The smell of pigskin is in the air, and that signifies not only the return of football but also the return of the weekly Q&A with a member of the opposing blog. This week it's David Halprin from Blogging The Boys, one of the biggest and best NFL communities SB Nation has. You may want to make a point to stop over there today, as they're following along with the Chargers/Cowboys practices as well as previewing Sunday's game.
1. Summarize for me what the Cowboys did in free agency and if the roster was improved or diminished by it?
The Cowboys mostly stuck with re-signing their own free agents this year. The number one priority was to get LT Doug Free re-signed, He was more than solid in 2010, his first year as the starter. They also re-signed guard Kyle Kosier, who has been a steady if unspectacular lineman for the Cowboys for years now.
They brought back Gerald Sensabaugh to man one of the safety spots, and re-signed Marcus Spears and Jason Hatcher who are both defensive ends, Spears is a starter. Abram Elam was brought over from Cleveland to start at the other safety spot, and defensive end Kenyon Coleman, also from Cleveland, will be in the defensive end rotation. Both players were with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in Cleveland the last few years.
2. Is there any concern about a slow start for Tony Romo after ending last season on Injured Reserve?
No. The injury was a broken collar bone and it has had plenty of time to heal. He's been fine in training camp so the injury should have nothing to do with his play in 2011.
3. What is the most important position battle going on in camp this season?
Probably who will play the other guard position along the offensive line. Leonard Davis was let go this offseason, and hold-over Montrae Holland has not impressed and has been injured. He's battling rookies David Arkin (4th round) and Bill Nagy (7th-round) to see who will start. Other battles include who will be the #3 WR behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, and who will be the primary backup to running back Felix Jones.
(Editor's Note: Looks like Nagy is getting the start against the Bolts on Sunday)
4. Which rookie or rookies is turning heads in San Antonio?
Arkin and Nagy have showed well so far, and WR Dwayne Harris went off in the preseason game against the Broncos. But all eyes are on starting RT Tyron Smith. So far, he looks like the real deal.
5. What are the major differences in the camp that Jason Garrett is running versus "Camp Creampuff" that Wade Phillips ran?
Ahem, it was Camp Cupcake under Wade! Garrett runs a faster, more up-tempo practice where players are moving rapidly between drills. He also seems to be spending a lot of time teaching fundamentals, the way he wants things done. Practices have had a much more business-like feel to them.