Dallas Cowboys: Quentin Jammer

Free-agency series: Defensive backs

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
1:00
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We continue our 10-part series breaking down the Cowboys' free-agency needs, position-by-position:

Defensive backs


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How should the Cowboys replace Gerald Sensabaugh?

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Who's on the roster: CB-Brandon Carr, S-Barry Church, CB-Morris Claiborne, S-Matt Johnson, CB-Sterling Moore, S-Micah Pellerin, CB-Orlando Scandrick, CB-Brandon Underwood.

Analysis: The cornerback spot is secure with Carr, Claiborne and Scandrick manning the top spots. The safety position got thin with the release of Gerald Sensabaugh. However, the Cowboys return Church, but he's coming off a torn Achilles injury. Johnson missed the entire 2012 season with a hamstring injury and there are high hopes for his ability to play in 2013.

Cowboys free agents: RFA: S-Danny McCray; UFA: CB-Michael Coe, S-Eric Frampton, CB-Mike Jenkins and S-Charlie Peprah.

NFL free agents of interest: CB-Stanford Routt, S-Ronde Barber, S-William Moore and S-O.J. Atogwe.

PODCAST
ESPN Dallas' Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys cutting Gerald Sensabaugh in a salary cap move.

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Need meter: 3. The Cowboys don't have much money to play with in free agency. And with the money and draft picks invested at corner in the last two seasons, they won't go after a highly-regarded corner such as Quentin Jammer. However, safety could be a different story. Barber has played in the Tampa 2 system before and might be an interesting pickup. There was interest in Atogwe a few years ago; might the Cowboys offer him a two-year deal to play strong safety? The Cowboys will bring McCray back as a backup safety/special teams ace. Peprah and Frampton, both in-season pickups in 2012, are two valued players whom the Cowboys should discuss keeping. If that happens, it's doubtful the Cowboys go outside to sign a safety.

Tensions high in practice vs. Chargers

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
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SAN DIEGO – The practice between the Cowboys' offense and San Diego defense got feisty Tuesday with a mini-fight, lots of words and an unnecessary hit that nearly prompted a bigger fight.

It started when undrafted tight end Andrew Szczerba and Chargers first-round pick Melvin Ingram went a round or so following a running play. San Diego safety Atari Bigby shoved DeMarco Murray in the back after Murray and fullback Lawrence Vickers came in to help Szczerba, who went to the ground and might have been kicked by a Charger.

Szczerba was apologetic afterward because coach Jason Garrett told the players to stay away from the extracurricular activities.

“Just the heat of the moment,” Szczerba said. “Things happen but I’ve got to be smarter and react better to help my team. I hurt my team with that.”

Vickers was one of the first Cowboys in the middle of the scrum.

“No, it ain’t tough to jump in there,” he said. “I’m supposed to do that. I’m going to be there because I’m going to ride with my teammates through whatever. There’s a brotherhood here, togetherness. That the first thing we’re going to have is camaraderie, regardless of who it is I’m jumping out there. But then again, you’ve got to listen to coach and the coach wants us to get good work in without that.”

A few plays later, San Diego cornerback Quentin Jammer unloaded on wide receiver Dwayne Harris underneath, sending him flying with a full-contact hit.

No punches were thrown, but players got together for a bit before they went back to their respective huddles.

After that, there were no more skirmishes.

“Back in the day we used to go against the Raiders and we used to do two practices, full padded, for three days, and about the fourth practice in the middle of the second afternoon there were a lot of fights,” Garrett said, “and there continued to be a lot of fights. It’s a real challenge for a player to stay focused because you want to stand up for your guy. That’s a good thing in football, that’s a good thing in life. But at the same time, you have to get your emotions under control and go do your job the next play. It’s a little bit of a mental test as well for the individual and our team, and I thought for the most part we handled it well.”

Camp observations: Tony Romo sharp

August, 20, 2012
8/20/12
4:36
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SAN DIEGO – Tony Romo was sharp in Monday’s practice against San Diego, and it could've been better if not for three drops.

PODCAST
Coop and Nate weigh in on the Cowboys-Chargers game and discuss the future of RB Felix Jones.

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Romo went 20 of 28 in team and seven-on-seven drills against the Chargers but was done in by drops by Felix Jones, Kevin Ogletree and DeMarco Murray.

I spent the nearly two-hour session watching the Cowboys’ offense, so these observations will focus only on that side of the ball:

** RB Felix Jones must be fighting the ball. He had a drop in the games against Oakland and San Diego and was unable to hold on to a simple check down from Romo in Monday’s practice. It’s somewhat alarming because Jones has been a reliable pass catcher.

** WR Kevin Ogletree's drop is a tough grade, but a drop nonetheless after he was easily able to slide by CB Quentin Jammer at the line of scrimmage. Romo’s throw was a tad long and went just off Ogletree’s fingertips. But the ease in which Ogletree got by Jammer was impressive. Ogletree had a productive practice with the extra attention, catching six of Romo’s 20 completions.

** In Jason Witten's absence, the tight ends have not been involved as much in the passing game but that sort of changed Monday. John Phillips and James Hanna were active. Hanna put together a catch of at least 25 yards after getting past the Chargers linebackers unnoticed.

** WR Andre Holmes did not make it through the practice because of back tightness. He was unable to hook up with Romo on the first play of team drills and was replaced by Dwayne Harris.

** The Cowboys like to run reverses but they have not had much success during camp. They didn’t have success with it Monday either. LB Shaun Phillips snuffed out a reverse to Harris, doing a good job of not following the pack.

** Kyle Orton went 14 of 20 in the practice but barely overthrew WR Danny Coale on a deep ball down the middle in which the rookie could not get an extra jump on the pass. Coale, however, had his best practice of camp in part because he got so much work.

** Interesting to note that backup quarterbacks Stephen McGee and Rudy Carpenter split the third-team snaps with both quarterbacks taking two snaps in seven on seven and two in team drills.

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