Thursday News, Notes, & Rumblings

Randal Williams headlines today's mover and shakers. The former New Hampshire star has put himself into a position to be a substantial contributer on offense this year.

The Cowboys are now starting to come to terms with all of the talent being stockpiled at wide receiver. Guys like Ken-Yon Rambo and Randal Williams have stepped up their play in an effort to make the team. Williams, in particular, has been turning heads now for quite some time.

We all remember the stunning 40-time posted towards the end of the last mini-camp held in Valley Ranch, but he's doing all the little things in San Antonio to warrant serious consideration as one of top receivers on the team. "He's got exciting speed and he's a pretty big receiver to be able to run that fast," offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet said yesterday.

"That's why he's still here. We like him. He's got a legitimate shot." Williams enhanced his chances last week by blocking a punt in the Cowboys' first preseason game against the Oakland Raiders.

As it stands now, the Cowboys are going to keep 6 wide receivers, with Joey Galloway, Raghib Ismail, Antonio Bryant, and Reggie Swinton locks to make the team. Williams and Ken-Yon Rambo figure to the be the leaders for the last two spots.

Speaking of wide receivers, Rocket Ismail missed Thursday morning's practice session with a strained neck. The injury is not considered serious, although he is currently listed as questionable for Saturday's preseason game at Carolina. Antonio Bryant and Ken-Yon Rambo took the place of Ismail in Thursday morning's 7-on-7 drills.

Look for FB Derrick Harris to get significant playing time Saturday at Carolina, even though he'll only have a couple of days of practice under his belt. The coaching staff is very anxious to see what he can do on the field. "I don't want to sit there with just one guy," head coach Dave Campo said. "I want competition at that position. We don't want to see the same thing happen again this year."

Campo is referring to losing starting fullback Robert Thomas at the mid-way point last season, forcing Troy Hambrick into an uncomfortable role. The loss of Thomas, while not well documented, hurt the Cowboys' offense in more ways than one.

Thomas is an excellent blocker at the point of attack, and his ability to take on a linebacker at the line of scrimmage is crucial in springing the Cowboys running game to big yardage. Having a backup that can step in and play will be critical this season, and the Cowboys' are hoping they've found one in either Scott Zimmerman or Derrick Harris.

Make no mistake about it, Dave Campo is big on having his players injury free during training camp. Unfortunately for the players that go down, they often find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to making the 53-man roster.

The coaching staff was more than pleased with Char-ron Dorsey last week against the Raiders, and since Aaron Gibson has been out with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, his stock has seemingly fallen off the face of the earth. Gibson is expected to return sometime towards the end of next week, but by then, it may be too late.

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