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2012 Camp Cowboys: 8.8.12

Richie Whitt's 'Sportatorium' | CBSDFW.COM
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10. 3rd-round draft choice Tyrone Crawford can contribute. This year. He’s not strong enough (yet) or big enough (yet) to be an every-down player against the run, but I can see him used as a specialist pass-rusher. His quickness and athleticism give Tyron Smith fits during 1-on-1 drills.

9. Never watched an episode of FX Network’s The League. But if you do, in an upcoming show you’ll see Cowboys’ training camp and owner Jerry Jones that they filmed yesterday here in Oxnard.

8. Cole Beasley is back, with a vengeance. He constantly uses his quickness to gain a step on the line and then catches everything thrown his way. And in the afternoon he caught a pass and then juked the sure-tackling Sean Lee right out of his jock.

7. Not sure why Akwasi Owusu-Ansah is still a Cowboy. He’s changed positions from safety to receiver to cornerback, and he looks more lost than ever.

6. Agent David Dunn visited camp yesterday. Dunn, who lives in nearby Newport Beach, represents head coach Jason Garrett, quarterback Kyle Orton and receiver Miles Austin.

5. According to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, the Cowboys now employ a full-time nutritionist, a director of optimal performance, a senior analytics manager and a director of football research. Though he admits some crucial calls must be made “by your gut,” Garrett is determined to leave no stone unturned.

4. Goal-line drills Tuesday were fascinating. DeMarco Murray scored. Jason Witten scored twice. But when the defense failed to line up properly, nose tackle Josh Brent barked at rookie safety Caleb McSurdy, “Get the shit right!”

3. Wednesday’s play of the day featured a jump ball between Dez Bryant and Brandon Carr. If you’ve been following camp, you know how this story ends. Tony Romo floated a 50-yard pass to the goal line toward Bryant, who was step-for-step blanketed by the cornerback. But then Bryant simply jumped higher and fought harder for the ball and came away with a touchdown. Dude is a beast.

2. The interior offensive line remains an extraordinary mess. Smith at left tackle and Doug Free right tackle look solid. But starting left guard Nate Livings is out with a tweaked hamstring and starting right Mackenzy Bernadeau just returned to practice after off-season hip and knee surgeries. Phil Costa remains the starting center, but is consistently underwhelming. Yesterday afternoon backup center David Arkin had 4 – that’s four! – bad exchanges with Orton that resulted in the ball on the ground. Other potential centers – Kevin Kowalski and Bill Nagy – are nursing ankle injuries that will keep them out of camp altogether. Free agents Ron Leary and Harland Gunn are also getting reps over the ball, but no one looks competent. Including Costa, who produced a premature shotgun snap that prompted Romo to throw the ball into the ground in disgust. Hideous.

1. “Hey,” Jason Garrett says to me after Tuesday’s practice. “Roger Marble? Right?!” Stunned by the pop quiz on the field, I frantically scan the Cowboys’ roster that’s not quite embedded in my brain. Can’t remember a Roger. Nor a Marble. “Sorta,” I lie to the coach. “You know, Roger Marble, the great baseball player on The Flintstones?” Garrett insists/educates. “C’mon now!” And to think, I assumed the coach was fixated on bad snaps. Nope. Apparently it’s 1960s cartoon caricatures of Roger Maris.

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