Friday, July 25, 2014
Three thoughts on Day 2 of Cowboys camp
By Jean-Jacques Taylor
OXNARD, Calif. -- Three thoughts on Day 2 of Dallas Cowboys training camp:
10: Rookie DeMarcus Lawrence said his goal for this season is 10 sacks. Give the man a hand for having lofty goals.
- We kind of assumed Orlando Scandrick is competing with Morris Claiborne for a starting cornerback spot. Jason Garrett said he's playing the two best cornerbacks, which should mean Claiborne is competing against Brandon Carr for a starting spot.The Cowboys spent $50 million on Carr and traded up to get the sixth pick in the draft, which they used on Claiborne. Neither has met expectations.
Carr has been average and Claiborne will be considered a bust if he duplicates his performance from the first two seasons this year. If each played well this season, it would go a long way toward helping the Cowboys improve their defense.
- Jason Garrett says the Cowboys will run the ball more. So does vice president Stephen Jones.Has anyone told Tony Romo? He's the key.
The quarterback in today's NFL has so many options at the line of scrimmage that he's essentially calling the game himself. We know Romo trusts himself more than anyone else on the offense, which is among the reasons he loves to throw the ball. He check out of a lot of running plays. Sometimes, Garrett or Scott Linehan will have to tell him to run the play called even if the defense has 10 defenders at the line of scrimmage.
- This is Bruce Carter's last chance to show the Cowboys he's a player. He'll either perform or they'll go in another direction at the end of this season, as they should.He has every attribute you want in a weakside linebacker, but he consistently failed to perform last season.
It was disappointing considering he was terrific for several weeks in 2012 after Sean Lee was injured, but that was in the 3-4 defense. An elbow injury ended that season, but it looked like he was finally ready to become the star the Cowboys envisioned when they drafted him.
Instead, he was a dud last season.
Just so you know, none of the 32 defensive ends drafted in the second round the past 10 seasons has registered 10 sacks. Cincinnati's Carlos Dunlap had 9.5 in 2010.
Most had a negligible impact as they adjusted to playing against NFL tackles and the speed of the game. The Cowboys need Lawrence to be a difference-maker. He doesn't have to get 10 sacks, but if he's a guy offensive coordinators pay attention to this season, then his rookie year will be a success.
Player to Watch: George Selvie
Selvie had 3.5 sacks in his first three seasons, which were spent playing with St. Louis, Jacksonville, Carolina and Jacksonville again.
He had seven sacks with the Cowboys last season and was one of their most consistent players. Now, he must prove it wasn't a fluke.
The Cowboys' defensive line is the land of opportunity. It has a lot of unproven players and it needs Selvie to be a factor just because there are so few others on the defensive line with successful resumes.