Quick Insider Tidbits on Mini-camp

Quick-take reflections on the weekend at Valley Ranch: Demarcus Ware is now the next Shawne Merriman? Terrell Owens officially turning over a new leaf? Read on to find out!

ITEM: Coaches envision Daemarcus Ware as a weakside linebacker. That means no tight end to block him. That means less Ware in coverage. That means Ware is Wade's Big D version of Merriman.

ITEM: There are any number of reasons Tony Romo could've shown up fat and sassy. Instead he appeared to be at the top of his game. Some guys, you know, respond very well to being told "this is your team.''

ITEM: Which brings us to T.O. Some guys, you know, respond very well to being told by the coach, "I actually know your name.''

ITEM: Roy Williams as a Nickel back, as a blitzer, as an in-the-box defender. Brilliant. Wonder why nobody – besides, like, 10 million fans – never thought of that before?

ITEM: Owens didn't talk on Saturday or Sunday. He got ripped for it in some quarters. On Monday, he did talk. And. … got ripped for it in some quarters. I'd say if the media doesn't want to hear from Owens, they should quit sending four reporters to a practice to chronicle his every move.

ITEM: Sometimes, a new coach taking over a staff made up of some of his guys and some carryover guys means trouble. With Phillips, Garrett and Stewart atop the pyramid, there will be no trouble here.

ITEM: Training camp is only two weeks long? Why even bother traveling?

ITEM: Terrell Owens' work on the field, by the way, was special stuff.

ITEM: Jason Garrett told me the "power running game'' is back and now the notion is everywhere. I don't think that's a bad thing for JuJo's snaps; I just think it'll be a hint to JuJo to run with power.

ITEM: Wade Phillips is well on his way to establishing that you don't have to be a jerk to coach the Dallas Cowboys.

ITEM: Owens, Witten and Glenn. Shouldn't that receiving corps alone justify the new Cowboys' attempts to do more than win games 13-9?

ITEM: It's kinda too bad Marco Rivera's career is going to go out with a whimper, huh?

ITEM: I'm not going to beat you over the head with my long-standing concerns about Brad Johnson. I might end up mentioning the name "Kerry Collins'' this season, that's all.

ITEM: Anthony Henry really did seem a little overmatched at times in 7-on-7. But on the whole, if he's your defensive worry, you don't have very many defensive worries.

ITEM: People keep saying that Phillips might "two running backs, like they did in San Diego.'' Um, look at the numbers. The Chargers pretty much use ONE running back. That Tomlinson guy. Heard of him?

ITEM: Big change from last year: Overall Team Sarcasm Quotient. I'm a big fan of sarcasm in the NFL. I think I'M the one who should be sarcastic, though, and not the coach.

ITEM: Pencil me in for one "honorable mention'' vote for 2007 Team MVP as Mat McBriar.

ITEM: For those of us who thought Ken Hamlin would be sort of a plugger. … Nope. To his credit, he's more "centerfielder'' than that.

ITEM: Asserting that injured Greg Ellis is "still the starter'' is the right thing to say. But it sounds like nothing more than that to me.

ITEM: Assistant coaches allowed to speak = better understanding on the part of the Cowboy Stockholder (that's you). Refreshing.

ITEM: I've been biting my tongue on this one, but I can't help it anymore: It's one thing for fans to speculate about next year's first-rounder being used as a No. 1 overall pick on Arkansas runner Darren McFadden. It's another think for the Joneses (both Arkansas grads) to joke about it. But now real-live media outlets are reporting it as fact?! Between now and April 2008, there are only, like, a skillion things that could happen to affect the draft status of McFadden and the Cowboys. So can we chill just a bit on this?

ITEM: We'll have to do some research here, but. … is there a bigger, taller, broader O-line fivesome in the NFL than the one Dallas will put on the field?

ITEM: I don't care what anybody says, I watched Marcus Spears, and he ran around like his hair was afire.

ITEM: No, Bobby Carpenter's not a bust. But he'd better find a way to shift career gears.

ITEM: With all due respect to JuJo, Spears, Owens, Burnett and other Cowboys who want to badmouth Parcells, I'd advise: Let's be professionals here. Parcells left the Cowboys better than he found ‘em. Let's leave it at that.

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