Cowboys news and notes.

by Dustin Dietz | Posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Image: Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

By: Dustin Dietz

The Dallas Cowboys officially began training camp with practices for rookies and selected veterans out at Valley Ranch on July 25th, and will move the camp to the gorgeous Oxnard, California at the end of the week. The high temperatures in Oxnard are predicted to be in the low 70’s, with lows in the low 60’s. I cannot write any words to describe my contempt and jealousy I am feeling towards the media which is fortunate enough to cover training camp in the ideal California weather.

Last week, I wrote about the ten questions I had in regards to the Boys heading into the 2012 season. This week, I will simply review anything I feel is relevant currently happening out at The Ranch. If I fail to include anything one feels is important, feel free to follow me on Twitter and then send me a direct message to alert me of my error. Am I shamelessly trying to inflate my Twitter follower count? Well, shame on you for even thinking I would ever stoop to that level in the first place. Well, without further ado, here is what is happening at The Ranch.

Five players placed on the PUP list.

On Wednesday July 25th, the Cowboys placed five players on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. The list includes cornerback Mike Jenkins, guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, wide receiver Danny Coale, guard Kevin Kowalski, and free safety Matt Johnson.

Teams are required to place injured players on the PUP before the start of training camp if the team wants the players to be eligible to play in the season opener. The injured player can be removed from the list anytime during training camp, but must be removed from the PUP before the opener or the player must spend the first six weeks on the PUP before he is eligible to play a regular season game. Teams use the list so the players do not count towards the 90 man roster. Confused? So am I.

Jenkins is still recovering from shoulder surgery performed on him in January, Bernadeau and Coale are working with strength cords which indicates they should return soon, and Kowalski is dealing with a slight ankle injury.

The rookie Johnson is battling a hamstring injury, but still practiced some on Wednesday. Johnson was drafted in the fourth round out of Eastern Washington and is expected to compete for playing time with the starting safeties Gerald Sensabaugh and Brodney Pool, and the current backups Danny McCray and Barry Church.

While at Eastern Washington, Johnson intercepted 17 passes, forced six fumbles, and recorded over 300 tackles. He is described by many as smart, aggressive, and possesses the ability to be the kind of ball hawk safety the Cowboys have desperately needed since Darren Woodson retired eight years ago.

Morris Claiborne returns to practice.

The Cowboys traded up eight spots in the first round, and traded their second round pick to St. Louis to move up to the sixth spot in the draft to take the outstanding cornerback from LSU.

Claiborne was believed by many to be the best defensive player in the entire draft, and should improve the Dallas secondary immediately upon arrival. Concerns arose after Claiborne scored a 4 (out of 50) on his Wonderlic exam, and his wrist surgery he received in the off season.

Claiborne said during the off season he never thought he would miss time, and he was correct as he was able to recover in time to line up at right corner in the first team practice yesterday. According to scout guru Bryan Broaddus, “Claiborne lined up at right corner and had some plays where he did a nice job, but also some plays where he looked rusty.”

I suspect Claiborne will be fine and adjust quite easily. Morris should be in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year and drastically improve the Cowboys’ 23rd ranked pass defense from last season.

Dez Bryant’s mother not pressing charges.

After suffering an embarrassing arrest last week, Dez Bryant will not have charges pressed against him after his mother decided to drop all charges against her son. Dez was accused of his slapping his mother and pulling her hair and bra.

Whether or not Dez did what he was accused of doing, the arrest adds to the multiple off field problems the 3rd year wide receiver has had since joining the Cowboys in 2010.

The Cowboys have not issued a statement as to what they will do with Dez, but based on their past history of dealing with players, I am assuming they will not do much of anything as the team is relying heavily on Dez because there is not much depth at receiver on the Cowboys’ roster.

However, just because the Cowboys are more than likely going to overlook the incident, does not mean NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will. Due to Dez’s multiple off field problems, the commissioner could suspend Dez if he feels a suspension is necessary to send the message the league will no longer tolerate such petulant immaturity.

If Dez is forced to miss time, the club could be in serious trouble as Kevin Ogletree is currently listed as the 3rd receiver on the roster right now. Any Cowboy fan comfortable with Ogletree starting for an extended period? The team should be prudent and skim the market free agent market to insure itself of having depth at receiver if Dez was to be handed a suspension.

Marty B already talking noise.

Former tight end Martellus Bennett signed a free agent deal with the New York Giants last March. The Giants were starving for depth at TE after losing Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard to ACL injuries in this year’s past Super Bowl.

The tight end market was not exactly deep last off season. So, the Giants figured they would sign Bennett to provide depth and try to hurt their division rival. Well, the Giants might have added depth at tight end, but they certainly did not cripple the Cowboys.

Bennett was a decent blocker in Dallas, but he had not caught a TD pass since his rookie season in 2008. Based on his second round draft selection, he was an utter disappointment.

After practice Wednesday, Bennett told the New York Daily News, “I just want to kick those guys’ asses. I don’t like a lot of people. I’m kind of an a-hole. I’m kind of pissed off about a lot.”

Players who have not caught a TD pass in four years have no right to say anything. The only person Marty B should be upset with is himself. The Cowboys gave him every opportunity to succeed, and he did not respond.

If I were Marty B, I would shut up and thank Football Jesus the Giants suffered the injuries they did in the Super Bowl because he would not be in the fantastic situation he is in now had Beckum and Ballard not hurt themselves. Corpulent, underachieving tight ends are a dime a dozen.

Martellus should be more concerned with beating out Bear Pascoe for the starting gig than worrying about what is happening in Dallas.

Mat McBriar signs with Philadelphia.

Fomer Cowboy Pro Bowl punter Mat McBriar signed a two year deal earlier this week with the Eagles. McBriar missed the last two games of the season last year with drop foot, but is now believed to be fully healthy.

The Cowboys hope Chris Jones or Delbert Alvarado can be an adequate replacement for McBriar, but that will difficult as McBriar was routinely in the top third of the league in net yards punting.

Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18

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