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September 07, 2010

Just CHILL: A few tidbits on keeping three corners, Boniol staying around and Gurode the emergency guard

Mymug1
Clarence Hill 

 

Here are  a couple of things of note regarding the Cowboys decision to keep three corners.

 

1. They were hoping to slip Bryan McCann on the practice squad. Of course he was claimed by the Ravens. The Cowboys took that chance because they coveted rookie free agent safeties Danny McCray and Barry Church more.

 They were taking no chances of losing those two. McCray will have an immediate impact on special teams and as an underneath guy in the dime package. Church is more a traditional safety and the Cowboys love his long-term potential.

 

2. The Cowboys feel they are covered at the position in case of injury because safeties Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Alan Ball can play cornerback. If there was an emergency with any two of the top three going down, the Cowboys would move Alan Ball to cornerback.

 Remember the Cowboys like their young safeties and feel very good they would be covered there if Ball had to move.

Owusu-Ansah played the position in college but he will not be cross trained there. However he does play over the slot in the nickel defense, which means they could move Orlando Scandrick outside and move Owusa-Ansah inside in passing situations if one of the starters got hurt.

 

Cowboys doing extra work in the film room preparing for Redskins

 

The presence of new coach Mike Shanahan, a new offensive coordinator in Kyle Shanahan and a new defensive coordinator in Jim Haslett has the Cowboys burning the midnight oil trying to figure out what this new Redskins team is going to look like. That means have studied at least four teams.

 

Coach Wade Phillips said the team has watched tape of Shanahan's old teams in Denver . They have studied what Kyle Shanahan did when he was the coordinator at Houston last year. They have also looked at what Haslett did when he was the coordinator with the Steelers in the 1990's. And they have looked at the Redskins from last year to study the personnel cause the majority of players are the same.

 

"It's called investigative reporting," Phillips said with a smile.

 

 

Boniol to stick around

 

Former Cowboys kicker Chris Boniol has done such a good job turning David Buehler from a kickoff specialist to a full-time kicker that the Cowboys have asked him to stick around for the season.

Boniol was hired in the offseason mainly as a consultant to work with Buehler. His future past the preseason was initially unclear.

But even though Buehler had such a strong training camp and preseason, making 10 of 11 field goals, there is some concern how he will do in the regular season and/or after he has a miss or two.

The Cowboys believe its in their best interest to keep Boniol close to the situation. If nothing else, Buehler is comfortable with him and it gives him a confidant on game day.

 

 

Williams to cross train at wide receiver

 

Former track star Teddy Williams, who joined the team as a long-term cornerback project in training camp, will cross train at receiver as a member of the Cowboys eight-man practice squad.

Williams didn't play football in college but he played a little receiver in high school at Tyler John Tyler. The Cowboys were pleased with how quickly he picked up some of the cornerback techniques despite having played the position.

But it only makes sense for them to give him a look at receiver. With his size and world-class speed, he could potentially be a game-changer at that position.

 

 

Gurode is the emergency guard

 

With left guard Kyle Kosier still sidelined with a sprained knee, the Cowboys are one  injury away from moving starting center Andre Gurode to guard.

The Cowboys kept only one true backup guard on the roster in Montrae Holland, who is starting in Kosier's place.

 If Holland or right guard Leonard Davis go down with an injury, Gurode will move over to guard with rookie free agent Phil Costa going in at center.

That goes against traditional wisdom of not letting one injury change two positions. But in this case, the Cowboys have no choice.

 Costa is only being trained at center as the Cowboys choose not to over load him with work at two positions. Gurode is a veteran who started at guard before moving to center so it's an easier transition for him to make.

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