Concerns in the Secondary

Derek Ross continues to show improvement during his second week of training camp, but his undisclipined style has the coaching staff worried about leaving him on the field for long period of times. Is it time to be concerned about who will step up in the secondary?

It goes without saying that the Cowboys secondary will be vastly improved this season. The strong blend of veteran players and rookies has made most experts agree that Dallas could have one of the more dominating defenses in the NFC this year.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a hole in that vaunted defense at cornerback. Mario Edwards has consistenly showed us that he's come to play this year, but the other cornerback has yet to be determined.

Sure, Bryant Westbrook will likely be the starter on September 8th in Houston, but Dave Campo has been less than ecstatic about his performance thus far in training camp. Other guys such as Derek Ross, Pete Hunter, and Dwayne Goodrich and have had their ups and downs through the first 12 days- but no one has emerged head and shoulders above the rest.

Westbrook is improving, but he is still inconsistent, especially on the deep ball. Goodrich is going to be cut, and Hunter is a raw talent. Ross has the most talent, but he's been largely unpredictable in his coverage on the intermediate routes.

"He's still got a long ways to go, discipline-wise," said defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer earlier today. "He has a lot of good things you need in a cornner. He's got some nastiness to him; he's got great acceleration and good size. But being undisciplined is not a good quality."

Ross can provide ample run support, and he also has the speed to handle just about anybody in the open field. The problem is that he doesn't always make the best decisions. He'll often gamble on those 10-15 yard out patterns and lose. Hopefully with experience that will all change.

The Cowboys will face the Oakland Raiders Friday evening at 8 o'clock in their first preseason game of the year. Dallas finished their preperations for Oakland Thursday morning before heading back to Irving later in the evening. Look for Quincy Carter to play for one half, but don't expect to see Emmitt Smith on the field- he'll sit this one out. Flozell Adams, Kelvin Garmon, Aaron Gibson, Paris Johnson, Peppi Zellner, and Tyson Walter are some of the bigger names that will also sit this one out with injuries.

CowboysHQ Top Stories