QB-School/Mini-camp Breakdown

The Cowboys first mini-camp has now officially come and gone, and rookies will no longer be able to practice until May 16th. What have we learned about this so called new and improved football team? Well, a whole lot actually.

For starters, Quincy Carter is entrenched as this team's starting quarterback. Carter voluntarily attended the rookie camp at Valley Ranch and has become sort of the inspirational leader of the offense.

"Quincy is a smart guy and all he needs is more snaps and experience. It would be hard for me to compare him to any of the other quarterbacks I've coached, because he is his own player. He has a strong arm and he makes big plays- we saw that at the end of last season after he came back from his injury." said offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet.

Chad Hutchinson, who we have already noted has looked extremely sharp, is the back-up for now.

2nd round draft pick Andre Gurode has already started turning heads as well, as he absolutely leveled a defender over the weekend, even though the coaching staff instituted a no hitting policy 5 yards or more down the field. "He's going to be a good one," noted Coslet.

Defensively, Roy Williams has already begun to breathe new life into an already strong unit.

"I told somebody out there Sunday that I forgot what its like to have a first round defensive back out there on the field," noted defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Williams reportedly impressed everyone in attendance over the weekend by making a leaping, one-handed interception.

"Darren Woodson also made a play out there today and I told him that I didn't know he still had it in him! We may have the best two safeties in the league back there next year," said Zimmer.

And those aren't the only two defensive backs making some noise. "Bryant Westbrook is progressing nicely, and he's going to provide ample run support for us. We'll need him to step it up in the passing game, but he can do it," noted Zimmer.

QB Ryan Leaf continues to be excused from workouts with what is described as a contagious virus.

Under NFL rules, draft picks and rookie free agents who are still in college will not be permitted to practice again until Thursday, May 16th. In the meantime, the Cowboys continue on with their QB School, which lasts through Wednesday.

Offensively, we've talked to several people who have indicated that the unit as a whole looks much more disciplined and crisp out on the practice fields.

Even Mike Zimmer took note the positive effect that new offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet has had on the Cowboys, "You watch them as a whole and you have to impressed. Guys are moving in motion with a purpose and getting to their spots, they really do look much more disciplined out there."

Perhaps its because Coslet takes a much more hands-on approach with his team. "Guys know that if I'm out there yelling at them, its for their own good. And I don't mind a little yelling back either, guys need to be as thick skinned as I am," said Coslet.

Defensively, the Boys have added talent to a unit that was already one of the best in the league a year ago. The key word during mini-camp was "chemistry". Remember, as many as 5 new starters could be named on defense before the first game next season. You can't just throw guys into the mix and it magically all works.

Nowhere is that more evident than at defensive end, where Ebenezer Ekuban returns after essentially missing all of last season with a herniated disk in his back.

"Usually we wouldn't let an injury hold a guy back from being a starter, but Zellner played 15 games last year for us, and we feel like he did a good job," said Zimmer.

Needless to say, with all the extra competition in the secondary, at linebacker, and along the defensive line, you can bet that guys are going to start putting themselves out there for the Cowbys a little more than usual.

And thats great news for Cowboy fans, because that usually translates into more wins on the football field. "What we're doing here just feels good," noted Emmitt Smith Monday afternoon. "I ain't felt like this for a long, long time. I can't even put a year on it."

Now when is the last time you heard so many positive comments coming out of Valley Ranch? It sure is an exciting time to a fan of America's Team.

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