Myself and the rest of the NFL media along with the official NFL types are either in Indianapolis or are traveling there on Thursday for the annual meat market, also called the combine.
How the cold-weather climate of Indianapolis landed this "event" still boggles the mind (not a lot of the NFL types are thrilled about spending four days in 38-degree weather), but this is where the next great whatevers come to impress, or to blow off, scouts, coaches and execs.
With technology being what it is these days, there is less of a need for the combine the way there was 20 years ago. And the top players often skip working or running in the combine to do it at their "pro day" at their college.
By now, just about all of these players who attend have been interviewed at least once, and scouts have reviewed probably all of their snaps taken in college.
Still, it's a place where the NFLers meet to congratulate themselves and prepare for the next season.
This is what the Cowboys are looking at this weekend:
Safeties. Pat Watkins has hit a ceiling, Keith Davis is OK but limited, Roy Williams may not be on the team next season and Ken Hamlin took a major step back in 2008.
Quarterback. Tony Romo is the starter, but who is the backup? Brad Johnson is gone, and Brooks Bollinger may be re-signed to compete as the No. 3. The Cowboys have to find somebody.
Backup offensive line: It doesn't appear as if Pat McQuistan will ever do anything other than backup. The same for Doug Free. Cory Procter is a fine backup on the interior, but he may be gone. They need someone to develop.
Defensive End: Chris Canty can be a free agent, and if the Cowboys elect not to re-sign him they have to find his replacement. His replacement may not be on the roster. Marcus Spears has one year left on his contract, and he'll likely be back as the starter.
Linebacker: It's true, after selecting a linebacker for each of the past 76 drafts they need someone in the middle, or maybe at the end to backup Greg Ellis/Anthony Spencer.
- Mac Engel