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Cowboys Camp: 5 Bold Predictions to Start Training Camp

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Cowboys Camp: 5 Bold Predictions to Start Training Camp

Cowboys Camp: 5 Bold Predictions to Start Training Camp

The Dallas Cowboys have welcomed their rookies to training camp which began July 19th, inside The Star in Frisco, Texas. This means we’re not far off from opening ceremonies of training camp 2017 which starts on July 24th.

With the preseason nigh upon us, that means we can begin the “process” of predicting how the 2017 NFL Season is going to turn out.

With that, here are five bold predictions for the Dallas Cowboys 2017 training camp.

Could The Cowboys Keep Six Wide Receivers? 2

Ohio State Buckeyes Wide Receiver Noah Brown #80 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

1. Noah Brown is the WR Darling of Training Camp

Whether it was Andy Jones in 2016 or Devin Street in 2014 and 2015, the story is the same every year.

Some unknown wide receiver makes a lot of plays against second and third team players (who aren’t going to be on the roster) and Twitter and Cowboys sites go ablaze predicting their future stardom.

You can read Sean Martin’s post-draft scouting report on Noah Brown.

This year it’s going to be Noah Brown. While Brown arguably has an outside shot to make the 53 man roster out of training camp, it’s likely as the 6th wide receiver and will be more of a result of his blocking ability than his receiving ability. Cause let’s be honest. Who on the depth chart is Brown going to displace?

Not Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, or Ryan Switzer. He might have a shot to knock Brice Butler off the roster, but it’s likely that Dallas brought Butler back for quarterback Dak Prescott. Don’t forget how important continuity is.

Brown has ability and can make plays. Just check the highlights from Ohio State’s game against Oklahoma last year — sad face. He was unreal. There was a reason, though, that he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has some things to work on.

Going against 2nd and 3rd team players are going to give Cowboys fans a lot of excitement.

2. Kellen Moore Silences His Critics

You may have noticed a trend here at Inside The Star. We don’t like the Cowboys prospects if any meaningful games need to be played by Kellen Moore.

I really don’t think a successful preseason will cement #KelMo’s status as the career backup to Dak Prescott, but it will definitely silence people like me.

See what I wrote about Kellen Moore when I asked Who’s Already Locked Up a Spot on the 53 Man Roster?

I don’t think he’s good enough to play in the NFL.

I’ve said as much several times.

That said, he will probably play well enough in the preseason against backups to maintain his hold on the depth chart. He’ll get a chance to throw to Ryan Switzer, Brice Butler, and Noah Brown and behind a decent offensive line too.

If he is ever going to show that he belongs in the NFL, now is the time to do it. The Dallas Cowboys need to solidify their backup quarterback position and with Kellen’s age, he can likely be that guy for the next decade.

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Dallas Cowboys Tight End Rico Gathers #80 (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

3. Rico Gathers is Ready to Roll

Since the Cowboys made Rico Gathers their 6th round pick in 2016, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the former Baylor basketball standout.

With the size of a defensive end and the hands and athleticism to play tight end, Cowboys Nation has been eager and excited to see what the big man has to offer.

With depth at tight end a question mark, now is as good a time as any to realize that potential that has everyone dreaming of Rico in the red zone.

Blocking will be the biggest key to Gathers making the roster and having an impact during games. Now with a full offseason in the Dallas Cowboys program, and having spent much of last year working with Tony Romo on the scout team, Gathers should be ready to make an impact.

He isn’t going to supplant Jason Witten on the depth chart. That just isn’t going to happen, but he could provide the stability that has been lacking with injuries to James Hanna and Geoff Swaim.

Get ready, because this preseason will be the one we all look back on and say, “that’s when Rico became Rico.”

4. Jaylon Smith Starts Season on the PUP List

As excited as we all are about the prospects of former All-American linebacker Jaylon Smith making an impact on the defense, the reality is he’s a valuable resource that the team shouldn’t rush onto the field.

Brian Martin talked about the progress that Smith has made this offseason and the new brace that he’s wearing.

Like Marcus Mosher–from Locked on Cowboys and Bleacher Report–tweeted the other day, there’s no reason to rush him to the field if he isn’t 100%. Let him continue to improve and get healthier before bringing him back.

Getting Jaylon at 100% come playoff time will be a huge lift to the defense.

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: RB #46 Alfred Morris 1

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Alfred Morris #46 (James D Smith via AP)

5. Alfred Morris is a Cut-Down Day Casualty

As excited as we all were about Alfred Morris’ signing last offseason, it’s been met with an equal amount of disappointment. Outside of the first game or two when Ezekiel Elliott seemed to be trying to find his NFL legs, Morris was pretty underwhelming in his first season in Dallas.

Every statistical category was a career low for Morris; carries, yards, touchdowns, and receptions were all disappointing. The category that is the most troubling, however, is his yards per carry. 3.1 represented a career low for the now six-year pro.

Behind what is considered, at the very least, a top-five offensive line in the NFL that featured the league leader in rushing yards, Morris should have been better.

If no suspension befalls Ezekiel Elliott, I could see the Cowboys going in a different direction with their third running back. Someone like Rod Smith offers more athleticism and versatility, while also playing special teams.

As much as we all wanted Morris to be the guy that ran for over 1,000 yards his rookie season, he just hasn’t been that guy. To me the writing’s on the wall.

Do you expect anything surprising from Dallas’ preseason?

John Williams

I didn’t start out as a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quickly as I could. I grew up a Joe Montana fan when he was with the 49ers and followed him to the Chiefs, until we moved to Texas. I’ve now been a Fan of the Boys since the Dark Days of the Post-Aikman, Pre-Romo era of abysmal quarterback play, now relishing in more than a decade of franchise quarterbacking for America’s Team.

9 Comments
  • Willie Rogers

    Hopefully nothing happens to Prescott because 2017 will be like 2015.K.Moore already showed he is garbage that need’s to be dumped out already, cowboys get real and get a #2 guy behind Prescott.

    • George_Johnson

      K Moore is not garbage. In 2015 it was his first time playing against 1st team defenses and he had limited reps/time to get ready to play. S Linehan who probably knows more about than you, said K Moore did a lot of good things but made too many mistakes. K Moore is a student of the game and is likely to improve his mistakes. He almost set a new NCAA record for fewest interceptions in a career (28) so the guy doesn’t have a reputation of throwing interceptions. You should at least wait until after the preseason to say K Moore is garbage. He is likely to play very well and may even play better than D Prescott. He should be very ready, know the offense/playbook intimately, knows exactly what Linehan wants in any situation, has the confidence of the team and knows the other offensive players well. K Moore is a master at pocket passing and it should show up in the preseason games.

      • Willie Rogers

        K.Moore is not the answer at backup qb, if the cowboys are to win the super bowl this year they will have to find a decent backup, Jason Garrett should know this all to well while he was riding the bench behind, Kosar,& Steve Buerlien.Get a legitimate backup and Luke McCown will definitely be a disaster.

  • George_Johnson

    Glad to see that you believe if K Moore plays well in preseason it will shut up his critics. I hope so also. I will be surprised if he doesn’t play well as he is an outstanding pocket passer. He does have physical limitations that can impact his play. He cannot make rocket throws across the field or down the field. S Linehan who should be one of the top QB experts in the world says he can play in the NFL. He says his arm is strong enough. He also says K Moore knows his limitation but is able to get the job done in his own way. Linehan also says he is very accurate, smart and uses uncanny anticipation to make the passes.

    • John Williams

      Like I’ve said before, I’m not so confident in Moore’s ability as a long term answer if Dak goes down, but if he has a solid preseason, he’ll keep his job for another year, as long as he doesn’t have to play in any meaningful games. Lol.

  • Daniel Helms

    I am not quick to jump on the Dak bandwagon. I actually believe Kellen needs to have a far shot to show what he can do and actually open the position of for competition. Considering Kellen’s opportunity was setup by first not even allowing him to practice the with the 1’s until the week after Cassel was benched. By the way they should have never assumed that Cassel would do better than Moore because of “experience.” They should have let Moore replace Weeden and so that the pressure to be the world beater from the get go would have been lessened give Moore time to adjust to the ramp up. Secondly, I believe that most of Moore Ints had little to do with arm strength but lack of practice for both and his receivers. On the same note, Dak received all the reps in practice last year since when Romo and Moore went down there was nobody else. Even fatter that, Dak had the advantage, most of his stats were either the same as Moore or worse. For example, Dak and Moore had relative good percentages of completions and almost the same average of yards per attempt and catch, on the other side Kellen had 30 more yards per and triple the ratio of 20 yard plays per game as Dak. Everybody keeps trying to highlight the 13-3 record, but in the three games Kellen played the defense was the problem. Kellen had no real WR threat. Zeke was probably the biggest difference. With Zeke, Dallas’ run production almost doubled from the year before. Let’s also forget that even with one of the easiest schedules in Dallas’ history they won most the games in very tight contest. Another issue I saw in Dak was that opponents started to figure out how to play against him half-way through the season. He had a spat 4 games of less than 200 yard games. Keep in mind that Moore’s numbers were never below 150 yards a game while played against much tougher defenses. Stats don’t lie.

    • George_Johnson

      I agree with much of what you said. However, Dak was still nothing but amazing last year, ESPECIALLY considering he was a rookie and learning from a fire hose. I think he is likely to come back down to earth this year some and could easily go through a sophomore slump or at least have less success even if he improves his play overall. I doubt K Moore will be able to displace D Prescott. D Prescott has a stronger arm, is way more athletic, has more of the prototypical size and can run like a deer. D Prescott also has some of the same skills/abilities that K Moore has such as accuracy, good game manager, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, plays smart, poised, etc. While K Moore may be ahead of D Prescott in just reps/experience/maturity/veteran/etc. he soon will not be as D Prescott gets more and more playing experience and the coaches add more to his plate.

      • Daniel Helms

        Stronger arm and still way few 20 yard plays ratio wise how is that even possible. Besides I would much rather have pure pocket passer over an option read or running QB anyday, especially as smart as Moore is. Moore to me has plenty of arm but a little accuracy we tries to force the issue. Like the pass to Wooten in the Wash game that he over threw. Once he practices more with the receivers I believe he can open up the field far more than Prescott who seems to be limited to the sidelines. This is because Moore is more familiar with being under center and not being exclusively relying on playaction or rollout plays. This maybe because Dak is still a little raw in the strict pro style system. It could also be that he has a limited accuracy problem when throwing in the middle of the field.

    • Jess Haynie

      Sorry man, but this is pure delusion.

      Dak’s completion percentage was 67.8% to just 58.7% for Kellen. He threw four picks in 16 games while Kellen threw six INTs in just three games. He had a passer rating of 104.9 to just 71.0 for Kellen.

      You were right about one thing, though. “Stats don’t lie.”

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