived in his first season in San Francisco. Boldin’s 85 receptions last season has currently put him at 857 career receptions.

                  Larry Fitzgerald- His career low in receptions was 58 during his rookie season. Since that time he has currently racked up a total of 846 catches.

                  Wes Welker- When you get to play for quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning like Wes Welker has, then you are going to get your number called quite a bit! Welker is currently at 841 career receptions.

                  Steve Smith- Smith had 64 receptions last season, which is exactly the amount he needs to reach 900. Will definitely get his chances in Baltimore as he will be their new primary threat.

                  800

                  Brandon Marshall- Possibly part of the best wide receiver alongside Alshon Jeffrey in Chicago. No reason to think he (and for that matter Jeffrey) will not keep it. Marshall has had 100+ receptions the past two seasons, bringing his career total to 712.

                  Rest of The Field

                  700

                  Roddy White- 685 career receptions

                  600

                  Calvin Johnson- 572

                  500

                  Greg Jennings- 493

                  Dwayne Bowe- 472

                  Heath Miller- 466

                  Will They?

                  Antonio Gates is currently sitting at 719 receptions. He has only reached 80+ receptions twice in his career, but recorded 77 last season

                  Jerricho Cotchery- Now will be the apparent No.1 Receiver in Carolina, Cotchery may have a shot at reaching 500 career receptions this season. (437 career receptions)

                  Receiving Yards

                  Reggie Wayne- Before a mid-season injury last season, Reggie Wayne achieved the 1,000 reception milestone. Had he not gone done with an injury, Wayne would have been within an arms reach of reaching 15,000 this season. But it is a safe bet that he will get to 14,000 as he currently sits at 13,566 career receiving yards. (But don’t knock him just yet on reaching 15,000 this season either!)

                  Andre Johnson- If consistency continues, Johnson will reach both the 13,000 and 14,000 receiving yard milestones. Currently at 12,661 career receiving yards, Johnson posted 1,407 yards in 2013 and 1,598 in 2012(and has recorded 1,500+ receiving yards in 3 of the last 6 seasons).

                  Steve Smith- Will see a rejuvenation in Smith career this season with a fresh start in Baltimore. needs 803 (12,197 career receiving yards) to reach the 13,000 yard milestone.

                  Will reach 12,000 (may have chance at 13,000)

                  Larry Fitzgerald- 11,367 career receiving yards

                  Anquan Boldin- 11,344 career receiving yards

                  Welcome to the five digits (and more!) club (10,000+)

                  Jason Witten- 9,799 career receiving yards

                  Roddy White- 9,436 career receiving yards

                  Wes Welker- 9,358 career receiving yards

                  Calvin Johnson- 9,328 career receiving yards (I think he will reach 11,000 as well as I have gone on the record to say Megatron will record 2,000 receiving yards this season http://kcsportsninja.com/can-calvin-johnson-crack-the-2000-receiving-yard-mark-in-2014/ )

                  Antonio Gates- 9,193 career receiving yards

                  Brandon Marshall- 9,050 career receiving yards

                  9,000

                  Marques Colston- 8,337 career receiving yards

                  8000

                  Vincent Jackson- 7,362 career receiving yards

                  Greg Jennings- 7,344 career receiving yards

                  Touchdown Receptions

                  90

                  Larry Fitzgerald- 87  career TD Receptions

                  Antonio Gates- 87 career TD Receptions

                  *Note* If both match their career highs (13) they will reach 100 career TD Reception milestone in the process.

                  70

                  Steve Smith- 67 career TD Receptions

                  Calvin Johnson- 66 career TD Receptions

                  Anquan Boldin- 65 career TD Receptions

                  Marques Colston- 63 career TD Receptions

                  Will He?

                  Andre Johnson has 61 career TD Receptions but has only record 9 in a single season once.

                  60

                  Brandon Marshall- 57 career TD Receptions (If continues trend of past two seasons of having one more TD than previous season, 11 in 2012, 12 in 2013, then 70 may also be reached by Marshall)

                  Greg Jennings- 57 career TD Receptions

                  Roddy White- 55 career TD Receptions

                  Vernon Davis- 53 career TD Receptions

                  Will They?

                  Vincent Jackson has 52 career TD Receptions, but has had one less TD in each of the past three seasons (2011- 9 TD Receptions, 2012- 8 TD Receptions, 7 TD Receptions)

                  Jason Witten- Had 8 TD Receptions last season. Only had one other season with 8 or more TD’s in a season (9 in 2010)

                  50

                  Wes Welker- 48 career TD Receptions (With Peyton Manning as his QB, had career best with 10 TD Receptions last season. Perhaps may reach 60 as well if he continues build off that)

                  Rob Gronkowski- 42 career TD Receptions

                  Jimmy Graham- 41 career TD Receptions

                  Dez Bryant- 40 career TD Receptions

                  Will They?

                  Dwayne Bowe- Has 44 career TD Receptions and his career high is 15 in a season (2010). His rookie season(2007) he had 7. But in his five other seasons, Bowe has had 5 or less TD’s

                  Heath Miller- 40 career TD Receptions. Will need career year. Most ever recorded in a single season is 8 (2012).

                  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/

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                  After starting off with milestones that will be reached this NFL Season, now it is time to take a look at milestones that will be reached by running backs this year (again barring unforeseen circumstances).

                  Rushing Yards

                  Steven Jackson- May be in a reduced role, but a couple of good games will put him at the 11,000 yard milestone (currently has 10,681 rushing yards)

                  Adrian Peterson- In my opinion, Peterson is the best running back since Barry Sanders. Currently stands at 10,115. Will easily reach 11,000 mark, but if he goes “All Day” like he did in 2012, then maybe we will see him even reach the 12,000 rushing yard milestone!

                  Frank Gore- All Gore really needs is one nice big gain to reach the 10,000 rushing yard mark. Very likely too also reach 11,000. (9,967 career rushing yards)

                  Chris Johnson- Not only will CJ2K reach the 8,000 mark, but will most likely reach and surpass the 9,000 yard mark as well. (7,965 career rushing yards)

                  Marshawn Lynch- Lynch should have no problem reaching the next milestone in his path (8,000 yards) as he currently stands at 7,389. If he continues to goes into “BeastMode”, he may very well likely reach 9,000 career rushing yards as well.

                  Matt Forte- Will reach 7,000, but looking at his past two seasons (2012-1,094 yards, 2013- 1,339 yards) could just as likely reach the 8,000 yard mark as well.

                  DeAngelo Williams- Has averaged just over 805 yards the past three seasons, will have no problem reaching 7,000 yard mark (6,627 career rushing yards)

                  Will reach 6,000 and have shot at 7,000

                  Jamaal Charles- 5,823 career rushing yards

                  LeSean McCoy- 5,473 career rushing yards

                  Will They?

                  Maurice Jones Drew should reach the 9,000 mark (8,071 currently) but injuries and production level have slid the past two seasons. (803 rushing yards in 2013)

                  Willis McGahee is also another candidate to possibly reach the 9,000 yard milestone (8,474 career rushing yards.) But his role the past couple seasons have been reduced, leading to lower production. (731 yards in 10 games played while starting in 9 in 2012, 377 yards in 2013 while playing in 12 games but starting in only 6).

                  Ray Rice- Production slid dramatically last year, rushing for only 660 yards in 15 games (had 1,100+ in the four seasons prior) and will miss two games due to off field incident. Next milestone is 7,000 as he currently sits at 6,180 career rushing yards.

                  Rushing Touchdowns

                  Adrian Peterson- Currently has 86 rushing touchdown. Never had a season with less than 10, had four season with 12 rushing TD’s, and his career best is 18 in a single season. Look for Peterson to reach 100 career rushing touchdowns this season!

                  Maurice Jones Drew- Will reach 70 (currently at 68 rushing TD’s) possible he reaches 80, (has had three seasons of 12 or more rushing TD’s)

                  Marshawn Lynch- has had 12 rushing touchdowns in two of the past three seasons (11 in the other). “BeastMode” reaches 60, and will also hit the 70 mark.

                  Will Reach 50

                  Arian Foster- at 45 career rushing touchdowns, but if he is 100% has a legit shot at 60 (has had two seasons of 15+ rushing touchdowns).

                  Will They?

                  Willis McGahee- has 65 career rushing touchdowns, but has not had more than 4 in the past three seasons.

                  Frank Gore- Has only had 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season once, which is exactly how many he needs to reach 70. Still, Gore has been consistent the past three seasons with 8 rushing touchdowns in 2011 and 2012, and 9 last year, so good chance he reaches the 70 mark.

                  BenJarvus Green-Ellis- After 13 and 11 rushing touchdowns in 2010 and 2011 respectively, Green Ellis has only 13 rushing touchdowns total in the past two seasons. But sitting at 42, it would probably be a safe bet that he will have at least 8 rushing touchdowns this year to reach the milestone of 50 career rushing touchdowns.

                  DeAngelo Williams- with 46, looking at statistics, should hit the 50 mark as he has averaged 4 touchdowns the past two seasons.

                  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/rush_yds_active.htm

                  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/rush_td_active.htm

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                  A big part that measures a player’s success is any and all milestones they reach throughout their career. With the 2014 NFL Season quickly approaching, many players are in reach of big milestones. And barring unforeseen circumstances, the following milestones will be reached by the following players

                  Passing Yards

                  Tom Brady

                  3 time Super Champion Tom Brady is knocking on the door of 50,000 career passing yards. Brady currently stands at a career total of 49,149, and it should take about four games at the most to reach the 50,000 yard mark.

                  Philip Rivers

                  Rivers will need a good portion of the season to hit the next big career milestone of 35,000 passing yards, with a current career total of 32,369.

                  Ben Roethlisberger

                  Roethlisberger will need less games to reach the 35,000 mark than Rivers (34,105).

                  Tony Romo

                  It may just take one game for Romo to reach 30,000 (29,565), but would probably make a couple interceptions in the process ;)

                  Quarterbacks that will reach 25,000 mark

                  1. Aaron Rodgers- 24,197

                  2. Jay Cutler- 23,937

                  3. Matt Ryan- 23,472

                  4. Joe Flacco- 21,545

                  (Matthew Schaub currently has 24,254. While he is in Oakland where there is currently heavy QB competition, Schaub should receive a chance and in the process may reach the 25,000 milestone)

                  Quarterbacks that will reach 20,000 mark

                  1. Matthew Stafford- 17,457

                  Touchdown Passes

                  Peyton Manning

                  Manning is currently 2nd all time for most career passing touchdowns with 491. Not only will Peyton reach the 500 mark, but will also surpass Brett Favre (508) for most all time!

                  Will They?

                  Both Drew Brees and Tom Brady have 363 and 359 career touchdown passes respectively. May be a stretch to think Brady will reach 400 mark, but Brees needs just 37 and was one TD Pass shy last year of having three consecutive seasons of 40+ touchdown passes.

                  Quarterbacks that will reach 200 mark

                  1. Aaron Rodgers- 188

                  Quarterbacks that will reach 100 mark

                  1. Andy Dalton- 80

                  (other notables Josh Freeman-80, Matt Cassel- 93, David Garrard- 89, Jason Campbell- 87, Kyle Orton- 83

                  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_yds_career.htm

                  http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_td_career.htm

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                  According to Adam Schefter, Marshawn Lynch is said to have ended his holdout after not receiving a new deal and will report to training camp.  Lynch is in the third year of a four-year, $30 million deal. He received $6 million of it in a signing bonus. Lynch will make $5 million in base salary this season and $5.5 million in 2015, but he wanted more money up front or more money guaranteed. For more go here http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11291797/seattle-seahawks-marshawn-lynch-end-holdout-according-sources

                   

                  UPDATE: Seahawks give Lynch $1.5 million raise http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/nfl/290933/sea-giving-marshawn-lynch-$1.5-million-raise?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&rw=1

                   

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                  96

                  2014 COWBOYS CAMP COVERAGE - Rookie DeMarcus Lawrence out with broken foot - DE back to Dallas for surgery - Garrett, Marinelli discuss options without Lawrence - Analysis

                  DeMarcus Lawrence Goes Down | :27 | Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive end and second round draft pick DeMarcus Lawrence went down with a foot injury during Tuesday’s practice. Reports have him expected to miss 8-12 weeks (Watch Video)

                  Jason Garrett: DeMarcus Lawrence injury; Tyron Smith extension | 13:59 | Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett addresses the media from Oxnard. (Watch | Listen)


                  OXNARD, CA – On Tuesday, DeMarcus Lawrence was working on his pass-rush moves and finding a way to beat Tyron Smith in a drill.

                  On Wednesday, he’s heading back to Dallas.

                  Today (Thursday), he’ll be having surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot.

                  That’s how quickly things can change for an NFL player, especially one like Lawrence whom the Dallas Cowboys have high hopes for. He was supposed to be one of the players that could fill the void of DeMarcus Ware and help a pass rush that struggled mightily in 2013.

                  Now, the Cowboys will have to wait anywhere from 2-3 months before getting some contribution from their second-round pick. Getting Lawrence also required a third-round pick in a trade to move up for the 34th spot.

                  “He’ll have to go back to Dallas and have surgery on it,” said head coach Jason Garrett, who confirmed the 8-12 week timetable. “He was off to a good start in camp. There’s still a lot of football left in the season after 8-12 weeks.”

                  Lawrence will likely have surgery, recover from the procedure a few days and then should be able to return to Oxnard to be with his teammates, coaches and medical staff before the team breaks camp on Aug. 15.

                  Garrett said the Cowboys are still working on moving guys around to fill in for Lawrence’s injury.

                  “None of these things with our depth chart are etched in stone,” Garrett said. “He was working with the second unit. We’ll just move guys around.”

                  One of those guys will be Kyle Wilber, who has been playing SAM linebacker. He’ll likely rotate into the defense on pass-rushing downs.  Look for Tyrone Crawford to have a bigger role in the defensive line rotation as well.


                  RELATED: Garrett, Marinelli discuss options with DE DeMarcus Lawrence out

                  OXNARD, CA – The reality that DeMarcus Lawrence won’t be ready to go for at least eight weeks has set in.

                  Disappointment about the loss still lingers, but the focus now shifts to figuring out which players will shift around and replace the Dallas Cowboys second-round pick, who’s dealing with a foot fracture.

                  “It’s tough, but we just move on right now,” Rod Marinelli said. “We’ve got to get him healthy, get him ready to go again, but we’ve got some young guys that can really step up for us. We’ve got some movement, and (Kyle) Wilber can obviously help us on our third down. We’ll just kind of keep rotating these guys and developing them.”

                  It was around this time last year that George Selvie came from free agency to the Dallas Cowboys and eventually worked his way into a starting defensive lineman for the team. It’s possible the Cowboys add someone in free agency to fill Lawrence’s spot, but they’ve got some options already on the roster.

                  As Marinelli mentioned, playing Wilber – who’s currently the first-team strong side linebacker – as a nickel rusher at right defensive end is one of those options.

                  “I feel good about him because he trained as an end,” Marinelli said. “Usually you don’t like that as much because of timing and so many other things that are involved. But he’s got some good stuff, and he’s smart enough to play a little dual role for himself.”

                  Head coach Jason Garrett said Wilber’s ability to rush the passer on third down in addition to performing his roles at linebacker and on special teams make him a very valuable commodity for the Cowboys.

                  But he’s not the guy who’s been lining up at right defensive end with the first-team, and neither was Lawrence.

                  Those starting reps have been going to veteran Jeremy Mincey, who’s gone against Tyron Smith more in individual and team drills than any other defensive end. Mincey could end up being the answer at that spot on early downs, and Marinelli said Mincey’s also capable of bumping inside.

                  The defensive coordinator likes what he’s seen early in camp from the journeyman defensive lineman, who’s spent time with five teams since getting drafted in 2006 and had an eight-sack season back in 2011.

                  In addition, Garrett said Mincey seems to have an “infectious way about him,” and he emits a certain passion and spirit that demonstrate his love for playing. Garrett also added the Cowboys have had their eye on Mincey and tried to sign him at different points throughout his career. They were able to get that done this offseason.

                  “When you bring a guy in like that, who’s got some skins on the wall, who’s been around good teams, good players, has been a good player himself, that can be a real positive influence on a unit that’s fairly young,” Garrett said. “He practices as hard as anybody we’ve got on this team. He’s always going 100 miles an hour and always asking me what he can do better to help our football team. He’s just a real positive influence.”

                  Another option at right defensive end, who was taking reps behind Lawrence, is Martez Wilson. He’s still working through the process of switching over from linebacker, and because of his background in the league, the 2011 third-round pick isn’t the typical defensive end.

                  At 260 pounds, he’s 20 pounds lighter than Mincey, but his 4.5 40 speed gives him traits that make him unique for the right reasons, and Marinelli can see the potential.

                  “Wilson has some speed on the edge,” Marinelli said. “We’ve just got to keep him going. And the young player (Dartwan) Bush just keeps jumping out, just keeps showing up.”

                  Another possibility is looking at Tyrone Crawford, who’s typically played the left end spot when bumping outside to end, although that move may be more of a last resort. After the injury to Lawrence, though, a lot of players are in the mix to get chances at right end.

                  “What I just look at is, hey, opportunities, go and get it,” Marinelli said. “One thing you never promise, I never promise, is playing time or jobs. We promise opportunities. Take advantage of opportunities, then things work out well.”

                  Whoever ends up filling the spot, or whatever medley of players end up taking those snaps, the right defensive end will need to be counted on for a while with Lawrence expected to miss eight to 12 weeks with the injury.

                  Marinelli said working on a player’s development is what he really enjoys about coaching, so it’s a disappointing loss not to be able to do that with the rookie. In addition, Garrett said he doesn’t think the rookie end will be thrown back in immediately after his foot heals, because Lawrence will need time to get acclimated to playing at the NFL level.

                  On the bright side, both Marinelli and Garrett said Lawrence is in good spirits and has the right mindset with his rehab. Lawrence told Garrett on Tuesday night after finding out the results that if he’s supposed to be out eight to 12 weeks, he’ll make it eight.

                  Until then, the Dallas Cowboys will continue perusing all options, from rookies to veterans to free agent possibilities.

                  “None of these things we’re doing with our depth chart are etched in stone by any means,” Garrett said. “He had been working with the second unit. We have a number of defensive linemen, a lot of defensive ends in the mix right now. We’ll just move guys around.”


                  RELATED: Scouts opinions and options with Lawrence’s injury

                  • With the injury to the foot of DeMarcus Lawrence during the one-on-one pass rush drill, there are a couple of different ways that the front office and coaches can play this. They still have their projected starter in Jeremy Mincey in position so that is a positive from their point of view. Now Martez Wilson, who had been seeing time behind Lawrence and who hasn’t looked bad at all in the drills and the opportunities that he has received during the camp. His hand use has gotten better, he has always had the ability to burst and chase along with the knack to be able to bend and finish. They could also flop George Selvie over on passing downs and go with Tyrone Crawford at the left end just to see how that would work. I have heard the name Larry English mentioned a bunch and the Cowboys visited with him here recently but you have to remember that he too is coming off a scope of his knee that he is still waiting on and the last two seasons he too has not been a picture of health and has missed several games. To be honest, I have a feeling that the front office might feel like that Wilson is a better player than English and would consider other options.

                  • BW Webb finally looked like the player I thought he might become when he was drafted last season out of William & Mary. He played with far more aggressiveness and when he had to be physical he stepped up and was able to handle that aspect of the game. With Webb you have a player that plays with lateral quickness and agility. He can be a hard guy to run away from and it was finally nice to see him put all that together. He did a nice job of using his hands and staying in position with the receiver. He wasn’t reaching or grabbing to just try and hold on. He showed awareness and the understanding of what the receiver was trying to do to him route wise and he was able to counter that movement. There is no question that Webb has the skill to play in the slot or outside and cover from those positions as long as he stays aggressive and continues that approach. It’s when he doesn’t play that way he is no use to this defense. Maybe Tuesday’s practice was a step in the right direction for him because he sure played better.

                  • It appears that rookie Anthony Hitchens is getting more snaps in his natural linebacker position on the outside. Where I have been impressed with Hitchens is with the range that he has been able to play with. There is an extended burst to his game and he has that ability to once he sees it, he is gone. He is a fluid moving player that can extend his hands, work down the line and get to the ball.  He is playing with a great deal of awareness in the running game. His body control has been very good along with his contact balance. He has a real knack for being able to play on his feet and the more of an opportunity that he has to handle situations on the move, the better he has played. He looks more comfortable playing now than he did while he was lined up as the Mike linebacker. Been a good start for him.

                  • Sure wish that I could have seen more from L’Damian Washington in these practices because my scouting eye thought that I would have. I have yet to see him make any of those types of down the field plays that I observed while he was at Missouri. I feel like the biggest issue for him has been his ability to finish plays. He just hasn’t put himself in good enough position to do that. His practices continue to be him dealing with a man on him, trying to reach back and make a catch. He really hasn’t extended for a ball and gone up to take it away from a defender. Instead of aggressively going to snatch it, he has allowed it to try and get to his body. We all know when that happens that defensive backs have a chance to knock it away and they have done just that. In watching him play, I am not sure really how confident he is? He is unlike the other receivers on this team that have that attack the ball and attack the defender. There is no question that he has the initial quickness with the extended speed to separate but he is playing like he is stuck in first gear. He has the appearance of a guy that can be an electric player but it just hasn’t happened for him in this first week of training camp.

                  Question from: DERRICK BRAZIL | PITTSBURGH, PA | With DeMarcus Lawrence’s foot injury sidelining him for at least eight weeks, how huge of a setback is it, and who’s the “next man up”?

                  Rowan: It’s huge. This is the time for rookies to get adjusted to playing at the enhanced speed against bigger players on a regular basis. It’s when they get their bodies ready for a level of football they’ve never seen. Lawrence has only gone through a week of football at camp, so who knows when he’s healthy again how long it’ll take after that for him to be ready to be a difference-maker. As for who steps up, the Dallas Cowboys really need Jeremy Mincey to be a good edge rusher. He’s been taking the majority of first team reps against Tyron Smith as is. I’m also interested to see if Martez Wilson can take advantage of more reps.

                  David: There’s no denying it’s a pretty big setback. The hope was Lawrence would be a big part of this rotation – if not an outright starter – and now he’s gone for what looks like the first month of the season or more. We’ve talked a lot about Tyrone Crawford shifting between defensive end and defensive tackle, but my guess is he’ll need to focus a lot more on rushing from the outside going forward. It could be a huge boost if Jeremy Mincey can up his game a notch or two from where he’s been in recent seasons. 

                  Filed under: Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys, David Helman, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Injury Update, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Nick Eatman, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Dallas Cowboys Injury Update, Dallas Cowboys news, Demarcus Lawrence

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

                  95

                  2014 COWBOYS CAMP COVERAGE - Rookie DeMarcus Lawrence out with broken foot - DE back to Dallas for surgery - Garrett, Marinelli discuss options without Lawrence - Analysis

                  DeMarcus Lawrence Goes Down | :27 | Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive end and second round draft pick DeMarcus Lawrence went down with a foot injury during Tuesday’s practice. Reports have him expected to miss 8-12 weeks (Watch Video)

                  Jason Garrett: DeMarcus Lawrence injury; Tyron Smith extension | 13:59 | Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett addresses the media from Oxnard. (Watch | Listen)


                  OXNARD, CA – On Tuesday, DeMarcus Lawrence was working on his pass-rush moves and finding a way to beat Tyron Smith in a drill.

                  On Wednesday, he’s heading back to Dallas.

                  Today (Thursday), he’ll be having surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot.

                  That’s how quickly things can change for an NFL player, especially one like Lawrence whom the Dallas Cowboys have high hopes for. He was supposed to be one of the players that could fill the void of DeMarcus Ware and help a pass rush that struggled mightily in 2013.

                  Now, the Cowboys will have to wait anywhere from 2-3 months before getting some contribution from their second-round pick. Getting Lawrence also required a third-round pick in a trade to move up for the 34th spot.

                  “He’ll have to go back to Dallas and have surgery on it,” said head coach Jason Garrett, who confirmed the 8-12 week timetable. “He was off to a good start in camp. There’s still a lot of football left in the season after 8-12 weeks.”

                  Lawrence will likely have surgery, recover from the procedure a few days and then should be able to return to Oxnard to be with his teammates, coaches and medical staff before the team breaks camp on Aug. 15.

                  Garrett said the Cowboys are still working on moving guys around to fill in for Lawrence’s injury.

                  “None of these things with our depth chart are etched in stone,” Garrett said. “He was working with the second unit. We’ll just move guys around.”

                  One of those guys will be Kyle Wilber, who has been playing SAM linebacker. He’ll likely rotate into the defense on pass-rushing downs.  Look for Tyrone Crawford to have a bigger role in the defensive line rotation as well.


                  RELATED: Garrett, Marinelli discuss options with DE DeMarcus Lawrence out

                  OXNARD, CA – The reality that DeMarcus Lawrence won’t be ready to go for at least eight weeks has set in.

                  Disappointment about the loss still lingers, but the focus now shifts to figuring out which players will shift around and replace the Dallas Cowboys second-round pick, who’s dealing with a foot fracture.

                  “It’s tough, but we just move on right now,” Rod Marinelli said. “We’ve got to get him healthy, get him ready to go again, but we’ve got some young guys that can really step up for us. We’ve got some movement, and (Kyle) Wilber can obviously help us on our third down. We’ll just kind of keep rotating these guys and developing them.”

                  It was around this time last year that George Selvie came from free agency to the Dallas Cowboys and eventually worked his way into a starting defensive lineman for the team. It’s possible the Cowboys add someone in free agency to fill Lawrence’s spot, but they’ve got some options already on the roster.

                  As Marinelli mentioned, playing Wilber – who’s currently the first-team strong side linebacker – as a nickel rusher at right defensive end is one of those options.

                  “I feel good about him because he trained as an end,” Marinelli said. “Usually you don’t like that as much because of timing and so many other things that are involved. But he’s got some good stuff, and he’s smart enough to play a little dual role for himself.”

                  Head coach Jason Garrett said Wilber’s ability to rush the passer on third down in addition to performing his roles at linebacker and on special teams make him a very valuable commodity for the Cowboys.

                  But he’s not the guy who’s been lining up at right defensive end with the first-team, and neither was Lawrence.

                  Those starting reps have been going to veteran Jeremy Mincey, who’s gone against Tyron Smith more in individual and team drills than any other defensive end. Mincey could end up being the answer at that spot on early downs, and Marinelli said Mincey’s also capable of bumping inside.

                  The defensive coordinator likes what he’s seen early in camp from the journeyman defensive lineman, who’s spent time with five teams since getting drafted in 2006 and had an eight-sack season back in 2011.

                  In addition, Garrett said Mincey seems to have an “infectious way about him,” and he emits a certain passion and spirit that demonstrate his love for playing. Garrett also added the Cowboys have had their eye on Mincey and tried to sign him at different points throughout his career. They were able to get that done this offseason.

                  “When you bring a guy in like that, who’s got some skins on the wall, who’s been around good teams, good players, has been a good player himself, that can be a real positive influence on a unit that’s fairly young,” Garrett said. “He practices as hard as anybody we’ve got on this team. He’s always going 100 miles an hour and always asking me what he can do better to help our football team. He’s just a real positive influence.”

                  Another option at right defensive end, who was taking reps behind Lawrence, is Martez Wilson. He’s still working through the process of switching over from linebacker, and because of his background in the league, the 2011 third-round pick isn’t the typical defensive end.

                  At 260 pounds, he’s 20 pounds lighter than Mincey, but his 4.5 40 speed gives him traits that make him unique for the right reasons, and Marinelli can see the potential.

                  “Wilson has some speed on the edge,” Marinelli said. “We’ve just got to keep him going. And the young player (Dartwan) Bush just keeps jumping out, just keeps showing up.”

                  Another possibility is looking at Tyrone Crawford, who’s typically played the left end spot when bumping outside to end, although that move may be more of a last resort. After the injury to Lawrence, though, a lot of players are in the mix to get chances at right end.

                  “What I just look at is, hey, opportunities, go and get it,” Marinelli said. “One thing you never promise, I never promise, is playing time or jobs. We promise opportunities. Take advantage of opportunities, then things work out well.”

                  Whoever ends up filling the spot, or whatever medley of players end up taking those snaps, the right defensive end will need to be counted on for a while with Lawrence expected to miss eight to 12 weeks with the injury.

                  Marinelli said working on a player’s development is what he really enjoys about coaching, so it’s a disappointing loss not to be able to do that with the rookie. In addition, Garrett said he doesn’t think the rookie end will be thrown back in immediately after his foot heals, because Lawrence will need time to get acclimated to playing at the NFL level.

                  On the bright side, both Marinelli and Garrett said Lawrence is in good spirits and has the right mindset with his rehab. Lawrence told Garrett on Tuesday night after finding out the results that if he’s supposed to be out eight to 12 weeks, he’ll make it eight.

                  Until then, the Dallas Cowboys will continue perusing all options, from rookies to veterans to free agent possibilities.

                  “None of these things we’re doing with our depth chart are etched in stone by any means,” Garrett said. “He had been working with the second unit. We have a number of defensive linemen, a lot of defensive ends in the mix right now. We’ll just move guys around.”


                  RELATED: Scouts opinions and options with Lawrence’s injury

                  • With the injury to the foot of DeMarcus Lawrence during the one-on-one pass rush drill, there are a couple of different ways that the front office and coaches can play this. They still have their projected starter in Jeremy Mincey in position so that is a positive from their point of view. Now Martez Wilson, who had been seeing time behind Lawrence and who hasn’t looked bad at all in the drills and the opportunities that he has received during the camp. His hand use has gotten better, he has always had the ability to burst and chase along with the knack to be able to bend and finish. They could also flop George Selvie over on passing downs and go with Tyrone Crawford at the left end just to see how that would work. I have heard the name Larry English mentioned a bunch and the Cowboys visited with him here recently but you have to remember that he too is coming off a scope of his knee that he is still waiting on and the last two seasons he too has not been a picture of health and has missed several games. To be honest, I have a feeling that the front office might feel like that Wilson is a better player than English and would consider other options.

                  • BW Webb finally looked like the player I thought he might become when he was drafted last season out of William & Mary. He played with far more aggressiveness and when he had to be physical he stepped up and was able to handle that aspect of the game. With Webb you have a player that plays with lateral quickness and agility. He can be a hard guy to run away from and it was finally nice to see him put all that together. He did a nice job of using his hands and staying in position with the receiver. He wasn’t reaching or grabbing to just try and hold on. He showed awareness and the understanding of what the receiver was trying to do to him route wise and he was able to counter that movement. There is no question that Webb has the skill to play in the slot or outside and cover from those positions as long as he stays aggressive and continues that approach. It’s when he doesn’t play that way he is no use to this defense. Maybe Tuesday’s practice was a step in the right direction for him because he sure played better.

                  • It appears that rookie Anthony Hitchens is getting more snaps in his natural linebacker position on the outside. Where I have been impressed with Hitchens is with the range that he has been able to play with. There is an extended burst to his game and he has that ability to once he sees it, he is gone. He is a fluid moving player that can extend his hands, work down the line and get to the ball.  He is playing with a great deal of awareness in the running game. His body control has been very good along with his contact balance. He has a real knack for being able to play on his feet and the more of an opportunity that he has to handle situations on the move, the better he has played. He looks more comfortable playing now than he did while he was lined up as the Mike linebacker. Been a good start for him.

                  • Sure wish that I could have seen more from L’Damian Washington in these practices because my scouting eye thought that I would have. I have yet to see him make any of those types of down the field plays that I observed while he was at Missouri. I feel like the biggest issue for him has been his ability to finish plays. He just hasn’t put himself in good enough position to do that. His practices continue to be him dealing with a man on him, trying to reach back and make a catch. He really hasn’t extended for a ball and gone up to take it away from a defender. Instead of aggressively going to snatch it, he has allowed it to try and get to his body. We all know when that happens that defensive backs have a chance to knock it away and they have done just that. In watching him play, I am not sure really how confident he is? He is unlike the other receivers on this team that have that attack the ball and attack the defender. There is no question that he has the initial quickness with the extended speed to separate but he is playing like he is stuck in first gear. He has the appearance of a guy that can be an electric player but it just hasn’t happened for him in this first week of training camp.

                  Question from: DERRICK BRAZIL | PITTSBURGH, PA | With DeMarcus Lawrence’s foot injury sidelining him for at least eight weeks, how huge of a setback is it, and who’s the “next man up”?

                  Rowan: It’s huge. This is the time for rookies to get adjusted to playing at the enhanced speed against bigger players on a regular basis. It’s when they get their bodies ready for a level of football they’ve never seen. Lawrence has only gone through a week of football at camp, so who knows when he’s healthy again how long it’ll take after that for him to be ready to be a difference-maker. As for who steps up, the Dallas Cowboys really need Jeremy Mincey to be a good edge rusher. He’s been taking the majority of first team reps against Tyron Smith as is. I’m also interested to see if Martez Wilson can take advantage of more reps.

                  David: There’s no denying it’s a pretty big setback. The hope was Lawrence would be a big part of this rotation – if not an outright starter – and now he’s gone for what looks like the first month of the season or more. We’ve talked a lot about Tyrone Crawford shifting between defensive end and defensive tackle, but my guess is he’ll need to focus a lot more on rushing from the outside going forward. It could be a huge boost if Jeremy Mincey can up his game a notch or two from where he’s been in recent seasons. 

                  Filed under: Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys, David Helman, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Injury Update, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Photographs, NFL Video, Nick Eatman, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Dallas Cowboys Injury Update, Dallas Cowboys news, Demarcus Lawrence

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

                   

                  Richard Sherman has let the league, fans, and other players know on numerous occasions that he is the best cornerback in the league. Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson was no exception. After the news broke out regarding Peterson’s new contract, (which is almost $13 million more than Sherman’s) Sherman took to Twitter and retweeted the following stat:

                  Patrick Peterson quickly fired back with a Tweet responding to Sherman’s retweet:

                  Not to be outdone, Sherman showed Peterson why he has no reason to be mad:

                  Once again, it appears Sherman ends up with the upper hand, showing that not only he can talk the talk, but that he has already walked the walk.

                  Sherman’s Twitter battle with LeGarrette Blount: http://kcsportsninja.com/richard-sherman-schools-legarrette-blount-on-twitter/

                  Sherman’s Twitter battle with DeAngelo Hall: http://kcsportsninja.com/richard-sherman-and-deangelo-hall-engage-in-twitter-war/

                  Follow me and SportsNinja!

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                  87

                  2014 COWBOYS CAMP COVERAGE - Dez Bryant committed to winning - “Walk around like a champion” - NFL Network interviews with Dez Bryant and Jerry Jones

                  Dez Bryant: “Walk around like a Champion” | 8:07 | Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant chats with Rich Eisen and Michael Irvin about his strong desire to win in the 2014-2015 season under the new offense. (Watch Video | No Audio)

                  Jerry on drafting Manziel “It was that close” | 8:00 | Jerry Jones sits down with Michael Irvin and Rich Eisen to discuss the upcoming 2014-2015 NFL season and how the Dallas Cowboys nearly drafted Johnny Manziel last May. (Watch Video | No Audio)

                  Dez Bryant: Contract will take care of itself | 4:39 | Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant meets with the media after a recent morning practice to talk about his expectations for the wide receiver group heading into camp. (Video | Audio)


                  RELATED: Dez Bryant continues to rise as a player and a young team leader

                  OXNARD, CA – By almost any measure, whether it’s his gaudy statistics, his rapidly-approaching payday or even his Madden rating, Dez Bryant is considered one of the league’s top receivers.

                  What Bryant said scares him is how much better he think he can still be.

                  “Truthfully, to be honest, I feel like, man, I’m still rising. I learn new things and things just become easier by the day,” Bryant said. “To me, it’s almost kind of scary to me just because of the fact of how much I love the game — not only myself, I want my teammates to be great. The way that I feel, I don’t hesitate to share that with my teammates. And I’m going to continue to keep doing that and see where we go from there.”

                  The concept of team was a popular topic during Bryant’s first speaking session of this training camp. That goes along with the somewhat surprising revelation that, despite being just 25 years old, Bryant is one of this team’s oldest, most experienced receivers.

                  “I’m not the old guy — I’m not,” Bryant said with a smile. “I’m still one of the youngest.”

                  That might be true, but with the departure of Miles Austin in the offseason, even more eyes are on Bryant – not just to produce, but to lead. Bryant said he reached out to the receivers during the offseason, organizing dinners and other activities for the group. That said, he maintained his desire to keep the receiver corps on an even field.

                  “Because of the experience, yeah, but other than that nothing has changed. Everybody, in the wide receiver group, looks at each other as the same,” he said. “That’s how I want it and that’s how they want it and that’s how we’re going to keep it, and we’re just going to continue to try to make each other better.”

                  If Bryant can truly improve on 185 receptions for 2,615 yards and 25 touchdowns – his combined totals for 2012 and 2013 – he really will have something scary on his hands. The contract talk that surrounds those type of numbers is sure to be loud, but in that regard Bryant maintained his stance from the spring.

                  “I’m confident in my play and I’m pretty sure that’s going to take care of itself,” he said. “There is no need for me to be stressed out or worried about it — it’s going to come. Like I said, it’s deserving. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”

                  In the meantime, the work continues with the team’s practices. The guy throwing Bryant the ball had some good perspective on continuing to build on a Pro Bowl season.

                  “I talk with him a lot about taking ownership and being the best version of himself,” said Tony Romo. “He’s already good but now he can dig in and find those little things that only he knows.”


                  RELATED: Dez Bryant describes how he’s becoming a better pro

                  IRVING, Texas – Even after a career-high 93 catches and a career-high 13 touchdowns, there are ways for a receiver to get better.

                  So what would those be for Dez Bryant, as he attempts to compile his third straight 1,200-yard season?

                  “Coming quicker off the ball, being at the correct depth, being patient on your routes,” Bryant said. “Just because it’s open in a certain coverage – not giving too much details – but not taking the bait, finishing the whole route and executing that play the best way I possibly can.”

                  Whereas all the offseason questions used to center on his off-field antics, they now focus on how he’s perfecting his craft as a receiver. That’s a credit to Bryant, who continues to establish himself both as a player and a person.

                  Now one of the top receiving threats around, Bryant said he’s known since he entered the league he had a target on his back. The key for him now, after proving himself among the NFL’s best, is leading his position group and, most importantly, staying positive through the good and bad.

                  That latter point was the hardest thing for Bryant to do in his transition to the NFL.

                  “I knew in my heart I’m a positive guy, and instead of me trying to explain and tell the world that I’m a positive guy, why not just go out and just show it and let everybody see it for themselves?” Bryant said. “I honestly feel like that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m not here to impress anybody. I’ve been doing what I wanted to do since I stepped foot in the league, and that’s be a role model for these kids. I’m going to keep trying to build that.”

                  Bryant gives credit to other leaders on the team – both current and former, including Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware, and Jason Hatcher – for showing him how to be a professional and how to handle himself the right way.

                  He said he’s taken what he already knew and what he learned from the veterans and helped it all sculpt him.

                  “I wasn’t understanding the whole process of how to be a professional player,” Bryant said. “As time went on, I started learning little by little and it all came together and still is.”

                  Bryant admitted it took him a while to understand how to be a professional. He had to figure that out early in his career, then get on the right track and remain steady.

                  He feels he’s done well with that recently, and as long as that continues, the questions thrown at him will all be football-related.

                  That’s a credit to Bryant, who’s overcome tribulations and let the positive influences from veterans around him mold him professionally and personally. He takes a great deal of pride in the steps that he’s taken throughout his career.

                  “I do, of course,” Bryant said. “I’ve got two baby boys and they watch me every day. I have to make sure I’m doing right.”

                  Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, David Helman, Jerry Jones interview, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Player Interview, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Network, NFL Video, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Dallas Cowboys news, Dallas Cowboys training camp 2014-2015, Dez Bryant, Jerry Jones

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

                  105

                  2014 COWBOYS CAMP COVERAGE - Dez Bryant committed to winning - “Walk around like a champion” - NFL Network interviews with Dez Bryant and Jerry Jones

                  Dez Bryant: “Walk around like a Champion” | 8:07 | Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant chats with Rich Eisen and Michael Irvin about his strong desire to win in the 2014-2015 season under the new offense. (Watch Video | No Audio)

                  Jerry on drafting Manziel “It was that close” | 8:00 | Jerry Jones sits down with Michael Irvin and Rich Eisen to discuss the upcoming 2014-2015 NFL season and how the Dallas Cowboys nearly drafted Johnny Manziel last May. (Watch Video | No Audio)

                  Dez Bryant: Contract will take care of itself | 4:39 | Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant meets with the media after a recent morning practice to talk about his expectations for the wide receiver group heading into camp. (Video | Audio)


                  RELATED: Dez Bryant continues to rise as a player and a young team leader

                  OXNARD, CA – By almost any measure, whether it’s his gaudy statistics, his rapidly-approaching payday or even his Madden rating, Dez Bryant is considered one of the league’s top receivers.

                  What Bryant said scares him is how much better he think he can still be.

                  “Truthfully, to be honest, I feel like, man, I’m still rising. I learn new things and things just become easier by the day,” Bryant said. “To me, it’s almost kind of scary to me just because of the fact of how much I love the game — not only myself, I want my teammates to be great. The way that I feel, I don’t hesitate to share that with my teammates. And I’m going to continue to keep doing that and see where we go from there.”

                  The concept of team was a popular topic during Bryant’s first speaking session of this training camp. That goes along with the somewhat surprising revelation that, despite being just 25 years old, Bryant is one of this team’s oldest, most experienced receivers.

                  “I’m not the old guy — I’m not,” Bryant said with a smile. “I’m still one of the youngest.”

                  That might be true, but with the departure of Miles Austin in the offseason, even more eyes are on Bryant – not just to produce, but to lead. Bryant said he reached out to the receivers during the offseason, organizing dinners and other activities for the group. That said, he maintained his desire to keep the receiver corps on an even field.

                  “Because of the experience, yeah, but other than that nothing has changed. Everybody, in the wide receiver group, looks at each other as the same,” he said. “That’s how I want it and that’s how they want it and that’s how we’re going to keep it, and we’re just going to continue to try to make each other better.”

                  If Bryant can truly improve on 185 receptions for 2,615 yards and 25 touchdowns – his combined totals for 2012 and 2013 – he really will have something scary on his hands. The contract talk that surrounds those type of numbers is sure to be loud, but in that regard Bryant maintained his stance from the spring.

                  “I’m confident in my play and I’m pretty sure that’s going to take care of itself,” he said. “There is no need for me to be stressed out or worried about it — it’s going to come. Like I said, it’s deserving. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”

                  In the meantime, the work continues with the team’s practices. The guy throwing Bryant the ball had some good perspective on continuing to build on a Pro Bowl season.

                  “I talk with him a lot about taking ownership and being the best version of himself,” said Tony Romo. “He’s already good but now he can dig in and find those little things that only he knows.”


                  RELATED: Dez Bryant describes how he’s becoming a better pro

                  IRVING, Texas – Even after a career-high 93 catches and a career-high 13 touchdowns, there are ways for a receiver to get better.

                  So what would those be for Dez Bryant, as he attempts to compile his third straight 1,200-yard season?

                  “Coming quicker off the ball, being at the correct depth, being patient on your routes,” Bryant said. “Just because it’s open in a certain coverage – not giving too much details – but not taking the bait, finishing the whole route and executing that play the best way I possibly can.”

                  Whereas all the offseason questions used to center on his off-field antics, they now focus on how he’s perfecting his craft as a receiver. That’s a credit to Bryant, who continues to establish himself both as a player and a person.

                  Now one of the top receiving threats around, Bryant said he’s known since he entered the league he had a target on his back. The key for him now, after proving himself among the NFL’s best, is leading his position group and, most importantly, staying positive through the good and bad.

                  That latter point was the hardest thing for Bryant to do in his transition to the NFL.

                  “I knew in my heart I’m a positive guy, and instead of me trying to explain and tell the world that I’m a positive guy, why not just go out and just show it and let everybody see it for themselves?” Bryant said. “I honestly feel like that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m not here to impress anybody. I’ve been doing what I wanted to do since I stepped foot in the league, and that’s be a role model for these kids. I’m going to keep trying to build that.”

                  Bryant gives credit to other leaders on the team – both current and former, including Miles Austin, DeMarcus Ware, and Jason Hatcher – for showing him how to be a professional and how to handle himself the right way.

                  He said he’s taken what he already knew and what he learned from the veterans and helped it all sculpt him.

                  “I wasn’t understanding the whole process of how to be a professional player,” Bryant said. “As time went on, I started learning little by little and it all came together and still is.”

                  Bryant admitted it took him a while to understand how to be a professional. He had to figure that out early in his career, then get on the right track and remain steady.

                  He feels he’s done well with that recently, and as long as that continues, the questions thrown at him will all be football-related.

                  That’s a credit to Bryant, who’s overcome tribulations and let the positive influences from veterans around him mold him professionally and personally. He takes a great deal of pride in the steps that he’s taken throughout his career.

                  “I do, of course,” Bryant said. “I’ve got two baby boys and they watch me every day. I have to make sure I’m doing right.”

                  Filed under: Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys News, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, David Helman, Jerry Jones interview, NFL, NFL Audio, NFL Dallas Cowboys Player Interview, NFL Dallas Cowboys Schedule, NFL Network, NFL Video, Rowan Kavner Tagged: Dallas Cowboys news, Dallas Cowboys training camp 2014-2015, Dez Bryant, Jerry Jones

                  Read more great Cowboys news at The Boys are Back

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