Spears Expected to Sign Today
The Cowboys arrived in Oxnard, Calif. Thursday with five of eight draft picks signed. As it stands now, S Justin Berialt, DL Jay Ratliff, RB Marion Barber III, DE Chris Canty, and OT Rob Petitti will all be with the team during the first official practice of training camp on Saturday.
That leaves first rounders Demarcus Ware and Marcus Spears, as well as second round pick Kevin Burnett as the only three who have yet to ink deals.
TheRanchReport.com has learned that No. 20 overall pick Marcus Spears will likely be signed before the Cowboys' first practice on Saturday. Second round pick LB Kevin Burnett will likely have a deal in place as well, although terms of his deal have not yet been confirmed. The key rests with OLB Demarcus Ware.
Ware, the No. 11 overall pick in this year's draft, wants a deal similar to last year's No. 11 overall pick, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (six years, $14.27 million).
The hold up here is that the Cowboys have to creatively structure deals for both Ware and Spears that satisfy their demands, while also fitting in the team's $4.9 million rookie salary pool.
This has been easier in year's past because end of the league's collective bargaining agreement was more than five years away, thus teams could spread out signing bonuses over longer periods of time.
Burnett and Spears are reportedly in the Los Angeles area, but Ware is not.
Reserve tight end Dan Campbell is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of training camp after having surgery to remove his appendix on Thursday.
Campbell's return to the Cowboys is important across several fronts. Not only is he considered one of the best blockers in the league, he's also a vocal leader of the team.
After missing most of last season with a foot injury and now after having surgery yesterday, Campbell should be ready to go for the Cowboys' regular season opener at San Diego.
TheRanchReport.com will have news, notes, and quotes from Friday's opening press conference with owner Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells, scheduled to start at noon Pacific Time.
In addition, the bulk of our in-depth coverage will begin after Saturday's first practice, which is scheduled to get underway at 9 AM Pacific Time.
TheRanchReport.com will be bringing you insider news and notes from Oxnard, Calif. throughout training camp, with a heavy emphasis during the first week of action.
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