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Cowboys Position By Position Summary After San Antonio

If you've been on a family vacation or locked in a basement calculating potential Rangers revenue for Mark Cuban and have somehow missed all of the news happenings at the San Antonio portion of training camp, a.k.a. the first two weeks, here's your recap, organized by position.

QB

Tony Romo came down with a tired arm at approximately the same time that girlfriend Candice Crawford stopped by to pay him a visit.

Despite Wade Phillips' praise, Jon Kitna looks increasingly shakier, and Stephen McGee has not yet turned a corner. The Cowboys aren't saying it, but I wonder if backup QB shouldn't be a pretty big concern.

RB

Felix Jones now outweighs Marion Barber, but he still is not expected to receive the bulk of the carries this season. 

Chris Gronkowski has been one of the impressive players in camp and has a chance to take Deon Anderson's spot at fullback.

WR

Miles Austin looks great in practice. Beyond the on-field reasons, he's had two big reasons to be sure he's in top form: He's been visited by his 'acquaintance' Kim Kardashian, and he still could stand a contract extension from the Cowboys. The team doesn't have a time table for getting that done, according to Stephen Jones.

Roy Williams seems to have a more natural relationship with Romo, though practice reports of the two clicking don't sound that different from last August.

Dez Bryant was the talk of the NFL for a week before a  high ankle sprain ended his training camp. The hope is now that he can play in the last preseason game, ten days before the opener.   

Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd are still around.

There are whispers that coaches aren't quite as enamored with Kevin Ogletree as they were a year ago, though Wade Phillips loves his route running.

Manny Johnson has had a nice camp, but he obviously still faces a steep climb to the 53-man.

TE

Martellus Bennett continues to frustrate his coaches, this time by spraining his ankle and missing most of the team's time in SA.

John Phillips has taken advantage with an excellent start to his camp camp.

OL

All reports are that Doug Free looks really good. Phillips said today that he's had the best camp of any lineman. Free has likely already locked up a starting spot at left tackle. Alex Barron dislocated a finger but should play in the first exhibition game.

Leonard Davis admitted that he had a down year in 2009 and looks to rebound, and Phillips lamented playing Mark Columbo in the Minnesota game, setting him up for a rough end to his season.

One of not too many roster battles is for the last three offensive line spots. There was some hope heading into camp that Travis Bright could add depth to the interior line, but that has faded. Kyle Kosier is getting time at center, an indication that Montrae Holland could be the only active interior backup on gameday. Still, Bright could win the last interior line spot. 

Rookie Sam Young and de facto rookie Robert Brewster aim to displace perennial tenth man Pat McQuistan. Young has received some positive reviews, even earning Jerry Jones' early nomination as player to watch, but none of these guys has knocked coaches' socks off.

DL

Marcus Spears is out until around the start of the regular season with a sprained MCL. This opens an opportunity for Jason Hatcher, who, along with Stephen Bowen, is thought by some to be on a par with Spears as a player. Both must still prove that they can play the run as well as Spears.

The Cowboys used a seventh round pick in the supplemental draft on Josh Brent, who had an early injury and still wears a cast on his hand but has impressed toward the end of SA practices. He and Sean Lissemore, who has also been injured, look to take the backup nose tackle spot from Junior Siavii.

LB

The starters are all rock solid, but a few of their backups have been among the most promising young players in camp, setting the position up as one of the best on the roster.

Sean Lee strained his groin and missed several days, but when he's been on the field, he has received rave reviewsBrandon Williams and Victor Butler have also captured the attention of coaches and observers and appear to offer upside youth on the outside.

Jason Williams is still a long ways away from helping, as he's looked lost at times and struggled in pass coverage - the role in which he was expected to fill when he was drafted in the third round.

DB

The arrow is pointing upward a bit in the secondary. Mike Jenkins is suddenly considered a shutdown corner. Orlando Scandrick is having problems with his finger, but his stock is up.

Like Free, Alan Ball entered camp as the big question mark on his side of the ball, but just two weeks in appears entrenched in a starting spot. He still has to show in games and create turnovers, but he's been solid in practice. Mike Hamlin hasn't had a bad camp, but he hasn't been able to close on Ball. Akwasi Owasu-Ansah finally donned his pads this week and has continued to impress with his mental ability.

Cletis Gordon looks primed to win the fourth corner spot, after two great weeks of practice.

Terence Newman is impressed with the athletically intriguing Teddy Williams. Williams is the guy who is 6-3 with world class speed who is trying to make the Cowboys (or their practice squad) despite having played no football since high school.

K/P

After entering camp as perhaps the team's biggest question mark, kicker David Buehler has impressed with his field goal kicking in camp so far. Jerry Jones thinks that he's going to be a kicking star, and Phillips is anxious to see him in games.

Returners

Bryant was electric early in return drills. With his injury, these jobs are way up in the air. All of the usual suspects have received reps, as have a couple of very fast young players, including Titus Ryan, who should handle some returns Sunday. 

Jerry Jones says that this is his best roster since the early 90s. We should begin to see whether he's right on Sunday.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.