The Dallas Cowboys training camp should be particularly exciting this year. There is an influx of new faces joining the team this season and quite a lot of unknown about who fits where. But, that's what training camp is for and one of the reasons why it's so important before heading into the season.
Today, I want to shine a light on the Dallas Cowboys 2018 rookie class. There are several rookies in this year's draft class who could play significant roles this season, which is just one of the many reasons why we will all be following them closely throughout the remainder of the offseason. But, who will end up being the most exciting rookie to watch at training camp?
Of course, not all of the rookies will be given the same kind of opportunities or practice time in these practices or in preseason for some reason or another. For instance, Defensive End Dorrance Armstrong and Quarterback Mike White may see very limited practice repetitions due to the depth ahead of them.
Instead of focusing on the rookies who may not see a lot of practice time or don't play a very glamorous position (Offensive Guard Connor Williams), I want to focus on the players who should garner more attention. For me, I think there are five logical candidates, whom of which I will rank in descending order.
CANDIDATE #5: TE, Dalton Schultz
With Jason Witten now gone and the Tight End competition wide-open, Dalton Schultz should receive a lot of practice repetitions in order for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to find out whether or not he is their best option as the next starting TE. The Cowboys TE competition alone makes Schultz an exciting player to watch, but he's got his work cut out for him.
Unfortunately, he's not quite as athletically gifted as some of the other TEs on the roster, so he may struggle to show up in the passing game. But, it should be really interesting to see how he holds up as a blocker. In college he showed a willingness and tenacity while blocking in the running game, which will hopefully show up throughout the Cowboys training camp.
CANDIDATE #4: RB, Bo Scarbrough
Bo Scarbrough's mere size alone should cause your eyes to gravitate toward him throughout the Cowboys training camp. He will definitely stand out amongst the running backs on the roster, but it his downhill/punishing running style that should make him exciting to watch once the pads are on.
However, Scarbrough may see limited practice time because of the numbers/depth at the RB position. Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and maybe even Darius Jackson will probably receive the majority of practice reps, which means Scarbrough might be stuck with what's left over. If he can show up as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield, he may have a chance to climb the depth chart, but I don't think he will be the most exciting to watch.
CANDIDATE #3: WR, Cedrick Wilson
Cedrick Wilson may be considered a long shot to make the final 53-man roster right now, but that doesn't mean he won't be one of the most exciting rookies to watch when the Cowboys training camp gets underway. He supposedly already performed above expectations in earlier offseason practices, so there's no reason to believe why that shouldn't carry over into training camp.
Wilson, reminds me of former Cowboys WR Brice Butler. He has a similar build as Butler, but I think Wilson is already a better receiver at this point in his career. The only thing Butler has that Wilson doesn't is straight-line speed. But, I think the rookie can create just as much separation with his route running ability. That should make him one of the more exciting rookies to watch.
CANDIDATE #2: LB, Leighton Vander Esch
There will be no shortage of eyes on Leighton Vander Esch as the Dallas Cowboys 2018 first-round draft pick. As of right now, he has an undefined role heading into training camp, but that doesn't mean there aren't high expectations for the rookie LB. He is a big smooth moving LB and he should compete to become the starting middle linebacker from day one.
I started to make Vander Esch the most exciting rookie to watch on this list, but I just don't think he is going to show up as much in these training camp practices. It's a little more difficult to shine as a defensive player when you're asked to hold back a little in practice to help prevent against unnecessary injuries. We may not get a good glimpse at what kind of player he can be until preseason.
CANDIDATE #1: WR, Michael Gallup
It may not be that big of a surprise, but I think Michael Gallup will be the most exciting rookie to watch throughout the Cowboys training camp. I doubt I'm alone here, but I'm expecting huge things from the rookie WR this season. He has all the tools to succeed, but the only thing that might hold him back is the step up in competition and adjustment into the NFL.
Having said all that though, I believe Michael Gallup is going to put on a show when these practices get underway. I believe he is the most talented WR on the Cowboys roster right now and that he's going to have some highlight reel worthy catches. He has a tremendous catching radius and is excellent at going up and catching the ball at the highest point. But, what makes me most excited about watching him is his ability to pick up yards after the catch.
Which rookie will be the most exciting to watch at the Cowboys training camp?
CIN 21, DAL 14: Dak Prescott Continues Strong Preseason in Loss
The games may not count yet, but Dak Prescott looks ready for the 2018 season. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback continued his strong preseason play in the team's 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Prescott played three series, going 10/15 for 86 yards and a touchdown. He got the offense out of trouble a few times with his feet, avoiding sacks and ultimately getting the scoring pass off on a redzone scramble.
Dak's strong play has coincided with shutdown performances from the starting defense. The Cowboys' first-team defenders have yet to allow a score in two preseason games. Tonight, the Bengals were forced into four punts and two turnovers on their first-half possessions.
Overall, the Cowboys are a combined 24-7 in the first halves of their first two preseason contests.
The second half has been the problem, and for two weeks now Dallas' reserves have squandered halftime leads and given up losses. Thankfully, most of the responsible players will not be on the final 53-man roster.
- There were several concerning injuries for the Cowboys tonight. None was scarier than when All-Pro guard Zack Martin went out with a knee injury, but it does not appear to have been serious. Starting defensive backs Byron Jones and Xavier Woods also got banged up; Byron returned to the game but Woods did not. Defensive lineman Datone Jones also left with a knee injury.
- Even more concerning was the play of the second-team offensive line. Chaz Green was typically awful, but we also saw swing tackle Cam Fleming struggling and just an overall lack of protection for the backups quarterbacks. Green got benched in the second half and may have finally played his way off the team.
- Credit to Terrance Williams for getting open in the endzone to give Dak Prescott a receiver for the touchdown throw. Even with his warts, Williams' two years of experience playing with Dak can't be ignored in deciding who makes the team.
- Tight end Blake Jarwin continues to run with the starters on offense and may have quietly taken the job away from Geoff Swaim.
- Darius Jackson took advantage of some extra playing time tonight after Bo Scarbrough left with a hip injury. He broke off a few nice runs to amass 42 yards on just six carries, plus had four receptions.
- We finally get to see Dan Bailey kick a field goal again, and it was an easy 35-yarder with no issues.
- Shout out to Chidobe Awuzie for one of the pretty interceptions that a Cowboys DB has made in some time. Awuzie had to bend like Beckham (Odell, that is) to get a hand on the ball, then tipped it to himself for the pick.
- Preseason fun continues for the Cowboys next Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals on NBC's Sunday Night Football.
#DALvsCIN: Can WR Lance Lenoir Continue To Impress?
Entering training camp projecting who would make the final roster from the Dallas Cowboys wide receiving room was a crapshoot. The combination of misfits from other teams, unproven young guys, and a couple of Cowboys veterans makes this position group the most questioned across the entire roster.
But while Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup were stealing headlines, Lance Lenoir was making a name for himself among the Cowboys faithful.
After serving on the practice squad for the Cowboys a year ago, Lenoir seems to have entered 2018 with one goal in mind: to make the official game-day roster. And even if he falls short of this goal, it won't be due to any fault of his own.
Day in and day out Lance Lenoir has been a consistent wide out, catching nearly everything thrown his way and running some of the crisper routes on the team. Under new receivers coach Sanjay Lal, Lenoir has become a technical route runner and dangerous receiving threat.
Maybe most importantly for his future with the team, Lenoir has developed an obvious chemistry with starting quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has continued to compliment Lenoir throughout training camp, and you know that the Cowboys front office is well aware of Prescott's trust in Lenoir on the field.
During the preseason opener against the 49ers, Lance Lenoir caught his first touchdown of the season, dazzling with his toe-tap ability. If he is going to steal a roster spot away from one of the more seasoned wide outs, however, he will have to remain that consistent target.
This Saturday, Lenoir gets another shot to prove why he's not only deserving of a roster spot, but of a starting spot. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch, but if he continues to play like he has during camp and preseason, Lenoir could find himself working with the 1's more frequently.
Look out for Lance Lenoir against the Bengals this week, as he makes it harder and harder for the Cowboys to cut him by the second.
Cowboys en Español: ¿Es Tavon Austin Más Importante de lo que Creemos?
Cada vez más cerca de la verdadera acción en la NFL, tuvimos una oportunidad de ver a los Dallas Cowboys en el campo contra los San Francisco 49ers hace una semana. Francamente, a pesar de perder la ventaja en los últimos segundos del partido, la actuación del equipo dio una muy buena señal a los aficionados de la Estrella Solitaria.
Todavía quedan tres partidos por jugar, empezando por el enfrentamiento contra los Cincinnati Bengals este sábado. Hay muchas cosas que ver de parte de los Dallas Cowboys y quizá algunas de ellas las veamos este mismo fin de semana.
Una de las cosas más interesantes esta semana fue la conversación de los wide receivers (receptores abiertos). Lance Lenoir se ha mostrado como un candidato real al roster de 53 jugadores, pero esa es sólo una pequeña fracción de la conversación de receptores.
Hay muchos receptores de que hablar, y el día de hoy, eso haremos en Cowboys en Español.
¿Cole Beasley es realmente el receptor #1?
A lo largo de todo el offseason, se ha manejado la narrativa de que "los Cowboys no tienen un buen WR." A pesar de que Dez Bryant es un nombre difícil de olvidar, esta aseveración sobre los receptores en Dallas me parece errónea.
Si bien es cierto que Bryant es uno de los mejores WRs en la historia de los Cowboys, también es cierto que Jason Garrett y compañía tienen un mejor grupo de lo que la afición considera. Si somos sinceros, un trío titular de Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley y Michael Gallup no suena mal.
La pregunta será: ¿quién es el #1? Comentarios de Dak Prescott han hecho referencia a Cole Beasley como el dueño de dicho rol. ¿Realmente puede fungir como el receptor líder del equipo siendo un jugador de 1.73 metros?
Se ha hablado mucho de Beasley jugando fuera de los números e intentando vencer a los defensivos por fuera. Es intrigante, pero sin duda un poco difícil de creer.
Tavon Austin: ¿Es un arma más importante de lo que creemos?
Los Cowboys dejaron ir a Ryan Switzer y obtuvieron a su aparente remplazo con el ex-WR de los Rams por una selección de sexta ronda. Tavon Austin ha tenido un viaje extraño con el equipo. Fue listado en el roster como un corredor pero utilizado como un receptor.
Lleva poco tiempo en Dallas pero ha sorprendido en training camp y ha sido utilizado como más de lo que esperábamos. Desde que llegó al equipo, empezamos a compararlo con Lucky Whitehead y Ryan Switzer. Ambos talentosos, pero destinados a ser un jugador "gadget" que fueron utilizados casi exclusivamente en jugadas "en movimiento" o los famosos "jet sweeps."
Pero Austin puede ser más que eso y lo ha demostrado en training camp. No parece que Tavon vaya a tener el mismo destino que Switzer, sino que tendrá un rol mucho más involucrado en la ofensiva constantemente. Bien puede ser un factor sorpresa para la ofensiva en Dallas.
¿Puede Terrance Williams perder su trabajo?
A pesar de que el coraje puede llevar a los aficionados a criticar a Terrance Williams un poco más de lo que merece, la verdad es que Williams está en riesgo de ser cortado por los Cowboys antes de que inicie la temporada en septiembre.
Es uno de los WRs con más experiencia, sí. Pero durante su estadía en Dallas, cada vez que Dez Bryant ha caído lesionado, Williams ha tenido la oportunidad de surgir como un receptor #1 capaz y preparado. Y nunca lo ha logrado.
Con un roster lleno de talentos jóvenes como el de Lance Lenoir y Noah Brown, es probable que la administración y los coaches opten por el potencial joven en vez de Williams, quien ha tenido problemas para demostrar que puede ser un jugador constante.
Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que conseguir que su ofensiva sobreviva las pérdidas de Jason Witten y Dez Bryant y tendrán que comenzar en la posición de WR. A pesar de que Williams esté en el equipo, Cole Beasley será el único en repetir titularidad del año pasado en Dallas esta temporada.
Dak Prescott tendrá un rol enorme cuando la ofensiva trate de emprender su marcha y definitivamente será responsable del éxito de esta. Es ahora o nunca para Dak.
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