Dallas Cowboys: Jimmy Robinson

Win or lose, jobs at stake Sunday vs. Eagles

December, 23, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- As thrilling as Sunday’s 24-23 win against the Washington Redskins was, it might have only delayed the inevitable for the Dallas Cowboys.

Ware
Ware
With a loss this week against the Philadelphia Eagles in a third straight NFC East championship game, there will be change. Actually, win or lose there will be changes, because that is just the nature of the NFL. How grand and how widespread are the questions.

Speculation abounds about Jason Garrett’s future. Twice in the past two weeks Garrett said he is focused on doing his job to the best of his ability. There is nothing else he really can say. Would Jerry Jones have the patience to bring Garrett back for a fourth season after three crushing Week 17 losses?

After last season’s loss to the Washington Redskins, Jones promised an uncomfortable season for everyone in the organization ... not named Jones.

Would it have made a difference if the Cowboys beat the Redskins last season? Would Jones have stayed with the status quo? They didn’t win, so changes were made.

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired. So was running backs coach Skip Peete. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis was allowed to leave for the Chicago Bears. Garrett’s brother, John, was allowed to leave for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson was named “senior coaching consultant,” however, he has not been seen at one practice the entire season.

Ryan’s replacement, Monte Kiffin, would appear to be on thin ice after this historically bad season as the Cowboys switched to the 4-3. He has consistently said retirement is not in his plans, but at 73 years old that could change quickly.

Players, like Gerald Sensabaugh, Marcus Spears, Lawrence Vickers and Dan Connor, were cut in the offseason. Doug Free had his base salary cut in half. Players like DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin could be in the crosshairs this year win or lose to the Eagles.

A lot is at stake against the Eagles, and for some people it could be more than just a playoff spot.

Rod Marinelli should make big impact

February, 15, 2013
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IRVING, Texas – Of all of the introductions to the Cowboys’ assistant coaches Thursday, the most impressive was defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.

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Some might find that strange considering Marinelli was the head coach in Detroit when the Lions went 0-16, but there is no doubt in my mind that Marinelli is the key defensive hire.

There was almost a sense that Monte Kiffin and Marinelli are in reality co-coordinators, even if Marinelli carries just the defensive line designation. With the departure of Jimmy Robinson to a consultant role, the assistant head coach title is now open.

“He’s something now,” Kiffin said of Marinelli. “He’s an icon now. Believe it.”

Tampa Bay’s run to the Super Bowl under Jon Gruden was forged by its defense, led by Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Ronde Barber. On Thursday, Kiffin mentioned Marinelli’s work with guys like Greg Spires and Chartric Darby, castoffs from other teams turned key players with the Buccaneers.

“You can ask any of those guys ... when you come to work, you had better bring a lunch pail with Rod Marinelli,” Kiffin said. “And like Rod says, and we all say it, it starts up front. 'You get a hard hat, let’s go! Get after that quarterback, OK?' ”

Kiffin and Marinelli were together for 10 years in Tampa Bay. The chance to reunite with the Cowboys was something Marinelli couldn’t pass up.

“There’s a bond and a floor, I should say, of a belief that there’s no compromise on, and we understand that,” Marinelli said. “There are things maybe you do differently here and there over the course of the year. But that foundation, the fundamentals of what we do, is the core belief for us, that kind of unites us. That’s why I wanted to be a part of this and be back with him.”

Will changes affect Dez Bryant?

February, 15, 2013
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All of the hubbub over who will end up calling offensive plays for the Dallas Cowboys this year has obscured the idea that whoever it is would do very well to call as many plays as possible for Dez Bryant. In his third season in the league, Bryant emerged as a star wideout, an unstoppable physical force in opposing secondaries and a deliverer of fantasy football titles the world over. So it's at least worth mentioning that he's going to have a new position coach. Per Todd Archer:
Bryant
Bryant
“Jimmy [Robinson] has had a really positive impact on Dez,” Jason Garrett said. “It was a breakout year for Dez. He caught 92 balls for 1,300-plus yards and really played very, very good football. I think he matured a ton and there’s no question the environment he was in certainly helped him and Jimmy was a big part of that.”

But he’s not been kept around to have the same influence on Bryant, especially if Garrett is saying Robinson, “should be around the building,” during the year. Calvin Hill is a consultant with the team, but he’s not running the player develop program and not around every day.

The growth of Bryant will now fall to Derek Dooley, the new receivers coach, as Robinson moves into a new role.

If Bryant struggles, I imagine this will be brought up again in-season. Personally, I think Bryant as a player is going to be fine, and probably a superstar. And I think a new voice in the meeting room isn't going to hurt him but could maybe even help, as different perspectives often do. Bryant's issues always have been away from the field and the team complex. And if he's got those under control, whether it's with the help of those much-ballyhooed rules he and the team put in place last year or for any other reason, there's nothing that happens on the field that's going to stop Bryant from continuing to blossom.

Dez Bryant's growth now on Derek Dooley

February, 14, 2013
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IRVING, Texas – Jimmy Robinson came to the Cowboys with the assistant head coach title in 2011. Two years later he is now a senior coaching consultant.

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What does it mean? Who knows?

Robinson was not at Tuesday's unveiling of the assistant coaches so we weren’t able to ask him. On Wednesday, Jason Garrett did not elaborate.

“He should be around the building and trying to help us in any way he can," Garrett said. "He’s a guy that I’ve known for a long time, and I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge and his input as we go forward.”

Robinson turned 60 in January and has been an NFL assistant coach since 1990. There is a grind on assistant coaches, especially those coaching wide receivers. Robinson helped develop Dez Bryant over the last two seasons, and Bryant had a breakout 2012 season with 92 catches and 13 touchdowns.

“Jimmy has had a really positive impact on Dez,” Garrett said. “It was a breakout year for Dez. He caught 92 balls for 1,300-plus yards and really played very, very good football. I think he matured a ton and there’s no question the environment he was in certainly helped him, and Jimmy was a big part of that.”

But he’s not being kept around to have the same influence on Bryant, especially if Garrett is saying Robinson “should be around the building” during the year. Calvin Hill is a consultant with the team, but he’s not running the player development program and isn't around every day.

The growth of Bryant will now fall to Derek Dooley, the new receiver’s coach, as Robinson moves into a new role.

Much is left unanswered at Valley Ranch

January, 25, 2013
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We left for the Senior Bowl on Monday in search of answers.

All we got from Dallas Cowboys officials was confusion.

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Ed Werder joins Ben and Skin to talk about Troy Aikman's recent comments about Jason Garrett, the ties the new Cowboys coaches have with Jon Gruden and Jerry Jones' continued unwillingness to fire Garrett.

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What we do know is that Jerry Jones has hinted that Jason Garrett won't call plays in 2013. Jones didn't say who would call plays, but all indications are that offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan will take over those duties.

It would appear to be a step back for Garrett, but Jones has tried spin the situation so that it doesn't look like a demotion for his head coach. Jones' preference to have a "walk-around" coach represents a change in thinking. It was just a few months ago that Jones shared a story of how former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said it was best for a head coach to call plays on either the offense or defense. That way, Gibbs said, it gives the appearance the coach had a hand in a victory or defeat.

Jones hired head coaches Chan Gailey, Wade Phillips and Garrett under this model. Now it seems he is switching gears. Jones points out that Garrett will still have a hand in the day-to-day operations of the football team. Well, that's fine and good, but he's always had that.

Garrett has two years remaining on his contract, and if this whole thing doesn't work out with him in 2013 it's clear he won't get another year to fix it. Jones clearly appears to be taking more power away from Garrett by the day.

Garrett, however, has still been involved in the interview process for offensive coaches. The Cowboys need a running backs coach and tight ends coach and most likely a wide receivers coach. Garrett conducted interviews at the Senior Bowl, ducking out after watching a few moments of practices to greet coaches.

Then, of course, there's the issue of Rob Ryan's dismissal. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram had a report that Garrett said the defensive coordinator was let go because his unit didn't create enough turnovers. The Dallas Morning News countered that Garrett's comments about Ryan were taken out of context.

A few weeks ago, Jones said on KRLD-FM that part of the reason he let Ryan go was because of losses at Seattle and against Chicago, games he felt the defense didn't do its part.

Wait, there's more.

Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson wasn't with the team in Mobile. Jones said Robinson is still on staff but that something might change with his status. What could that be? It might be a personal issue that allows Robinson to leave the day-to-day operations of working with Garrett. Nothing has been resolved here.

The other hot topic was Jay Ratliff's arrest early Tuesday morning for allegedly driving while intoxicated in Grapevine, Texas.

Jones talked with reporters at around noon Tuesday and was asked about a tiff he had with Ratliff and if that would have any bearing on his status with the team. Jones indicated it didn't and compared it to father and son having a typical argument.

Did Jones know about Ratliff's arrest when speaking with reporters in Mobile? We don't know. Saying he forgave Ratliff for a heated argument the two had during the season is one thing. Can Jones forgive Ratliff for getting arrested, too?

There are plenty of questions hanging around Valley Ranch. Hopefully in the next few days we can get some answers.
CINCINNATI – Dez Bryant spent most of the series on the sideline, getting the full attention of the Cowboys’ medical staff.

Bryant sprained the index finger on his left hand when he got tackled after his second catch of the day, which didn’t come until there were less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. That was the first play of a must-score series that started with the Cowboys trailing the Bengals by nine points.

That drive ended with Bryant strutting into the end zone, scoring a 27-yard touchdown immediately after going back into the game with a couple of his fingers taped together.

Bryant burned the Bengals two-man coverage -- a cornerback playing underneath with a safety over the top -- with a beautiful crossing route. He got cornerback Leon Hall to bite on an out fake and burst across the middle to catch a bullet pass from Tony Romo before turning upfield to score easily.

Bryant’s finger, which was in a splint after the Cowboys’ 20-19 win, didn’t bother him on his seventh touchdown in a five-game span that includes four Dallas victories.

“To be honest, I was so pumped about the game, I didn’t feel anything,” Bryant said. “I wasn’t thinking about it. If I was thinking about it, I probably would have dropped it. I went in with a relentless attitude and just wanted it.”

This game followed the recent trend of Bryant being a nonfactor in the first half and a force after halftime.

Bryant didn’t have any catches at halftime Sunday. He was targeted only twice by that point, dropping a ball thrown a bit behind him on one of those. He finished the game with four catches for 50 yards and the score.

“With this game, what I’ve realized is that you’ve got to be patient,” Bryant said. “It will come. When your opportunities come, you’ve got to make the most of it.

“(Receivers coach Jimmy Robinson) tells me that all the time. I thank him, because he tells me that so much, I have no choice but to believe it.”

With every touchdown, there’s more reason to believe in Bryant.

Random thoughts: Coming back to Dallas

August, 22, 2012
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SAN DIEGO -- As we pack our bags for the trip back to Dallas, we've got some random thoughts on what we've seen during Cowboys training camp in California.

Most impressive player (s): Dez Bryant and Brandon Carr have been equally fantastic. Carr has shut down receivers with his press coverage and playmaking skills. Despite his quiet demeanor, he's also provided a strong leadership quality. Bryant is well, Bryant. He makes leaping catches, catches in traffic and it seems the only man who can stop him is Carr.

Most disappointing player: Wide receiver Raymond Radway made the 53-man roster last year, but a fractured leg in the final preseason game cost him the season. Now healthy, Radway has shown flashes of that blazing speed. At other times, however, bad routes, drops and missed assignments have hurt him. He's been surpassed by Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris for the fifth and sixth receiver spots.

Five players to keep: Center David Arkin, linebacker Orie Lemon, guard Ronald Leary, defensive tackle Ben Bass and cornerback Mario Butler.

Five players to cut: Quarterback Stephen McGee, cornerback Teddy Williams, cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, defensive lineman Robert Callaway and guard Daniel Loper.

So did the Cowboys talk to Plax? Of course they did. Jerry Jones said he didn't speak with free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress or his agent, and we believe him. But someone did, and the Cowboys quickly defused the situation, which is the right thing to do. The Cowboys don't need Burress. The Cowboys don't need a veteran receiver. What the Cowboys need is for their young receivers to improve, which is what's happened under receivers coach Jimmy Robinson.

Best draft pick: Morris Claiborne is an easy selection, but I would say tight end James Hanna has been the most impressive. He can catch, run good routes and -- despite a few drops -- is more than serviceable. If Jason Witten can't play in the regular-season opener, Hanna has done enough to prove he's ready for the big stage. Now Hanna, the No. 2 tight end of the moment, needs to improve on his blocking. That will happen.

The biggest surprise from a player: RB/FB Jamize Olawale and DE Tyrone Crawford. Olawale needs to lower his body when he runs, but he displays good speed when he hits the holes. He's a good blocker, too. Is he good enough to make the 53? No, but the Cowboys should attempt to bring him back to the practice squad. Crawford moved up the ranks and got second-team reps in practice and games. He's been the second-most impressive draft pick in camp. There was a question about his ability to play against the run. He's better than expected with his power and ability to shed blockers.

One player who needs to step up: Felix Jones isn't going anywhere, nor should he. The running back, however, has gotten off to a slow start in training camp. In Saturday's preseason game against St. Louis, if Jones gets eight touches, we would like to see a burst through the hole and some movement in space. We haven't seen that enough in training camp and the first two preseason games.

Cowboys want consistent play from WRs

August, 11, 2012
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OXNARD, Calif. – Over and over Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has said in training camp, “you can’t win with flash players.”

By flash players, he means guys who show they can do a job one day and flail away the next.

As training camp goes on, the Cowboys are waiting for their young wide receivers to settle in, although the last two days of work might have been the group’s best collective effort.

“You can’t be inconsistent,” assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said. “You can’t be up and down. You can’t have a great day, an average day, a poor day then another great day. That’s an 8-8 record, basically.”

Robinson’s assessment of the wide receivers so far: “We’re just OK.”

With Miles Austin out with a hamstring injury, Kevin Ogletree has worked with the starters opposite Dez Bryant. Cole Beasley, Andre Holmes and Dwayne Harris have received most of the third wideout looks. Danny Coale is working back from a foot injury and practiced for less than a week and will not play against Oakland on Monday. Tim Benford and Raymond Radway have had their moments.

While the pack remains together, Robinon said that does not make his job more difficult.

“You want people to step up,” Robinson said. “You want to see guys rising, and you see some of that at times. You just don’t see enough of it yet. I’m optimistic about it. I’m not discouraged by any stretch. We’re a very young group, so we’re a work in progress.”

Camp observations: It's a dog day

August, 6, 2012
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OXNARD, Calif. -- Jason Witten called Monday’s practice one of the dog days of camp because of the number of reps from Sunday’s practice and the focus on short-yardage and goal-line running in the afternoon.

** Fans cry out for the end zone fade to WR Dez Bryant whenever the Cowboys get near the end zone. You would’ve been happy Monday. Bryant caught a fade from QB Tony Romo for a touchdown over CB Mario Butler in two-minute work. The play was set up by what seemed to be a somewhat dubious pass interference call on CB Orlando Scandrick

** The second-team offense also scored in its two-minute work with Cole Beasley working the slot to get the score after the defense failed to line up properly. That score was also set up by a dubious pass interference call on S Mana Silva on a throw to Beasley that seemed uncatchable. Beasley had three catches on the drive.

** It was a shaky day for the contenders in the backup receiver role. Dwayne Harris had a drop that led to assistant head coach Jimmy Robinson throwing his play sheet in the air. Kevin Ogletree had a drop and Andre Holmes was invisible.

** Newly-minted starting S Barry Church made a nice break on a throw to FB Lawrence Vickers, but secondary coach Jerome Henderson has higher standards. He wanted Church to go for the interception.

** TE James Hanna did a nice job sealing DE Sean Lissemore on two runs to start the team-run period. Hanna also had a couple of catches on the day in getting more work with the regular offense.

** CB C.J. Wilson had a good day with a number of breakups, including one to Hanna in the flat. One of his teammates told him to go for the pick instead of the knockdown and he might have been correct. The drive ended in Beasley’s touchdown.

** It’s a Penn State thing. LB Dan Connor slid by G David Arkin to stop Felix Jones behind the line, then Sean Lee shrugged off Vickers to stop DeMarco Murray on the next play.

** G Mackenzy Bernadeau must have passed his conditioning test because owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the guard will get some work Tuesday. Bernadeau took some walkthrough snaps for the first time Monday morning.

** Something to note: Pat McQuistan and Ronald Leary did some pre-practice snapping, which is a sign the team isn’t pleased with the in-house work of the backups so far. They don't seem ready to look outside for help.

**Veteran Gs Derrick Dockery and Daniel Loper were in pads for the first time since signing and DE Kenyon Coleman had a rude welcoming to Loper in one-on-one pass rush drills, shucking him to the ground to get to the passer.

** WR Raymond Radway was yanked from a play when he lined up on the left side when he was supposed to be on the right. He was replaced by Donavon Kemp. Radway has had some issues in lining up in the correct spot.
IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant heard that Jerry Jones publicly wondered last week whether the receiver’s conditioning affected his concentration late in games last season.

Bryant doesn’t disagree with his boss. The young receiver considers Jones’ comments a challenge that he eagerly accepts.

“I don’t want to say I was in horrible shape, but I feel like I wasn’t at my best,” Bryant said. “I feel like now, I’m still not at my best, but it’s way better than last year and I feel like I’m still progressing.”

The owner, of course, isn’t the only Valley Ranch authority figure pushing Bryant. Head coach Jason Garrett, receivers coach Jimmy Robinson and strength coach Mike Woicik take turns getting in Bryant’s ear when appropriate.

Bryant, who claims that he’s dropped his body fat to 3.1 percent, has especially benefited from six-time Super Bowl champion Woicik’s frequent butt kickings.

“Of course, and I’m loving every minute of it,” Bryant said. “I love to compete, and what Coach Woicik is doing with us, I can see a big change in everybody’s ways and how they go about everything on the field.”

Garrett likes what he’s seen from Bryant this offseason.

“He’s working very hard,” Garrett said. “He’s done an excellent job in the offseason program both with lifting and with running, and he’s carried that to the field. He has to do exactly that.”
IRVING, Texas -- There must be something the Dallas Cowboys like about wide receiver Kevin Ogletree.

He was poised to become the No. 3 wide receiver last season until some guy named Laurent Robinson stole the show. Robinson finished with 54 catches for 854 yards and 11 touchdowns. He caught a touchdown in five consecutive games. That's seven in five weeks.

When plays broke down, quarterback Tony Romo sought Robinson's abilities to scramble away from defenders and get to open spots on the field to make plays.

In the offseason, Robinson signed a five-year $32.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars with $13.8 million guaranteed. The Cowboys didn't make him a significant offer because they wouldn't haven been able to allocate resources to the other needs on the team.

Robinson was thought of highly around Valley Ranch, and coach Jason Garrett called him to wish him luck after he signed with Jacksonville.

Which brings us back to Ogletree.

He was on the free-agent market as well, but with so few takers for his services, he's back with the Cowboys trying to win a gig he lost last year.

"My uncle always tells me don’t dress up for the job you have but for the one you want," Ogletree said. "Playing football is what I do. So I knew I was going to be doing it somewhere. I lucked out and it's here."

Robinson caught more passes in 2011 than Ogletree had in his career (25).

But Ogletree has another chance.

The candidates for the No. 3 spot are Andre Holmes, Danny Coale, Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway and Ogletree. Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said if nobody emerges, then it will be a committee to determine playing time.

Last year, there were no committees.

It was all Robinson as Ogletree watched. Ogletree finished the season with 15 catches for 164 yards and no touchdowns. He still has no touchdowns in his three-year career. It had to be humbling to watch the regular-season finale at the New York Giants as an active player and not play.

"It was good for me and it was good for our team at that time," Ogletree said of Robinson's play. "(It) just opened my eyes to a lot of things. As far as taking advantage of those moments, they're precious. No bad feelings about that. I just know how to work."

Ogletree's world flipped on him days after the season ended when his brother, Calvin Ogletree, was shot in the head in New York. Ogletree, a Queens native, was on a flight home when it happened.

His brother is still recovering and the investigation is ongoing.

"Just one of those deals in life you wish never happened," Ogletree said. "I don’t think it matters (who did it), what’s important now is he’s here still and he's fighting everyday to get better like me. So we're in the same position."

Of course Ogletree understands the importance of finding out who shot his brother, but recovery is almost as important given the trauma Calvin Ogletree experienced.

Kevin Ogletree's career with the Cowboys has given fans few moments to remember. His biggest moment was against New Orleans in 2009, when he caught just two passes for 23 yards, all in the second half. But it was Jerry Jones' pregame chat with Ogletree at midfield in the Superdome that night reminding everyone just how important some people in the organization think Ogletree is.

"It's an opportunity," Ogletree said of the No. 3 receiver spot. "Something that is in front of me and it will be a good thing for me to take advantage of."

OTA notes: Tony Romo looks sharp

May, 23, 2012
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IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys held the first of four organized team activities that will be open to the media at Valley Ranch on Wednesday, so we bring you some observations from the two-hour workout:

** Maybe it’s the product of not seeing him throw in four months, but Tony Romo was throwing the ball with a tremendous amount of velocity. Romo went 8-of-11 in team and seven-on-seven drills Wednesday with one drop by TE John Phillips.

** LB Sean Lee looked in midseason form by snuffing out a pass to the flat to FB Lawrence Vickers for what would have been no gain or a short pickup.

** QB Stephen McGee and rookie Tyrone Navikoff had a difficult time with the snap, muffing three before Navikoff was pulled in favor of Bill Nagy. And Nagy’s first snap with McGee went to the ground.

** WR Raymond Radway, who missed his rookie year with a broken ankle, was knocked out of practice briefly after getting poked in the eye.

** Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Dwayne Harris worked as punt returners. Tim Benford, Radway and Lance Dunbar handled kick returns.

** With OLB DeMarcus Ware missing the workout, Victor Butler was with the starters and showed good awareness on a reverse by Harris by not allowing the wide receiver to get outside. Anthony Spencer did the same later in practice on a reverse to Miles Austin.

** WR Andre Holmes made a nice grab on a Kyle Orton throw in seven-on-seven drills while crossing the middle. Earlier, Holmes snared a Romo pass that was a little ahead of him.

** Rookie Saalim Hakin struggled in the rookie minicamp with drops and he struggled Wednesday. Unofficially he had three and the last brought receivers coach Jimmy Robinson over with some encouragement.

** Undrafted rookie CB Lionel Smith intercepted a McGee pass along the sideline.

** Rookie S Eddie Whitley ended practice with a nice breakup of a McGee throw to James Hanna. Whitley broke on Hanna’s route perfectly to bat the pass away.

** RB Phillip Tanner did not look any different after being put on injured reserve last year with a hamstring injury. He was quick and decisive with his cuts.

Coach likes Dez Bryant's offseason

May, 5, 2012
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IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys hoped a more structured offseason would serve Dez Bryant’s development well after the lockout kept the team from communicating with the wide receiver in 2011.

So far, so good.

“He’s working hard in here [in the weight room] and in the teaching sessions,” assistant head coach Jimmy Robinson said. “He’s gotten off to a good start. He’s out there working really, really hard to get better. It’s got to make a difference. If it doesn’t, then what’s the point of the offseason program? So I’m confident it’s going to help.”

Bryant had several off-field issues, including suits involving repayment of loans for jewelry that have since been dealt with.

The focus of this offseason has been about football instead of finances.

“He’s getting better every day, but again that’s got to carry over to the next phase, the OTAs and training camp and then the regular season, game day,” Robinson said.

Bryant finished second on the team in receptions (63) yards (928) and touchdowns (nine) in 2011, but he did not have a 100-yard game. Robinson said Bryant is not working on specific things, but refinement of his whole game.

“Just play by play, how’s he doing?” Robinson said. “Is he picking things up? Is he making mistakes? Is he repeating mistakes? It’s a real gradual, play by play, day by day process. It takes a lot of time.”

Danny Coale brings versatility

April, 28, 2012
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IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys like versatile players and Virginia Tech’s Danny Coale is versatile.

He played outside wide receiver and excelled in the slot. He had four carries. He returned punts. He was on the Hokies’ punt block team and also was on the kick return and punt return teams.

He even punted as a senior, averaging 43.5 yards per punt.

“I want an opportunity to contribute to a team and it seems like a great fit,” Coale said.

Coale was the Cowboys’ fifth round pick and their first offensive selection. He left Virginia Tech with 165 catches for 2,658 yards and eight touchdowns. His receptions and yards are second-most in school history.

Coale did not come to Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit, but he met with coach Jason Garrett and assistants John Garrett and Jimmy Robinson at the NFL scouting combine.

“I like to challenge myself to make tough catches over the middle and I really enjoy playing the middle of the field, seeing it from the slot,” Coale said.

The Cowboys have an opening for Tony Romo’s No. 3 wide receiver spot after losing Laurent Robinson. However, owner and general manager Jerry Jones has expressed his belief that Andre Holmes, Raymond Radway, Kevin Ogletree or Dwayne Harris can be playmakers. Coale will be in a competition

“He does a lot of exciting things,” Coale said of Romo. “I’m really thrilled to have an opportunity to catch from him.”

Jason Garrett talks Joe DeCamillis decision

February, 23, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Cowboys' decision to deny Oakland permission to speak with special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis earlier this offseason was made because Jason Garrett did not want to lose a good coach.

New Raiders coach Dennis Allen wanted DeCamillis to run their special teams and be assistant head coach.

“I tell every coach I’m for the coach,” Garrett said from the NFL scouting combine Thursday. “First and foremost my job is to do what’s in the best interest for the Dallas Cowboys. But having said that I’m for the coach. I want to keep every coaching advancing in this profession. Hopefully they’re advancing on our team but if there’s another opportunity with another team, I want them to do that, but the first thing we have to address is what’s in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys.”

League rules state a team only has to grant permission to another team regarding a head coaching vacancy. In 2007, Miami allowed Jason Garrett, who was the Dolphins’ quarterbacks coach, to become the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator after interviewing for the head coaching spot. Last year Green Bay allowed Jimmy Robinson to join the Cowboys as their assistant head coach.

“We have great conversations,” Garrett said when asked if he was worried about DeCamillis being upset, adding, “We’ve been judicious with this. There’s been some people we wanted to have stay here but felt like there was a better opportunity or a different opportunity. Again, we have to do what’s in the best interest of the Cowboys.”

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