EULESS -- The Cowboys defense has a new look. New coordinator Rob Ryan runs a different 3-4 than former head coach Wade Phillips did. But, because of the lockout, the defensive players don't yet have a clear look at their future.
"It's kind of hard because we're looking at cards," cornerback Bryan McCann said Thursday before the Balling with the Boys Celebrity Basketball Game at Trinity High School. "We don't know why we're doing it. We're doing what the card is telling us to do."
McCann said inside linebackers Bradie James and Keith Brooking have been leading the workouts. They have Ryan's playbook, but no real knowledge of the defense.
"I wouldn't say anybody has more knowledge of the defense than anybody else," McCann said.
The Cowboys added North Carolina inside linebacker Bruce Carter in the second round of the draft, but they are mostly devoid of veteran safeties and veteran defensive ends until the lockout ends. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh, cornerback/safety Alan Ball, defensive end Stephen Bowen, defensive end Jason Hatcher and defensive end Marcus Spears are unsigned. Spears is expected to leave in free agency, and Sensabaugh could leave. Raiders safety Michael Huff could be a target when free agency begins.
The Cowboys set a team record in allowing 436 points last season despite returning 10 starters from the 2009 unit. The 27.3 points they allowed per game ranked 31st in the NFL.
-- Charean Williams