Roughly 30 players showed up for the mini-camp. Eight players were
chosen in last weekend's NFL Draft. Seven players (quarterback Brett Mitchell of Evengel College, linebacker Kitwana Jones of Hampton,
safety Torri Stuckey of Northwestern, tight end Greg Garka of Evangel
College, defensive tackle Bryan Williams of Alcorn State and guard
Thomas Herrion of Utah) were invited for a "weekend tryout." The other
players were free agents who signed with the Cowboys after the Draft.
PLAY WITH PAIN
Wide receiver James Newson, a free agent from Oregon State, pulled up
in the Saturday afternoon workout with what appeared to be a slightly
pulled hamstring. He wasn't limping, but spent Sunday's workout on a
stationary bike and working with a trainer. ("He had a little
hamstring, I think," head coach Bill Parcells said. "He'll be OK. And I
told the guys: that's the kind of injury that will cost guys their job
in training camp. They'll play through that.")
GET A GRIP
When he was drafted, running back Julius Jones was touted for his speed
and his receiving ability, and with good reason: Jones made numerous
catches, including a few one-handed grabs of laser-like passes from new
quarterback Drew Henson. He also showed an extra gear, repeatedly
bursting through the linebackers and defensive backs.
Former Dallas defensive tackle Russell Maryland made a guest appearance
at practice Sunday.
SHOWING SOME HUSTLE
Some players appear more eager to make a first impression than others.
With the players split into offense and defense, two players won each
of the sprints conducted before practice under the watchful eyes of
Bill Parcells and his staff: wide receiver Brandon Middleton
(University of Houston) finished each sprint first among offensive
players, while linebacker Kitwana Jones led the defensive pack in the
NICE CAREER MOVE
Josh Boies is a rookie free agent from Temple University, and one of
three at the mini-camp hoping to earn a spot as the new Dallas punter.
While he and fellow punter Mat McBriar were launching 50- and 60-yard
moonshots downfield during Sunday's practice, Boies uncorked one really
impressive shot .... that hit special teams coach Steve Hoffman in his
back. He might need to take up golf to learn about yelling "Fore!" when
his aim goes awry.
If playing quarterback consisted of nothing more than the pure ability
to throw a football, Drew Henson would have the job locked up for years
to come. Henson is big and strong. He has the strongest arm of any
Dallas quarterback since Troy Aikman, and maybe the strongest ever. He
throws Aikman's signature deep out route effortlessly, sizzling the
ball to the sideline with a quick flick of his powerful arm. He can
throw deep post patterns with ease. However, with that said, don't look
for him to play much -- if any -- this season. The Cowboys have been
known to get impatient and throw rookie quarterbacks (Steve Walsh,
Aikman, Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson) into action. But with the
exception of Drew Bledsoe, Parcells is not fond of playing a rookie
signal caller. One-way ticket to Dallas, Mr. Testaverde?
GOT TO EARN IT
As is tradition, the rookies practiced in helmets that were
conspicuously missing the team's signature star.
Rookie Mini-camp Insider
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