Do you know the significance of July 28?
If not, that’s the date that the Dallas Cowboys officially start training camp and what I believe to be the start of the 2016 NFL season.
We will finally get to see the new additions to the Dallas Cowboys roster in the full padded practices, thus giving us a better idea of exactly what type of players they are and how they can contribute to the team.
Unfortunately, a reoccurring theme in Oxnard, California, where the Cowboys hold training camp, is players suffering serious injuries that cause them to miss significant time, if not the entire season.
That is why I believe the coaching staff need to monitor some of their players specifically and make sure that they are not receiving too heavy of a workload.
Below are five players that need to be closely monitored in training camp and you might just notice a reoccurring theme with all of these players mentioned.
Tony Romo has been placed on a pitch count in practices before and I don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t continue in training camp and even into the regular season.
The Dallas Cowboys 2016 season will heavily depend on how Romo performs and how well he will be able to remain healthy. We all witnessed firsthand last season in 2015 just how much the entire team is Romo dependent and they simply can’t risk losing him for any length of time if they want to be successful.
Romo knows the offense so the only real reason he needs practice repetitions is to build a chemistry once again with his offensive weapons.
Romo being placed on a pitch count does two things. It allows the coaching staff to get a better idea of the backup quarterback situation and it allows Romo to receive extra time for his body to recuperate.
Much like his quarterback, Dez Bryant had a rather disappointing 2015 season because of an early season foot injury that never quite received the adequate time to heal properly.
To his credit, Bryant played the 2015 season despite the amount of pain he must’ve played through in order to give his team the best chance to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
We all know that Bryant is a competitor and he gives 100% whether it’s on the practice field or in a game. That is a reason why the Cowboys need to closely monitor him in training camp and probably the preseason as well.
Bryant will do everything in his power to receive as much practice reps as possible. That’s just the type of person he is. He needs his repetitions in order to prepare for the season, but the Cowboys also need him to be 100% for the offense to be at its best.
Orlando Scandrick missed the entire 2015 season because of a devastating knee injury. He has yet to practice in any of the OTA’s or mini-camp practices.
His return should greatly improve the secondary for the Cowboys defense with both his on the field play and the attitude that he plays with.
The coaching staff will need to closely monitor him and how his surgically repaired knee responds to practice in training camp. He might just need to be placed on a pitch count as well.
The Cowboys secondary is thin heading into the 2016 season and Scandrick’s return not only helps depth wise, but allows defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to be a little more creative in how he chooses to disguise coverages with his cornerbacks.
Linebacker Sean Lee missed all of OTA’s and mini-camp practices after having minor knee surgery to clear up discomfort he was having in his left knee. The same knee that caused him to miss the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL.
In all honesty, I would rather him miss time now than in the season when it really counts.
Lee seems to be an injury waiting to happen and you can bet with the current situation at the linebacker position the coaching staff will closely be monitoring his workload in training camp and in the preseason.
Lee had a fantastic 2015 season which resulted in him making his first Pro Bowl. He still managed to miss two games because of a concussion and a hamstring injury.
He knows Rod Marinelli’s defense inside and out and him missing practice repetitions in training camp shouldn’t be a big concern. It allows some of the younger LBs to gain a little more experience and prove to the coaching staff that they can be relied upon if needed.
Tyrone Crawford plays the all-important 3-technique in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s 4-3 defensive scheme. He is asked to make plays in the backfield in both the running and passing game, making him one of the most important pieces on the entire defense.
You may be asking yourself why Crawford is on this list, but he struggled playing through an injury in 2015 that really limited how effective he could be.
The coaching staff really needs to monitor his workload in training camp because there is a huge drop-off between Crawford and anybody that is playing behind him.
The Dallas Cowboys defense is already in a tough situation due to the suspensions to Rolando McClain, Demarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory. They simply can’t afford to have one of the players they are relying on to provide a pass rush to miss any time due to injury.
Are there any other player’s the coaching staff should be closely monitoring in training camp?
Please use the comment section below to provide your thoughts and opinions on this topic. I look forward to hearing from you so that we can discuss this further.