Dallas Cowboys: Justin Taplin-Ross

Cowboys waive safety Justin Taplin-Ross

August, 19, 2012
SAN DIEGO -- The Cowboys have two roster spots open after waiving safety Justin Taplin-Ross on Sunday.

Taplin-Ross did not play on Saturday's 28-20 loss to San Diego and was far down the depth chart. With his departure and the cutting of running back Ed Wesley on Friday, the Cowboys have 88 players on the roster entering Monday's practice against the Chargers.

The Cowboys do not have any immediate plans to fill the roster spots. Linebacker Isaiah Greenhouse, who has a broken thumb, is not with the team but has not been cut.
IRVING, Texas -- Let’s just say the first day back was a test of conditioning for some players.

Rookie tight end James Hanna lost his lunch (breakfast?) early in the session and several players were gasping for air and taking water breaks. The practices were moved to 8 a.m. to get the players out of the heat, or at least the intense afternoon heat because it was still hot.

The high in Oxnard, Calif., is 66 degrees.

On to some observations from the workout:

** The practice was basically another minicamp session with players not in pads. The first time the Cowboys will be in pads will be next Wednesday.

** All eyes were on CB Morris Claiborne, the first-round pick. He is aggressive and maybe too aggressive at times, but it’s better to be that way and coach it out of a cornerback. On a stop route to WR Tim Benford, he chewed up the rookie receiver and did not allow him to break free.

** QB Kyle Orton’s first three passes in seven-on-seven drills were incomplete with drops by Benford and Hanna. His third throw was a little wide to WR Cole Beasley. He closed the first session with a nice crossing route to WR Saleem Hakim.

** S Justin Taplin-Ross came up with a nice interception of a Stephen McGee pass across the middle that had the coaches excited.

** LB Dan Connor broke up an Orton pass to TE Andrew Szczerba, avoiding a pass interference penalty by using his outside hand to deflect the throw while keeping his inside hand off the tight end’s back.

** McGee opened up seven-on-seven drills with a nice corner route to Benford over CB Mario Butler and S Eddie Whitley.

** OLB Alex Albright took snaps at inside linebacker. The second-year linebacker will have to show versatility in addition to being a top special teamer.

** Safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery earlier this month, was at Valley Ranch doing rehab. The hope is he could be ready early in the team’s time in Oxnard, Calif., if not the first day.

** RB Darrell Scott left practice early with a tight hip flexor, which meant Lance Dunbar was the only tailback available. Fullback Jamize Olawale got a few carries as a result.

Camp observations: Brandon Carr's press

June, 13, 2012
IRVING, Texas – You didn’t think we’d go without observations off minicamp practice No. 2, did you? Well, sometimes real life gets in the way and after a little bit of a delay, here we go with some Wednesday notes:

** It’s difficult to gauge offensive line play without pads on, but LG Nate Livings had a nice kick out block of LB Victor Butler to propel Phillip Tanner for a big gain during a team period. With Anthony Spencer missing practice with a knee injury, Butler was the starter on the strong side.

** WR Dwayne Harris had a nice day but faded a little bit late with a drop near the end zone in a two-minute drill. He hauled in a touchdown pass from Stephen McGee on a delayed route in which he caught CB C.J. Wilson sleeping. In seven-on-seven tight red zone drills, he made a bobbling, falling catch of a Tony Romo pass in the back of the end zone while being harassed by CB Brandon Carr.

** Speaking of Carr, when he gets his hands on receivers they all have a difficult time breaking free. Raymond Radway was unable to get off the jam at the line of scrimmage. Carr has been impressive and the coaches believe his press technique will be a help to the receivers when the season starts.

** Romo’s best throw might have been a third (or fourth) read to RB DeMarco Murray near the goal line. After faking a pitch to Murray, Romo initially looked for Dez Bryant on a quick stutter-go but the defense read the play well. Instead, Romo was able to narrowly float a pass just out of DeMarcus Ware’s reach to Murray. It was the perfect blend of touch and power, especially close to the goal line.

** DE Kenyon Coleman did a nice job of stopping Murray on a power run by slipping through the line. DE Marcus Spears also snuffed out a screen to John Phillips.

** WR Cole Beasley went down in the end zone on a crossing route and suffered what he called a hyper-extended right knee. He was examined by the medical staff and was running later but did not appear to take more snaps.

** CB Isaac Madison had two interceptions. The first came when he ripped a McGee pass away from Saalim Hakim in seven-on-seven drills. His second came when he came off a deep receiver to come up with a turnover of Rudy Carpenter, who was just attempting to get rid of the ball.

** McGee was much sharper Wednesday. He got his second straight day of extended snaps with Kyle Orton out with a hamstring injury. He ended the second-team offense’s two-minute drill with a perfect throw to Phillips just out of the reach of S Justin Taplin-Ross.

Four practice squad players at camp

May, 4, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys will open their rookie mini-camp today with four players who spent most of last season on the team’s practice squad: cornerback Teddy Williams, cornerback Mario Butler, linebacker Orie Lemon and defensive lineman Robert Calloway.

Williams has been switched back to cornerback after moving to wide receiver last season. He joined the team in 2010 following a track career at UT-San Antonio.

Safety Justin Taplin-Ross will also get his first on-field work with the team. He originally signed last summer as an undrafted free agent out of Utah, but he failed his physical. He signed with the team after the 2011 season ended.

In addition to the Cowboys’ seven draft picks and 21 undrafted free agents, the Cowboys will have 15 players practicing on a tryout basis, including kicker Delbert Alvarado, who was with team in training camp in 2010.

The other players in for a tryout will be: K Tom Mante, QB Larry Smith, QB Nathan Dick, WR David Little, P Craig Ratanamorn, P Dave Harrington, RB Bryce Beall, CB Royce Hill, FB Jamize Olawale, LB Dorvus Woods, NT Myles Caragein, DE Luke Black, C Chris Thompson and DE Ben Bass.

Cowboys to add two "futures" players

January, 10, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys will sign safety Justin Taplin-Ross and outside linebacker Baraka Atkins to “futures” contracts but they have some background with these players.

The Cowboys agreed to a deal with Taplin-Ross as an undrafted free agent after the lockout ended, but he failed the team physical. He started 13 games in 2010 at Utah and finished with 41 tackles to go with a sack, two interceptions and 4.5 tackles for loss.

Atkins, 6-4, 271 pounds, was among 17 players to work out for the Cowboys last month. He was a fourth-round pick by Seattle in 2007 and played defensive end. He will play outside linebacker for the Cowboys. He has not played since 2009 and went to camp in 2011 with the Steelers as an outside linebacker.

The Cowboys signed their five practice squad players to futures contracts last week: cornerback Mario Butler, linebacker Orie Lemon, defensive tackle Robert Calloway, wide receiver Teddy Williams and cornerback C.J. Wilson.