NFC East: curtis johnson

Cowboys' Day 1 observation deck

July, 24, 2010
Dez BryantAP Photo/Tony GutierrezDez Bryant made a splash during the first day of training camp -- showing up 45 minutes early and making acrobatic catches.
SAN ANTONIO -- The Dallas Cowboys' first training camp practice was scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m. local time, but first-round pick Dez Bryant took the field 45 minutes early to the delight of fans and I'm sure his coaches. As he's done since his first rookie camp, Bryant stole the show with an array of acrobatic catches. He spiced up even the most routine warm-up drill by reaching up and snagging the corner of the football with his left hand as if it were a Nerf.

At least one reporter (from the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate) was already asking folks to lay odds on when Bryant would replace Roy Williams in the starting lineup. Imagine what we'll be saying after Bryant's second practice, which is scheduled for Sunday. The former Oklahoma State wide receiver was just thrilled to be playing football again. After Bryant made a remarkable catch along the sideline, Wade Phillips' legendary father, Bum, cut off his conversation with Jerry Jones and began clapping like a fan. Believe it or not, though, there were other players on the field Saturday. Let's get to the observation deck:

    [+] EnlargeTony Romo
    AP Photo/Tony GutierrezFans gave Tony Romo the loudest ovation of the day when the quarterback took the field.
  • The loudest cheers of the day were reserved for quarterback Tony Romo, who ran a warm-up lap as he took the field at 2:29 p.m. local time. A few minutes earlier, Miles Austin walked onto the field to a large ovation and acknowledged the crowd with an exaggerated wave of his arm. I had a long visit with Austin after practice about how his life has changed over the past year. It appears that he and Bryant will have a spirited competition to see who can make the toughest catches in practice. Austin told me that he's looking forward to a preseason matchup with the Dolphins because he wants to catch up with the man who gave him a chance in the league, Bill Parcells.

  • It didn't take long to realize that someone was missing from the tight ends group. Martellus Bennett, who has a lot to prove after a disappointing 2009 season, is on the non-football injury list with an ankle sprain. Bennett suffered the injury while running some routes at Valley Ranch on his own last week, but the Cowboys don't seem overly concerned. The athletic training staff had already set up shop in San Antonio, so the tight end wasn't able to get the same type of treatment that he normally would have received. He'll be day-to-day, and quite honestly, he's not in position to miss any days based on his tepid performance during the past season. It's odd that Phillips failed to mention Bennett's injury during Friday's opening news conference...

  • Second-year tight end John Phillips had an impressive first practice. He caught a couple of passes across the middle and he outperformed the other tight ends on a blocking sled. He's added some muscle and he looked dominant in blocking drills.

  • It's only the first practice, but Patrick Crayton had a bad drop on an inside route during drills. It will be an interesting battle for the fourth receiver spot between Crayton and Kevin Ogletree. Another possible candidate, Sam Hurd, missed practice because his wife had a child Friday. And since Phillips became a grandfather six days ago, I'm thinking he'll cut Hurd some slack.

  • Had a good conversation with right tackle Marc Colombo. He's obviously in much better condition than the last time we saw him in a regular-season game against the Vikings. Colombo told me that he'd lost 12 pounds. "I decided to get in shape and kick some [expletive]," said the right tackle/heavy metal guitarist.

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Cowboys-Vikings: The inactives

January, 17, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS -- Greetings from the Metrodome, where fans have just been warned that pyrotechnics will be used throughout the game. This is somewhat concerning to me, but I'll just roll with it for now.

Now let's look at today's inactives list. No surprises here. For the Cowboys, special teams ace Pat Watkins has returned from a sprained knee and he replaces rookie safety Michael Hamlin on the active list.

Cowboys: Emergency QB Stephen McGee, CB Cletis Gordon, S Michael Hamlin, LB Jason Williams, G Montrae Holland, C Duke Preston, T Pat McQuistan, LB Curtis Johnson

Vikings: Emergency QB Sage Rosenfels, WR Jaymar Johnson, CB Karl Paymah, TE Garrett Mills, LB J Leman, C Jon Cooper, DE Jayme Mitchell, DT Letroy Guion

Cowboys-Eagles inactives: Vick the backup

January, 9, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- As we've already told you, Michael Vick is active for tonight's game and I would expect for him to play a fairly significant role in the game plan. The Cowboys spent more time in the film room preparing for Vick this week because they felt like the Eagles would be in more of a desperation mode in this game. Now let's take a look at the inactives for both teams:

Cowboys: QB Stephen McGee, S Pat Watkins, CB Cletis Gordon, LB Jason Williams, G Montrae Holland, C/G Duke Preston, T Pat McQuistan, LB Curtis Johnson

Eagles: QB Kevin Kolb, CB Geoffrey Pope, FS Quintin Demps, T King Dunlap, C Dallas Reynolds, WR Kevin Curtis, TE Martin Rucker, DT Trevor Laws

The inactives: Witten is a go

November, 26, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (foot) will play against the Raiders today and he appears to be getting a good push off the line as he warms up right now.

Witten, considered to be one of the toughest players on the team, vowed to play against the Raiders, but the team's medical staff was very concerned about his mid-foot sprain, which is located halfway between his big toe and his ankle.

No one is worried about Witten's ability to run in the open field, but there was concern that he'd have trouble firing off the ball. We'll definitely keep our eye on Witten early in the game to see if he's limited in any way. Here are the inactives for today's game:

Cowboys: QB Stephen McGee (emergency), S Ken Hamlin, CB Cletis Gordon, LB Jason Williams, G Montrae Holland, C/G Duke Preston, T Marc Colombo, LB Curtis Johnson, LB Slade Norris

Raiders: WR Todd Watkins, LB David Nixon, T Khalif Barnes, T Erik Pears, WR Javon Walker, WR Nick Miller

Haynesworth officially out against Cowboys

November, 22, 2009
We've been hearing it all morning, but the Redskins have made it official that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth will not play today against the Cowboys. It's obviously a huge blow for a team that depends on Haynesworth to be a disruptive force in the middle of the defense.

Haynesworth will be replaced at defensive tackle by Kedric Golston. But here's the one silver lining: A former NFL scout just informed me that he thinks the Cowboys will be able to play a "pocket-controlled" game, which means they'll have a better opportunity to keep Tony Romo from extending plays with his feet.

The thought is that Haynesworth is so disruptive that he would force Romo to constantly leave the pocket. But that's about the only positive news I can offer Redskins fans right now.

In other news, Fred Smoot will start in place of Carlos Rogers at cornerback for the Redskins. Rogers was pulled for a series last week against the Broncos and he was pretty vocal about it.

Here are the other inactives:

Cowboys: QB Stephen McGee (emergency), S Ken Hamlin, CB Allen Rossum, LB Jason Williams, G Montrae Holland, C/G Duke Preston, T Marc Colombo, LB Curtis Johnson

Redskins: CB Kevin Barnes, RB Clinton Portis, FB Eddie Williams, TE Chris Cooley, LB Robert Henson, T Mike Williams, DT Albert Haynesworth, DE Renaldo Wynn

Live from Cowboys Stadium: It's Falcons-Cowboys!

October, 25, 2009
Posted by's Matt Mosley

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hello and welcome to today's live blogging experience. I'll be bouncing back and forth between the Beast and NFL Nation Live. Fortunately, we'll have this game covered from every angle. NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas has you covered from the Falcons' standpoint and I'll try to take care of the Cowboys' angles.

We're also pleased to have ESPNDallas writers Calvin Watkins and Tim MacMahon in the house. No surprises on the inactives, but I'll give them to you anyway:

Cowboys: Emergency QB Stephen McGee, S Mike Hamlin, LB Jason Williams, G Montrae Holland, C/G Duke Preston, T Pat McQuistan, WR Kevin Ogletree, LB Curtis Johnson

Falcons: Emergency QB John Parker Wilson, S William Moore, RB Jerious Norwood, FB Ovie Mughelli, S Antoine Harris, OT Garrett Reynolds, G Quinn Ojinnaka

I'll be paying close attention to Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams the first time he takes a shot. I think it's important for him to catch an early ball and take a hit. Once he does that, I think he'll be ready to go. The Falcons are under-staffed in the secondary today and I've always thought cornerback Chris Houston was a little soft.

Cowboys-Broncos: The inactives

October, 4, 2009

Posted by's Matt Mosley

DENVER -- Cowboys coaches and athletic trainers were gathered around running back Marion Barber (left quad) as he worked out a couple hours before the game. The Beast reported last night that Tashard Choice would get the majority of the carries. And unless Barber made some incredible progress, I expect that to hold up.

Here are the inactives for both teams:

Cowboys: QB Stephen McGee (emer.), RB Felix Jones, S Mike Hamlin, G Montrae Holland, C Duke Preston, T Pat McQuistan, WR Kevin Ogletree LB Curtis Johnson

Broncos: QB Tom Brandstater (emer.), CB Alphonso Smith, ILB/FB Spencer Larsen, G/C Ben Hamilton, DL Chris Baker, T Brandon Gorin, WR Brandon Lloyd, OLB/DE Jarvis Moss