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Cowboys Mini-Camp: Day 3 Takeaways

The next time we will see the Cowboys on the practice field will be for training camp in Oxnard, California. By that time, the preparation for the 2016 season will be in full force, and the position battles across the field will be heated. For now, the Cowboys have concluded mini camp, with once again bringing us a glimpse of Thursday’s historic practice. Here are my final thoughts on what fans were able to see.

Sean Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Mini-Camp: Day 3 Takeaways

The next time we will see the Cowboys on the practice field will be for training camp in Oxnard, California. By that time, the preparation for the 2016 season will be in full force, and the position battles across the field will be heated.

For now, the Cowboys have concluded mini camp, with once again bringing us a glimpse of Thursday's historic practice. Here are my final thoughts on what fans were able to see.

As always, you can watch the film while checking out my analysis, by clicking here for "MiniCamp LIVE".

Winning, and Losing, the Line of Scrimmage

Cowboys' Head Coach Jason Garrett is all about improving his football team through competition. If this is going to be the case for 2016, the current defensive line is going to show some improvements - hopefully sooner rather than later.

The best unit on the team by far, the offensive line did a terrific job throughout this entire camp of keeping Tony Romo, Dak Prescott, and Kellen Moore untouched. I honestly can't remember seeing a snap that made me write a note about a defensive linemen showing something worth noting in terms of beating his man and making an impact.

While this is great for Scott Linehan and the rest of the offensive coaches to be able to evaluate the entire cast of new and important faces for this offense, the throws are only going to become more difficult against true competition.

By working against the best offensive line in football for the rest of the summer, Rod Marinelli's defensive line will be looking to prove a lot in Oxnard once DeMarcus Lawrence and Benson Mayowa get back on the field.

Short Shots

Sticking with this theme of the offense imposing their will against a defense that generated little pressure, the collective throws from the Cowboys' quarterbacks continue to come underneath.

While the playbook will undoubtedly open up more as we march towards competitive football, there is something to be said about allowing opposing defensive fronts virtually no chance to rush the passer, by getting the ball quickly into the hands of Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley, Brice Butler, and Terrance Williams.

Vince Mayle and Ed Eagan were also given chances to make plays at the WR position, and did so with some consistency.

More from Morris

There is no doubt that Alfred Morris understand the opportunity in front of him following Darren McFadden's injury. Not only can he bring the same veteran locker room presence that was valued from McFadden, but Morris has looked great running zone plays throughout practice.

As a north-and-south runner, Morris has shown a burst that he has lacked over the past few seasons. Although his role with the offense is still relatively unknown, the fact is that he will have one when the Dallas Cowboys step onto the field to open the preseason against the Rams - and more than likely continue to contribute when it matters against the Giants to open the season.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on the Cowboys' 2016 mini camp. As we now turn our attention towards training camp, catch up on all of my mini camp notes by clicking here for part 1, and right here for yesterday's thoughts. 

Comment away with your thoughts, and feel free to email me at at anytime with further comments and suggestions! 

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Mini-Camp: Day 3 Takeaways" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • George Johnson

    Sean Martin: Thanks. Good information.

  • Sean Martin

    Thanks as always for reading, George. Appreciate it.

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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