OXNARD (105.3 THE FAN) — I asked Stephen Jones a simple question. He provided a complex answer.
* Why did Tony Romo go from “full-go” to “no-go” in regard to Friday’s afternoon practice?
“Tony knows we’re getting ready to get into the competitive part of camp, starting (Saturday),” COO Stephen Jones told me. “I think he just decided he wanted to make sure he was roaring and ready. He just wanted to take this afternoon, rest up a little bit and get ready. He didn’t want to miss anything that’s competitive.”
“Roaring and ready” sounds good … though Dallas has certainly backed way off from three days ago, when coach Jason Garrett pronounced him a “full-go.”
The version of Romo we saw Friday didn’t even remain on the field to watch practice.
“It’s just purely precautionary,” Jones told me, insisting there are no red flags as it pertains to Romo’s offseason back surgery. “Everybody agreed that it was a good idea.”
Romo is expected to be ready for Saturday’s first practice in pads while taking the first-team snaps. But … I’m certainly open to the notion that this process is going to be more complex than it is simple.
* Sources tell me that there is zero” movement in extension negotiations with Tyron Smith (not a reason for alarm; just a fact) and that meanwhile there is an organization focus on working on Dez Bryant’s extension.
“I really can’t have my mind focused on (negotiations),” Dez said, “because I have guys here who are counting on me. I can’t be selfish.”
* Dallas has visited with free-agent pass-rushing linebacker Larry English, a former first-round pick who has battled injury problems.
* The Cowboys really need weakside linebacker Bruce Carter to play at a level he’s capable of. Carter concedes that there is a between-the-ears issue more than a physical issue when he struggles. “I think when I played my bad games, I think I kind of let that get into my head a little bit and it kind of frustrated me and took me out of how I was and the fun out of football,” said Carter, who insisted the “fun” is now back.
* Why is Rod Marinelli constantly pushing the pace for his D-linemen? So “they get used to that — that pace and that tempo,” he said. “I like getting guys tired and then I want them to execute under a little bit of duress because that game is played under duress.”
* The Cowboys’ T-shirt theme in this camp? “FIGHT.” Why? “It’s a fight to be your best – it’s not a fight to try your best; it’s a fight to be your best,” Garrett said.
* Brandon Carr’s camp absence is due to his mother’s serious illness. The Cowboys are giving him all the time needed to deal with his family.
* I don’t sense there is any interest in released Bucs guard Carl Nicks — in part because Dallas’ available money is earmarked for Dez and Tyron.
* Slowly but surely, defensive tackle Henry Melton is working his way into being a potential impact player. Meanwhile, J.J. Wilcox is making all the right moves at safety – and figures to only be better when the pads go on.
* Lance Dunbar tells me he hasn’t really studied what coordinator Scott Linehan did with Reggie Bush in Detroit. (I think he should.) But Lance does say he believes he can be a full-time backup runner as opposed to the “specialist” he was a year ago.* “We can either take chances on older guys for the veteran’s minimum or we can take a chance on a first-round pick.” – Stephen Jones, succinctly explaining the logic of trying out Rolando McClain, expected back in camp today after his Alabama court date.
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