The Dallas Cowboys are one of several NFL teams beginning organized team activities this week. The OTAs are non-contact, three-days-a-week practices over the next three weeks. These practices are not in pads, nor are they mandatory. Some players will attend some of the OTAs, if not all of them. Here's a primer: Who will be there? There's an expectation that the entire team will attend at least the first day of OTAs. However, some players are recovering from injuries and might not participate.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had surgery last month to remove a cyst from his back. It's not considered serious, but Romo will miss the entire organized team activities and maybe the veteran minicamp June 11-13. Of course, it's only May, so the Cowboys are being cautious with Romo. Romo has endured numerous injuries and ailments in his career -- a broken pinkie, punctured lung, cracked ribs and sore back among them. He has returned from all of these injuries and played well.
IRVING, Texas – The drama surrounding Doug Free’s status with the Cowboys this offseason – real or imagined in some circles - will not reappear next year. The Cowboys will have to decide whether to keep or cut Free by the fifth day of the 2014 league year because the right tackle’s $3.5 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed. If Free returns to the form that earned him the $8 million a year contract in 2011, then the Cowboys have a bargain.
The Cowboys' projected starting defensive line is Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware. Three of the four starters -- Hatcher, Ratliff and Ware -- are in their 30s, and Spencer and Hatcher are entering the final year of their contracts. At some point, the Cowboys will have to get younger or give Hatcher and/or Spencer a new contract. One projected future starter is defensive end/tackle Tyrone Crawford, a third-round pick in 2012.