REPORT DATE: July 20th
SITE: City of Oxnard Fields, Oxnard, CA
CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: Quarterback Tony Romo missed the team's offseason training activities as he recovered from back surgery to remove a cyst in April. The procedure wasn't considered serious but anytime you undergo back surgery there will be question marks, especially after Romo signed a monster six-year contract extension in late March, a deal reported to be worth $108 million with $55 million guaranteed. If everything goes to plan, the Cowboys figure to be set at most of the skill positions with Romo throwing to Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin. The offensive line and running game leave a lot to be desired, however. Dallas made changes to four of its five offensive line positions a year ago and most of them didn't work, meaning more changes are on the horizon. Tyron Smith, a first-round pick in 2011, is the left tackle and everything else is up for debate although first-round pick Travis Frederick is expected to take over the pivot. Over on defense, the 'Boys fired coordinator Rob Ryan and replaced him with the 72-year-old Monte Kiffin, who worships at the altar of the antiquated Tampa-2 defensive philosophy. That means the Cowboys will switch to a 4-3 "under" scheme that requires a Brian Urlacher- type middle linebacker and smart, zone- savvy defensive backs. There is plenty of talent on that side of the ball but whether they will fit in with Kiffin's philosophy is something that needs to be watched.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug 4 - vs. Miami, 8:00 PM Aug 9 - at Oakland, 10:00 PM Aug 17 - at Arizona, 4:30 PM Aug 24 - vs. Cincinnati, 8:00 PM Aug 29 - vs. Houston, 8:00 PM