Camp Parcells Well Underway

The Cowboys veterans started getting a first-hand look at Camp Parcells on Monday when a six-day minicamp convened at the team's Valley Ranch headquarters. By now they have heard the (horror) stories from the rookie minicamp that was held two weeks ago.

Are they prepared to run for making a mental mistake?

Will they keep their cell phones out of the locker room?

Do they that nothing less than their full attention will be tolerated while on the practice field?

If any thing they will (better) be quick studies in the six day minicamp that will include eight practices, giving the veterans a taste of what to expect in training camp.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said his veterans should have an idea of what to expect because they have spent the past month working in Parcells' "mandatory" offseason program that has included a series of 300-yard gassers with just 1 minute, 30 seconds rest in between.

The good news, according to Jones, is that all of the players who finished last season on the injured reserve list are healthy and will participate in the minicamp.

Topping the list of injury returns are guard Larry Allen and safety Darren Woodson.

Allen, a seven-time Pro Bowl guard, likely endeared his most frustrating season of his career, battling an ankle injury originally suffered in Week 2 of the regular season and position move to right tackle. In all, Allen played in just five games, but finished only one.

He eventually underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in the ankle, and repair torn ligaments.

Allen's status had the biggest effect to the Cowboys' offensive line troubles last season. A healthy Allen should regain his place as the leader of what should be a rebuilt Cowboys offensive line in 2003.

Woodson was having great season before suffering an abdominal strain in November and going on injured reserve. He became the team's all-team leading career tackler in October, surpassing LeeRoy Jordan.

But that was before Woodson suffered a lower abdominal strain while chasing a Colts receiver down the field, resulting in him going on injured reserve for only the second time in his career.

A rejuvenated Woodson is ready for his 12th season because he is inspired by the presence of Bill Parcells and comforted by the play of fellow safety Roy Williams. The two should form league's best safety tandem in 2003 and thanks to Parcells' wish for a more aggressive style on defense should get plenty of chances to make big plays.

Woodson's experience should also help rookie cornerback Terence Newman make an easier transition to the NFL. No one is better suited to teaching the next Deion Sanders about life in the NFL than a man who played along side of the original product and watched his every move.

CowboysHQ Top Stories