NFC East: Mike Jefferson

The Mosley Training Camp Report

July, 30, 2009

Posted by's Matt Mosley

SAN ANTONIO -- The second day of Cowboys training camp was much more physical. Running back Marion Barber punished anyone who tried to take him on and a rookie linebacker by the name of Victor Butler was all over the field. I'm prepared to touch on some of the position battles and other things that are going on inside the Alamodome, home to the poorest lighting in sports.

      AP Photo/Eric Gay
      Marion Barber and the other Cowboys running backs have looked dangerous early on in camp.
  • I've been as impressed with second-year running back Tashard Choice as anyone in camp. Running backs coach Skip Peete told me Wednesday that Choice was one of the most complete backs in the nation when he was at Georgia Tech, but there were questions about his speed. On Thursday, he used his acceleration to race away from linebackers and safeties. If I had to pick a player who's performed the best after three practices, I'd have to go with Choice. After talking to Peete for a while, I think Choice is a guy who could play three or four series per game -- especially if he gets hot.
  • Marion Barber appears to be lighter, in part, because he actually dropped five pounds. He's still administering punishment to linebackers, but he appears to have a little more wiggle than I recall at this point in camp. If you're wanting to get excited about something, let me suggest this team's three running backs. Felix Jones is showing that he could have a big impact in the passing game. He didn't catch the ball a lot at Arkansas, but he has pretty good hands from what I've gathered. For those of you who keep asking, I haven't seen any Wildcat formation plays to this point in camp.
  • I want to see more of Victor Butler, the fourth-round player out of Oregon State. He had 12 sacks his senior season at Oregon State, and he was all over the Cowboys' quarterbacks in Thursday's morning practice. He appears to be pretty quick off the edge and he actually showed some nice versatility in dropping back in coverage to make plays. In the morning practice, Butler was the guy constantly catching my eye.
  • After observing three practices, I'm convinced the Cowboys could be in big trouble if any of their offensive linemen go down with injury. Pat McQuistan looked completely helpless through much of Thursday's practices. And the worst part is that he got worse with each rep. He freaked out when DeMarcus Ware lined up over him and had a false start. Doug Free, a former third-round pick, looked a little better in the one-on-one drills I watched, but he's not ready to step in for  left tackle Flozell Adams if something happens. Cory Procter's a guy that can get you through a couple of games at center or guard, but he needs to stay in that role. This team has done a very poor job of drafting and developing offensive linemen. They took Andre Gurode out of Colorado in the second round in 2002. They've been striking out ever since.

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Cowboys cut former third-round pick

September, 6, 2008

Posted by's Matt Mosley


I'm trying to escape New York before Hurricane Hanna hits the area, but wanted to update you on two Cowboys roster moves that just went down. Former third-round draft choice James Marten, who moved from tackle to guard, was released Saturday morning to make room for wide receiver Mike Jefferson, who's going to be activated from the practice squad.

Marten and fellow draft pick Doug Free were supposed to provide depth on the offensive line and eventually challenge for starting spots, but neither player has stood out.

Marten gave the Cowboys 11 offensive linemen on the roster, which seemed somewhat excessive. Jefferson will now join Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton and Isaiah Stanback on the active roster. Stanback has been wearing a harness during practice to protect his injured shoulder.

The Cowboys could place Marten on the practice squad if he clears waivers, but someone will probably claim him.

In other Cowboys news, Jerry Jones told the Dallas Morning News on Friday that Adam "Pacman" Jones will start in place of Terence Newman (groin) at left cornerback. He didn't rule out Newman playing in the game, but as we reported Friday, it's highly unlikely the Pro Bowler will play. The Cowboys don't want to take the chance of Newman missing extended time -- especially with a division game coming up next Monday.

Rookie Orlando Scandrick will take Newman's place in the nickel defense and Mike Jenkins will continue to back up Anthony Henry. Facing Braylon Edwards and Donte' Stallworth without their top corner is a dicey proposition for the Cowboys' defense.

We're expecting seven inches of rain in the next couple of hours. Gotta go.

Bollinger likely headed to Dallas

August, 31, 2008

Posted by's Matt Mosley

The Cowboys have room for one more player on their eight-man practice squad, and I'm told that it will be quarterback Richard Bartel, who had an excellent showing in the final exhibition game against the Vikings.

Brooks Bollinger didn't play well for the Vikings in that game, but he'll probably be added to the Cowboys' 53-man roster after the season-opener against Cleveland. At that point, Bartel will be released from the practice squad. If the Cowboys signed Bollinger now, his salary for the 2008 season would be guaranteed.

It's a little surprising to see that the Cowboys would let another talented young quarterback get away. Last year, they tried to sneak Matt Moore through to the practice squad, but the Panthers signed him and he eventually became their starter.

Bartel has size (6-3, 233) and a live arm. Bollinger (6-1, 205) has more experience after playing for the Jets and Vikings over the past five seasons. He and Cowboys backup Brad Johnson played together in Minnesota.

Here's the rest of the Cowboys' practice squad:

WR Danny Amendola

WR Mike Jefferson

DE Marcus Dixon

TE Rodney Hannah

FB Julius Crosslin

RB Alonzo Coleman

LB Tearrius George

For those of you who've been e-mailing me about Erik Walden, he was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs. I know a couple of people at Valley Ranch who weren't happy about Walden getting cut in the first place.

Cowboys' third WR Hurd out for season-opener

August, 29, 2008

Posted by's Matt Mosley

Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd had an MRI on his injured ankle this morning, but at 2 p.m. ET, head coach Wade Phillips said he still didn't have the results. Now I'm not a doctor or a head coach in the NFL, but an MRI on what was believed to be a high ankle sprain suffered in Thursday's exhibition game would seem like a high priority.

Later in the afternoon, Cowboys P.R. director Rich Dalrymple stuck his head in the Cowboys media workroom and said that Hurd would indeed miss the season-opener against the Browns on Sept. 7. Wade has played fast and loose with injuries in the past, but there was really no reason to sit on Friday's test results. Not sure what he hoped to gain. And if he actually didn't know the results, that points to a larger issue. Did he simply expect Jason Garrett to handle the situation because he's the offensive coordinator?

All we know for sure is that the Cowboys are down to two quality wide receivers. Isaiah Stanback is talking about trying to gut out a shoulder injury, but I'm not sure how effective he'll be. And I don't see him coming back in time for the Cleveland game.

Basically, the Cowboys either have to sign someone that gets cut tomorrow or stick with Mike Jefferson as the third receiver. I can't imagine them going with the latter scenario.

Valley Ranch insider Bryan Broaddus, a former scout with the team, said on the radio today that he thinks former Texas Tech wide receiver Danny Amendola will be released Saturday.

It's probably too early to panic in Dallas, but the Cowboys have pretty much lost all their depth at wide receiver. Folks started bringing up Anquan Boldin's name again today, but NFC West blogger tells me he's 99 percent sure that's not going to happen. He thinks the Cardinals need Boldin too much to trade him.