The Dallas Cowboys are barely one week into training camp and if you have been paying any kind of attention, you probably would’ve noticed that there certainly hasn’t been any shortage of news. Unfortunately, the majority of it has been of the negative nature.
Backup quarterback Kellen Moore broke his leg, which now puts the backup position behind Tony Romo in question. Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford is suffering through a back injury and although it doesn’t sound serious, it’s still a concern none the less. Of course, we can’t forget about Ezekiel Elliott now that he will miss practice for about a week with a sore hamstring.
Let’s just hope and pray that this is the worst of it and the rest of training camp goes off without any more problems.
Fortunately for all of you, I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to dwell on the negative. I prefer to look at the positive things that are going on and focus on them.
I’m not fortunate enough to see these practices in person, but I do try my best to stay tuned in with everything that’s going on. So, I decided to share with you some players that I have heard are turning heads in training camp.
Nearly everyone has that player they love to hate, and for a lot of you that player is cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Claiborne’s NFL career can mostly be defined by his history of injuries, but he’s hoping to put that behind him in 2016. He wants to finally live up to not only his, but everyone else’s expectations.
If you don’t believe me, check out his tweet he sent to teammate Dez Bryant before training camp kicked off.
Training camp time @DezBryant hold me accountable!! All in
Right now, his confidence is high and it’s showing in his play on the field. His technique has been sound and he is blanketing every receiver he has been covering so far in training camp.
In fact, he is so confident right now that he has wanted to get even more involved and asked to return kickoffs.
Let’s just all hope that he can keep it up for the entire 2016 season.
The Dallas Cowboys signed Alfred Morris knowing all too well the type of player they were getting having gone up against him twice a year as a member of the Washington Redskins.
Morris has been impressive in practice and continues to make it to the second level of the defense before being slowed down or even touched. That’s pretty impressive you ask me.
It wasn’t crystal clear where he was at on the depth chart amongst the running backs, but in the small sample size of training camp practices it looks as if he has solidified himself as Zeke Elliott’s backup.
Due to Elliott’s sore hamstring, Morris will get plenty of work over the next week or so and I fully expect him to take full advantage of each and every repetition.
I don’t know if there’s a player on the Cowboys roster that I’m looking forward to seeing in a game situation more than Darius Jackson. In fact, you can read exactly how good I think Jackson can be by clicking here.
Jackson has shown good burst and vision in practices. He is shooting through the running lanes and has shown to have quick feet to stop on a dime and change directions.
I already thought that he would receive plenty of work during preseason, but like Alfred Morris, he too will be asked to practice more with Elliott out with a sore hamstring.
By the time Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar are finally healthy and able to practice, it may be a little bit too late because Jackson is going to make it really hard for the coaching staff to keep off of the final 53 man roster.
First off, I’m just amazed that Gavin Escobar was ready enough to practice after suffering an Achilles injury back in December in week 15 of the 2015 season. Not only is he practicing, although on a limited basis, word is he’s looking fantastic doing it.
Maybe, just maybe, this is the year the coaches will finally get Escobar involved more on offense and use his unique skill set to create mismatches.
I won’t be holding my breath or anything, but I’m really hoping offensive coordinator Scott Linehan can find a way to utilize Escobar more on offense. The fact they haven’t been able to do so during the first three years of Escobar’s NFL career doesn’t really give me much hope though.
If the Cowboys don’t believe Gavin Escobar is in their future plans, I think they should showcase his skills during preseason and see if they can get anything for him via trade.
It’s no secret that the Cowboys could use as much help from their pass rushers as possible without DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. Fortunately, it looks as if second-year player Ryan Russell is ready to step up and contribute.
Russell has been playing defensive end on both the right and left side and he looks like an entirely different player in year two.
His matchups with the Cowboys Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, have been a battle worth watching. Even though Smith gets the best of him the majority of the time, it’s encouraging to see that Russell is holding his own.
Russell is trying to do his best to lay claim to one of those DE spots and I think he will only continue to get more comfortable with more practice time before being named the starter. That is at least for the first four games until DeMarcus Lawrence returns from his suspension.
Speaking of Lawrence, it looks as if he is ready to pick up where he left off last year. He has been giving Tyron Smith all he can handle when they face off against one another in practice.
Does any of this sound encouraging?
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