On July 29, just before the Cowboys started preseason camp in Oxnard, I blogged about 4 areas that must be addressed in the next few weeks BLOG 4 Questions. These would represent the positions that are the most up for grabs on the team. Now that we are three days into camp, let’s have an updated look at how things are shaking down so far.
1. CB opposite Carr:
Claiborne is expected to start but he got off to a slow start with his offseason wrist surgery. So far in camp he has had some tough days. He would appear to be young and inexperienced which should be expected. Claiborne is getting burnt more often than toast and might be able to get a toaster endorsement at this pace. But he has made plays on the ball at times which is encouraging.
My TAKE: Claiborne is not ready for the NY Giants WRs yet but there is still time for him to develop. I still think he will be ready to start at corner with Carr but he isn’t there just yet. Mike Jenkins shoulder status isn’t really clear yet so we don’t know if he would be available.
2. 3rd WR spot:
So far in camp, Dwayne Harris has looked like a guy that will have to be considered for this spot. Beasley continues to impress also and Ogletree has been kind of quiet so far in camp. Holmes, a favorite of owner Jerry Jones, failed his conditioning test which really gets him off to a slow start as players aren’t allowed to practice with the team untill they pass it. Holmes managed to pass it on Wednesday.
My Take: Ogletree is still in the lead here but Harris is closing the gap and that little guy out of SMU, Beasley, is definitely still in the picture. Holmes has fallen behind a great deal and has a lot of ground to make up.
This spot for Dallas is really in trouble. Early in camp Nagy suffered a high ankle sprain and will likely be out 2-4 weeks. He was a definite contender. Then Livings, who was expected to start, hurt his knee although it isn’t clear how serious yet. Bernadeau is still out after hip surgery. This opens the door farther for undrafted guard Leary who will get plenty of reps. Arkin is also going to have to be considered as well with all the injured linemen.
MY Take: This guard position is becoming even a bigger hot mess. It is as up in the air as ever and may come down to who is healthy enough to play. Got to consider signing a veteran to come in and help at this point.
4. Safety opposite Sensabaugh:
Pool was signed and brought in from the Jets expected to start but he failed his conditioning test which has him off to a slow start. Meanwhile, Barry Church has really stepped up his game and gotten noticed during practice. Church has taken advantage of the opportunity so far in camp. Rookie Matt Johnson was cleared to practice now with his hamstring but I just haven’t heard much from him thus far.
My Take: Barry Church is taking ownership of this spot early in camp and it will be difficult to keep him out of the line up as a starter. Sounds like he has really improved his game this year. Pool is still in the hunt however, showing up not in shape isn’t going to impress anyone.
Still a lot of camp to go before the first game Sept. 5th but already we have early leaders in these areas and we have guys pulling up the rear. Stay in touch because it can change rather quickly.