No excuse for three failing conditioning test
July, 30, 2012
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
OXNARD, Calif. -- Things seemed to have had settled down for the Cowboys ... until Monday afternoon.
Safety Brodney Pool, running back Felix Jones and wide receiver Andre Holmes failed their conditioning test prior to the start of the first training camp practice.
The trio are part of the skill position group that is supposed to run 60 yards in eight seconds. There are two sets of ten with a small break in-between.
"You have to make those times," coach Jason Garrett said Monday afternoon following the walkthrough practice.
The players will be retested. Until then, they'll have to do remedial running.
Now it's not the end of the world for the three players to fail this test, but it has to be disappointing for the coaching staff and front office.
We examine how it hurts all three:
Felix Jones: He's in the final year of his contract and, after another disappointing season, he couldn't afford to get off to a slow start -- especially given how he missed four games with an ankle injury and played through a shoulder problem that required surgery. Jones, who enters his fifth NFL season, is the backup to DeMarco Murray, who took Jones' starting job last season. His recovery from surgery might have affected his sprint times, but Jones was cleared by the medical staff to practice, so it shouldn't have been a problem. It was, and now it gives Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner a chance to get more snaps with the first- and second-teams.
Andre Holmes: He's supposed to compete for the No. 3 receiver spot and looked good during offseason workouts. He's considered fast, but -- for whatever reason -- he didn't get it done. "Obviously I should have worked harder," Holmes said. "I missed the last two sprints." Kevin Ogletree, who lost the No. 3 spot last season to Laurent Robinson, emerges as the favorite once again to reclaim the spot. Dwayne Harris and Raymond Radway, who was practicing after his recovery from a fractured leg, will get some significant snaps in practice until Holmes is ready.
Brodney Pool: Sad. Pool struggled last season with the New York Jets and signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys in the hopes of becoming the starting safety alongside Gerald Sensabaugh. But Pool failed his test. Barry Church, a young player the coaches are excited about, received first-team reps during Monday's walkthrough. Matt Johnson, a fourth-round pick, will also see some snaps at safety until Pool gets his act together. Pool should know better about passing these tests. Pool enters his eighth NFL season and his status for 2012 is uncertain based on his inconsistent play in 2011 and his start to this camp.