Some of my Ticket colleagues laugh at the idea of thinking you can learn anything while watching practice. But, George and I generally still attend several of them while at training camp, because we believe that you can learn plenty. There was no question what I thought I learned in my 12 days at practice:
Tony Romo is much better than Drew Henson, Julius Jones is on the verge of being a superstar, Right Tackle sucks, and Demarcus Ware (above, left) appears to be a tremendous pick. In fact, these are a few blog entries from the past few weeks:
Demarcus Ware is an amazing talent. Marcus Spears has not jumped off the page at me, but I notice Ware constantly. On one play, he got to the QB without Vollers even touching him.
Mark my words: DeMarcus Ware will be a Pro Bowler in this league.
I am not saying I was alone in this claim, and I am not saying I was taking a huge leap of faith, but last night went a long way in validating the premise that the Cowboys made a fine selection last April, when they went against my thoughts of taking Merriman over Ware due to the “bigger school theory”.
In fact, April 22 , the day before the draft, I wrote this:
Allow me to rank the Top 5 needs of the Cowboys.
1) Pass Rush: This could be the OLB and it could be the DE, but the Cowboys have a drought that lasts almost a decade when it comes to getting a quality pass rush from their defense. Charles Haley has been gone a long time, and now it is imperative that they solve this once and for all, and not in the cheap way (Marcellus Wiley). Obviously, the hybrid player (Merriman or Ware) that can play both the OLB and DE further allows the Cowboys to play multiple fronts this year rather than marrying itself to the 4-3 or the 3-4. As much as I like Erasmus James and Marcus Spears, I prefer the hybrid player, and of them all I think I prefer Merriman to Ware because when I have watched Merriman, it is evident that in college at least, he was the emotional leader of his defense as well as being a big playmaker. No Ray Lewis, but still, if you are making the play and rallying the troops, that is very attractive.
I don’t know if he can do THAT every night in the NFL, but the fact of the matter is this: He appears to be a guy who can make plays. A guy you must game plan to slow down or stop. And as much as we love Greg Ellis or Terrence Newman or even Roy Williams, the Cowboys have had plenty of high 1st round picks, but have yet to hit on a guy who will absolutely destroy your game plan unless it is centered around him. Let’s hope Ware is that guy.
Jen Floyd on Last Night’s preseason affair in Seattle …
The Cowboys had trouble covering the tight end. Their linebackers not named Ware are having trouble in pass coverage. Period. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's numbers (12 of 15 for 135 yards and one touchdown) show the Cowboys are struggling to defend the pass. Double period.
Done. Finished. Finito. Tony Romo looks to have wrapped up the backup job with another solid performance. And while many have argued that Drew Henson lost this battle, it is more accurate to say Romo won it. He is simply better than Henson, who is getting better.
Revo says Hicks needs to give Hart the resources this winter, and then butt out …
Finley decides this week where to play …
The Mavericks tried for weeks to trade Finley to an Eastern Conference team before waiving him in hopes of keeping the swingman away from the Spurs or Suns. Reports persist that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was prepared to offer Finley a restructured payment schedule on the nearly $52 million left on Finley's contract to help persuade him to go East, but NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com that no such deal was struck.
The presence of San Antonio and Phoenix on Finley's list of finalists indeed suggests no such arrangement exists. A "spread provision" in Finley's Dallas contract stipulates that, upon being waived, his remaining salary will be paid in annual installments of less than $5 million.
Adair in charge of DVD Boys …
Rangers fans: Ready to get your winter wish list ready? Available Free Agent Pitchers can be found here….
Kurt Busch may be released from his Roush contract sooner rather than later …There has got to be more to this story than is being reported…
Here are a few award-winning emails:
In todays' Sunday NY Post Ken Palmer wrote an article about Nick Saban, and finished with gossip around the NFL.I will quote two sentences."The Posts early prediction for rookie of the Year goes to Dallas linebacker Demarcus Ware.All reports out of big "D" are that the next LT is for real." As a native NYer who has communicated with you mainly about hockey, I respectfully request Mickey relays this comment to coach Bill and asks for a reaction at a press conference.( I love and respect fellow Italian Mickey but I don't think he has the "guts.")
Regards to you and family.
Something tells me that there will be no shortage of Ware questions after last night!
And then this, from Bob’s Blog friend, Mike Hindman of NewbergReport.com:
I heard your Rangers segment yesterday. A couple of notes:
1) Laird had been out with a hamstring injury for about a month; he just got back into action with Oklahoma on Friday. So they couldn't have called him up before the weekend.
2) There's no way in hell that AG could play in the OF. He's the slowest non-catcher I've ever seen. I've actually heard people bitch about him not hustling down the line, not realizing that he was running all-out. He's that slow.
3) Botts doesn't have enough arm to play RF, especially in Arlington. One of the reasons the Rangers wanted Hidaldo is that he has one of the four or five best arms in the game from RF. Botts could be a DH, LF, 1b...but not a RF. Pretty much every double to right would turn into a triple with him out there.
But yes: I agree. All three should be up and playing every day right now.
I'd like to see them move Tex to RF and play AG at 1b. Cal Ripken changed positions (for Manny Alexander), Michael Young moved, Alex Rodriguez moved, Dale Murphy moved, Darin Erstad moved.... I know most people think we just can't ask Tex to do that, but it would give the Rangers a chance to put their 9 best bats in the lineup, making room for both AG and Botts. Would you rather have Big Dick and Tex or AG & Tex?
BTW: all three (Laird, Botts & AG) are on the 40 man roster. But Kinsler isn't.
Thanks, Mike. Jamey Newberg and Mike have seen these guys with their own eyes many, many times. Aside from their trips to Arlington, I have not seen them at all. So, I concede my views on the young lads might be off. I would still put Botts in RF to find out the hard way, but I can be talked out of it. I cannot be talked out of Sandy Alomar and Mark DeRosa in the lineup.