1. Keep an eye on rookie receiver Tim Benford. He had a strong rookie training camp and looked good on Monday, catching everything that came his way. Cole Beasley has gotten a lot of attention among the young guys and he should for his eye-opening play but Benford has been every bit as good if not better.
2. The Cowboys were high on undrafted rookie guard Ron Leary, touting him as a possible mid round draft pick if not for a degenerative knee condition. The issue with Leary is that his career could be cut short at some point, which killed his draft stock, but he is considered good to go as rookie. The Cowboys wasted little time getting him in the mix, alternating him and David Arkin with the first team in place of the injured Mackenzy Bernadeau.
3. Fullback Lawrence Vickers is going to bring much needed toughness and leadership to the Cowboys locker room. The sight of him cursing out TCU ex Ed Wesley for not finishing a play by not running down the field for a touchdown was new for the Cowboys. This team has a history of leaders trying to be friends and not wanting to make waves rather than giving their teammates a much needed kick in the behind.
4. Coach Jason Garrett is serious about his conditioning drills not just before camp but after practice. He had coaches on the yard lines making sure no player cheated by coming up short. He also made the players re-do a sprint after somebody started early. It was a tough end to day one. But the good news is the Cowboys finished it off strong. Kudos go to DeMarcus Ware, Dez Bryant and Sean Lissemore for finishing first in their groups on the final 30 yard sprint.
5. Receiver Dez Bryant didn’t talk to the media in effort to avoid questions about the misdemeanor family violence charge. But nothing could stop him from having a strong first day of practice where he looked like a man among boys _ just ask rookie top pick Morris Claiborne who got took to school a few times. A leg injury that briefly forced into the locker room with the trainer couldn’t stop Bryant. He ran back on the field before the end of practice and didn’t miss a rep and likewise didn’t miss the aforementioned conditioning drills where he ran strong.
6. Cornerback Brandon Carr signed a five-year, $50.1 million contract to be the team’s shut down star in Rob Ryan’s defense but he is the least talked about player at the position because of rookie top pick Morris Claiborne and trade talk from Mike Jenkins. But make no mistake about it Carr is the team’s top corner and guy the Cowboys will put on the team’s best player. He lined up every play in practice Monday in tight bump and run coverage _ something we rarely saw Terence Newman do. His physical battles with Dez Bryant are going to be among the highlights of camp.
7. Running back DeMarco Murray is completely healthy from the fractured foot that ended his promising rookie season. He picked on Monday where he left off looking strong, quick and fluid whether it running the ball or catching passing out of the back field. His cutting ability in the open field is a sight to see. A Cowboys running game that scored only five stinking touchdowns a year ago appears to be in good hands with a healthy getting the bulk of the load.