Stock Report: Church up and centers down

August, 10, 2012
8/10/12
9:30
AM ET
OXNARD, Calif. -- We are almost two weeks into training camp and it's time for another version of our Stock Report.

Enjoy.

Up

Streaking
Kyle Orton. He's been good during training camp. He's showing good arm strength and can make all the throws necessary to run Jason Garrett's offense. Orton is proving he's an upgrade at the backup quarterback position and he's years -- years -- ahead of anyone else behind him on the depth chart.

Barry Church. When the Cowboys released Brodney Pool it sent a message to Church. You're the starting safety. Church made plays in camp -- interceptions, pass breakups and being in the right place. Pool didn't do that. Church kept his head down and just made plays, something the head coach likes.

PODCAST
Cowboys S Barry Church talks about getting the starting nod after the team released Brodney Pool, playing under Rob Ryan and more.

Listen Listen
Tyrone Crawford. Of the 2012 draft class, Crawford has emerged as the best. Nothing against Morris Claiborne, who is nursing a knee injury, but you can't be evaluated unless you're playing. Crawford is showing speed and power coming off the edge. He's getting second-team reps and is on target to get plenty of snaps when the games start.

Down

Slumping
Centers. Stephen Jones said he's not worried about the three centers who have fumbled snaps during camp. We respect that, but at some point, the Cowboys need to solve this problem. The quarterback-center exchange is too messy. Phil Costa is the starter but Harland Gunn and David Arkin are struggling with him. Mackenzy Bernadeau is expected to get some snaps, but the Cowboys need him to play guard. It's a mess.

Andre Holmes. The favorite to become the No. 3 receiver is sliding. He can't pull down high catches, and despite running pretty good routes, is inconsistent. Kevin Ogletree got run with the first team with Miles Austin out and Holmes is getting beaten out by Tim Benford and Cole Beasley.

Miles Austin. Hamstrings, hamstrings, hamstrings. The Cowboys lead receiver is out for a while as he nurses his hamstrings. It's hard to say whose fault it is. Is it Austin's for not communicating with the training and coaching staff? Is it the coaches for not monitoring Austin's reps in practice? Maybe it's genetics.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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