SAN DIEGO – Before the Cowboys return to Dallas today, they will spend the morning meeting with some Navy SEALs as they continue the team-building experience known as training camp.
We will continue the five-wonders experience right here before boarding a plane home after 25 days on the road.
** I wonder if Jerry Jones is just being polite when he told KRLD-FM that Felix Jones has “got a chance to have a big year for us.” If you did not know Jones wore No. 28 during training camp, then you would wonder if No. 28 is a bona fide NFL back. Now, Jones is a lock to make the team and he can be an upgrade as a kick returner. But that Jones burst has been missing for a lot of camp. You haven’t seen that “wow” run from Felix yet. He’s dropped two passes in two preseason games. He had a drop in the first San Diego practice. He failed the conditioning test entering camp and after Saturday’s game against the Chargers, coach Jason Garrett said he felt Jones was still working his way back into shape. He had an involved shoulder surgery after last season, so maybe there’s some uneasiness there. But this can’t be the way Jones wanted to enter a contract year.
** I wonder if this is how the wideout position shakes out: Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree, Cole Beasley and … Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris or Danny Coale. Holmes is slowed by a back injury that could keep him out of Saturday’s game. He was OK vs. Oakland but the people who know these things didn’t seem all that enthralled about his performance. Since then he has been disjointed, to say the least, in practice. But he’s 6-foot-5 and can make plays the other two can't. Harris has had a decent camp and is reliable when the ball gets in his hands. The problem is that he sometimes doesn’t always go the right way. Coale has had the least amount of practice because of foot and quadriceps injuries but did a nice job vs. San Diego. Now is it enough to claim the fifth spot? I wonder if the Cowboys hold him out of the preseason altogether with the hopes he can get on the practice squad.
** I wonder how much of an impact new secondary coach Jerome Henderson is having on this team. The Cowboys have four picks in two preseason games. They have been more aggressive in practices. They carry themselves differently. Henderson is a former player and knows how to get to players. Rob Ryan wanted to get him last year, but Cleveland would not let him go. They reunited this year and now we know why Ryan wanted him. Most rookie cornerbacks tend to struggle, but one who didn’t was Cleveland’s Joe Haden, who was coached by Henderson. Now he gets Morris Claiborne.
** I wonder if Mackenzy Bernadeau can carry over his good start to the regular season. There was some skepticism when the Cowboys signed him to a four-year, $11 million deal in March and it grew when he missed the offseason with hip and knee surgeries. Since he’s gotten on the field, Bernadeau has been impressive. When he gets his hands on his guy, he blocks him. I know it’s not exactly a new concept, but he has power and he moves pretty well. The Cowboys could not do much in the screen game last year with Montrae Holland, but Bernadeau might be OK with that part. He finishes his blocks and you don’t see him on the ground.
**Some quick roster thoughts on special teams: I wonder if they go with five running backs but not Jamize Olawale. I wonder if Lance Dunbar can get in the mix as a kick returner. I wonder how many defensive backs they can take: nine or 10. If it’s 10, they’d go with Mana Silva. If it’s nine, then I wonder if inside linebacker Orie Lemon gets that final special teams spot. I wonder if Charley Hughlett is doing enough to push L.P. Ladouceur out of a spot. If he is, then the team will solely make the call based on economics. Ladouceur is more reliable. Hughlett hasn’t been bad, but he is a little erratic with placement.