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Cowboys Stock Market: Buying and Selling Training Camp Narratives

Training camp season is fun, but it’s always plagued with storylines that claim players that “feel better than ever before,” and who are at the “best point of their careers.” Every new season comes with new hope for Dallas Cowboys fans that this is our season and that every player who struggled last year will bounce back.

A lot of reports are emerging from training camp, some positive and some negative. Today, I open a Cowboys Stock Market to buy and sell some of the things we expect from players based on what we’ve been hearing from Cowboys’ practices.

Let me know what you’re buying or selling in the comments section below!

Buy: Aldon Smith’s impressive comeback

One of the most brought up names in Cowboys Camp so far is Aldon Smith’s. With the addition of talented veteran Everson Griffen, the defensive end position will be a lot of fun. Aldon Smith hasn’t played a down of football since 2015, but don’t forget just how good he was before suspensions put a halt to his career.

Smith sacked the quarterback 42 times in his first three years in the league over the course of just 43 games. That number alone ranks third in NFL history for players in their first three seasons.

It stands to reason to say Smith won’t reach that level of performance after being away for five years, but if Aldon is 70% of the player he was back then, the Cowboys got themselves a starting-caliber defensive end. Although I believe Griffen will be the one starting games, I’m buying stock on Smith’s comeback to the NFL.

Sell: Trysten Hill will bounce back

As a rookie in 2019, Trysten Hill didn’t set the bar very high. Unfortunately, he spent about half the season as a healthy scratch for the Cowboys. No one really knows what to make out of the former second-round pick out of Central Florida, since we got to see him very few times. He played in only 11% of the team’s defensive snaps.

Things might turn around for the young defensive tackle in 2020 under a new coaching staff, though. Positive reports have emerged from training camp. “Trysten Hill is consistently getting push and causing disruption during reps. He looks like he can be a viable part of this rotation,” reported David Helman on Twitter.

I expect Trysten Hill to have a much better season than he did last season. Gerald McCoy’s injury and release give the sophomore a better chance of seeing the playing field but I’d be surprised if he gets a ton of playing time behind Tyrone Crawford and Neville Gallimore.

Crawford is way more experienced at the position and it sounds like Gallimore, a third-round pick himself, is also having a good camp. A promising note for Hill might be the fact that a lot of the issues that kept him on the sidelines were reportedly off-the-field reasons. If that changes in 2020, we might see a totally different player.

Buy: CeeDee Lamb as seen on Oklahoma

First-round rookies tend to be overhyped, especially when they are coming from top college football programs that constantly play on a national stage, just like the Oklahoma Sooners do. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case for WR CeeDee Lamb.

Practice after practice, reporters have praised Lamb’s performance on training camp. Lamb’s incorporation to the Cowboys’ offense has been automatic. He’s made one-handed catches, he’s had touchdowns in the corner of the endzone, he’s displayed his impressive speed, and has even been training with the special teams unit.

Sure enough, CeeDee will be the steal we’ve all been talking about since April.

Sell: Training camp sacks will continue in the regular season

With Tyron Smith and La’el Collins absent from a lot of training camp so far, we’re hearing a lot of reports about the offensive line getting beat constantly and Dak Prescott being sacked (or pretend sacked) a lot of times. While it’s true the offensive line isn’t 100% healthy right now, it’s fair to be concerned.

Quarterback Dak Prescott is one of the top quarterbacks in this league, but that doesn’t mean his play is perfect. One issue that Dak has faced during his four-year career has been allowing plenty of sacks. In his first three seasons, Dak was sacked 113 times, which represent 7.1% of his dropbacks.

That number dropped to 3.7% in 2019, thanks in big part to the increased use of play-action by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Per Warren Sharp, Dak’s sack rate dropped from 10.7% without play-action to 1.2% with play-action. Although there’s a new OL Coach in town, I think Joe Philbin’s unit won’t be struggling as much in the regular season when the starting offensive line is out there and the Cowboys are using more play-action.

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys Stock Market: Buying and Selling Training Camp Narratives” in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

What do you think?

Mauricio Rodriguez

Written by Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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  1. Any assessment of A Smith or any other D Lineman comes with a disclaimer, since they have largely gone against 2nd/3rd string O linemen. But Smith seems to be passing the “eye test ” and seems explosive and sharp, which is encouraging. I think Hill is still a work in progress…but appears to have some potential. Lamb is a definite BUY and seems to be a star in the making. Once the O line is healthy and playing together, the sacks will go down. But regarding Dak I agree he tends to “run into” sacks at times, partly because his pocket presence is not elite and partly because he is not a fast twitch guy like Mahomes/Wilson/Jackson. He is a good runner but has to build up steam. I would even go as far as to say he is somewhat slow footed, which prevents him from escaping the rush at times. Plus he needs to get better at knowing when to throw the ball away. I really like Dak as our QB but these are a few traits that he lacks, that keeps him from being elite, oh and his accuracy while not as bad as some people say , is not at say Brady/Brees/Rodgers level.

  2. Two sides to every story. What some say is Dak taking sacks, some others would suggest it’s Dak being brave and faithful enough to wait on a WR to come open, and unwilling to give up on a play. Personally I don’t feel Dak lacks pocket presence, but rather Dak (a) trusts his teammates to get open eventually, (b) trust his OL to make the block that allows him to stay upright, and (c) he believes in his own ability to finish a play. It’s those traits that endear him to his teammates!

    It’s true he may not have escapability of the elite QB’s, but that’s not a flaw. For as many plays that he may have held the ball too long and resulted in a sack, I can point to as many plays that he extended and made them positive. If he needs to improve anything, it might be his ball security while in the pocket.

    As I said earlier in another post … all assessments we get are to be measured, and the source to be considered. Many folks are able to judge ability and talent regardless of whether they are facing starters or not. Additionally, in practice environments and specifically independent drills, players face all their opposing position players. Therefore, the trained eyes can indeed assess them. So-called sack numbers from camp are bogus regardless of whether it’s the starting OL out there or not. Most reports I’ve read praising Smith (for example) relate to his movement, his power, his arsenal of moves, etc … abilities that translate and are evident regardless of who he is opposing.

  3. I’m all in on Lamb chops. His talents (reliable and sometimes freaky hands, exceptional body control, RAC/elusiveness) translate very well to the NFL level. He’s fast enough but doesn’t have to rely on that speed to get open. He’s already got experience blocking downfield in a run-heavy offense. He didn’t have to rely on pushing off to get separation that would be ignored in college but called in the NFL.

    His exceptional body control and “catch anything, anywhere” hands are exactly what a QB like Dak needs.

  4. I have decided to stop watching all sports loved to watch as a release but everything is political now you can have it I’m done

  5. Well I hope I didn’t open a can of worms for the Dak haters. Let me say right off that I think Dak is the right QB for this team right now. I never actually said he lacked pocket presence nor did I say that his lack of elite escapabity is a flaw. I think Dak is good to very good in the important traits QBs are measured by. He just isn’t elite in any of them (except maybe leadership and command of the huddle) which is very important. Pocket presence involves many things and some of them don’t have anything to do with athleticism. Those being when to throw the ball away/when to step up in the pocket/when to side step/when to eat the ball and take a sack/ability to quickly get thru ur progressions. Plus not every QB can be elite fast twitch athletes (Wilson/Mahomes/Jackson) T Brady was slow as hell but had the inate ability to avoid the rush in very subtle ways that can’t be taught and was an excellent decision maker. Again Dak is a very good QB but IMHO lacks a few traits (including elite accuracy) that prevents him from being in the upper echelon of QBs, but who cares. He just has to be good enuf for this team. Besides he’s not as far behind those others as some people might think. But he’s GOOD ENUF to lead us to the SB IMO. As far as training camp goes, with the established players, u already know what u got, but with the others it can be hard to tell since it’s impossible to even get close to simulating a real game. If going by the eye test I’m very encouraged. The coaches are certainly experts at assessing but We won’t truly know what we have with some of these players till they are in a real game. With the exception maybe being LAMB right lone wolf? He looks like a can’t miss star.

  6. I’ve been a dedicated Cowboy fan all my life and I’m 61 yrs old. I still think it’s impossible for the Cowboys to ever return to Superbowl material as long as Jerry Jones thinks he is a general manager. The only thing that is ever going to get his attention is money. As long as people keep buying tickets he will never change. He’s a delusional old man making millions.

  7. I’m a lifelong Sooners fan. Lamb looked special from his freshman year. It was clear from the moment he got on the field that he had a knack for finding and catching the ball and then making moves to leave DB’s looking silly.

    Dede Westbrook left the year before and CeeDee took right over. Marquise Brown got the hype for his speed and big plays, but CeeDee was already doing the grunt work and had the more reliable hands. He snagged 47 catches for 807 yards as a true freshman.

    And he managed to adapt to 3 very different QB’s (Mayfield, Murray, and Hurts) each of his 3 years. It’s no surprise to me that he’s already meshing very well with Dak. The man works his tail off.

  8. Well I won’t hold the Sooners thing against you ! (lifetime Longhorns fan here) HOOK EM! Unfortunately y’all had our # alot in recent yrs but yea some players just seem to have the IT factor and Lamb seems to be one of them. I think he’ll be a all pro within a couple of yrs. Can’t wait to see him in a actual game.

  9. In fact I still have nightmares thinking about a play last yr in the OU-UT game where Lamb caught a pass and basically juked/shrugged off tackles and ran away from the entire UT secondary in route to a TD. Made us look silly but that’s how talented Lamb is.

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