It looks like I'll be heading to training camp this weekend to check out the 2010 Dallas Cowboys. Although it will be extremely early in the evaluation process I have several things I will be looking at while I'm there.
1. How does Roy Williams look? Last training camp/preseason he seemed to be developing a nice rapport with Tony Romo but then he injured his shoulder late in camp and they never really clicked after that. With Dez Bryant waiting to take his job I expect to see a determined Roy Williams.
2. Does Alan Ball look ready to start? It is one thing to work with the first team in OTA's when everything goes at three quarter speed. I want to see how he performs in the team portion of practice when things start to move a little faster. We won't really know if Alan Ball can excel at safety until the real games start but we will know early on if he is in over his head.
3. Is Sean Lee as good as advertised? He seems to have everything it takes to be a key player on the defense for the next decade. I want to see if he looks as good against NFL talent as he did in college.
4. Is Dez Bryant practicing? I am going to camp extremely early so there is a good chance that Dez won't be under contract. I hope he is because I want to get a first hand view of the amazing natural ability he possesses.
5. Is there any depth at cornerback after the top 3? There are a lot of candidates vying for the #4 slot but none of them have proven anything at the NFL level. It will be an interesting battle. Hopefully the Cowboys find a player on the roster who can get it done so they don't have to overpay for an aging free agent veteran. The one-on-one drills between the cornerbacks and wide receivers usually expose a cornerback who doesn't have the ability to play at the NFL level.
6. Is Doug Free going to be able to protect Tony Romo? The best tool that Doug Free has to develop his game is Demarcus Ware. Free gets to practice against one of the best pass rushers in the league every day. Pass blocking on game day should seem easy for him after he faces Ware for the next month and a half.
7. Can Beuhler handle the kicking job? Field goal kicking is still a major concern. Beuhler never looked to good during camp or pre-game warm-ups last season on field goals. Hopefully he will show improvement in camp but we won't know how good he is until the pressure is on in the regular season.
8. Has Martellus Bennett matured? Last year while I was at training camp I witnessed Martellus at his worst. While the rest of his teammates warmed up for practice he was dancing around a joking with the crowd. Then he didn't know where to line up on offense half the time just like the regular season. Hopefully we'll see a guy who takes his job more seriously this year.
I'm hoping to attend a few training camp practices. Let me know if there is something I can watch that you are interested in. I also plan to post some pictures from training camp.