The Dallas Cowboys officially take the field for training camp practices on Saturday, July 30th, which so happens to be tomorrow.
Can you believe it's just one day away?
Finally, the practices will be fully padded and we can all get a better idea of not only the new additions to the Cowboys roster, but also the progression of others.
I don't know about you, but there are a lot of unanswered questions that are concerning to say the least heading into training camp. Unfortunately, the majority of my questions involve the defensive side of the ball and how they're going to perform in the 2016 season.
I decided to share with you just a few of them, because I have an absurd amount.
Here are four questions that I hope to get the answer to in training camp.
Where will the pass rush come from?
I hate to beat a dead horse, but by now we all know that the Dallas Cowboys will be shorthanded on defense due to the suspensions to Rolando McClain, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory. Lawrence and Gregory are particularly disturbing because that takes away two of the top pass rushers for the Rod Marinelli led defense.
Marinelli will once again have to work his magic with the defense and use training camp practices in order to find out exactly where the pass rush will come from in 2016.
I for one think that Marinelli will rely on Tyrone Crawford and Cedric Thornton to collapse the pocket and get after the opposing quarterback, at least until DeMarcus Lawrence is able to return after his four-game suspension.
Thorton's addition to the defense should help provide a little spark in the middle and also allow Crawford to improve upon his career-high five quarterback sacks that he was able to accumulate in 2015, despite battling through an injury the majority of the year.
Will Ezekiel Elliott's accusation of domestic violence be a distraction?
Allegations were made against Ezekiel Elliott last Friday, his 21st birthday, that he was involved in a domestic violence situation involving an ex-girlfriend in Columbus, Ohio.
Elliott adamantly denies these allegations as being true and even says that he has proof saved on his phone that his ex was out to ruin his good name.
Despite Elliott's denial of having anything to do with domestic violence, the case has now made it's way to the prosecutor's office and an investigation is currently underway. They are gathering as much information as possible and there is no timetable of when the investigation may be completed.
The NFL will also conduct their own individual investigation into these allegations.
Having this hanging over Elliott's head has to have some kind of impact on him, but it has yet to be seen whether it will impact his performance on the field or possibly carry over to the rest of his teammates throughout training camp
Can young players step up at defensive end or linebacker?
Like I mentioned earlier, the three suspensions on the defensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys has really impacted the defense negatively, especially at defensive end and linebacker.
Yes, the Cowboys brought back Justin Durant to help solidify the linebacker position, but it looks as if the organization wants to see what they have in their young players in training camp before making any drastic decisions.
Linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Mark Nzeocha are expected to compete at middle linebacker, and rookie defensive end Charles Tapper and second-year player Ryan Russell could be competing for a starting spot at DE.
There is a lot of inexperience at LB and DE, so it will be really interesting to see how this plays out throughout training camp.
Will the Dallas Cowboys add more free agents?
It is somewhat surprising that the Dallas Cowboys only free-agent signing since learning of the suspensions to three of their defensive players has only been linebacker Justin Durant.
Many fans have been calling for the Cowboys to sign several different free agents, but at the forefront has been DE/OLB Dwight Freeney.
It is certainly understandable considering the current state of the pass rush for the Cowboys defense and it may still happen. But, Freeney might not want to go to the grind of training camp and the Cowboys certainly want to see what they have in some of their younger pass rushers.
I fully expect that the Cowboys will make a move if they don't like what they see from their young defensive ends and linebackers. Dwight Freeney's name might just be at the top the list once the organization decides what they want to do.
Are there any other questions that need to be answered heading into training camp?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share with us anything that you believe should be discussed further. I look forward to hearing from everyone.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Cowboys Negotiating Trade with Dolphins for DE Robert Quinn
According to a report just minutes ago, the Dallas Cowboys are visiting with Miami Dolphins' Defensive End Robert Quinn today as part of a possible trade. Miami is looking for a trade partner to try to get something back for Quinn before making him a salary cap casualty.
Quinn is in the final year of his contract and is set to count $12.9 million against the Dolphins' salary cap. Most of that is his base salary of $11.8 million, which Miami is reportedly willing to pay part of to help facilitate a trade.
Robert Quinn was spotted today on his way to visit the #Cowboys, who are in trade talks with the #Dolphins for the veteran DE, sources say. Quinn would need to agree to any deal. So, this is another step in the process, with a Dallas team that obviously needs pass rush.
The Cowboys need DE help with DeMarcus Lawrence's contract still unresolved and Randy Gregory now indefinitely suspended for another drug policy violation. They signed Kerry Hyder from the Lions yesterday, but he isn't a proven commodity like Quinn.
Turning 29 in May, Robert Quinn is a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick of the Rams. He hasn't had the same production in recent years but still had 6.5 sacks for Miami in 2018 and 8.5 the prior year with Los Angeles.
Ever the bargain shoppers these days, Dallas is probably hoping to get Quinn for late-round draft pick or perhaps a pick swap.
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