The wait for NFL Football is now officially over as we can all breathe after a 6-month offseason. Training camp gives fans a glimpse of what could be in store for preseason for the upcoming regular season.
The Dallas Cowboys kick off their season as they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT. This game will not only give the rookies and free agents from this offseason a chance at real game action but also last year's draft picks who did not have the luxury of playing in the preseason to showcase what they can do in their sophomore seasons.
We will discuss a few Cowboys players to be on the lookout for on Thursday night.
First-round draft selection Micah Parsons has been a sponge throughout training camp as the Cowboys' coaching staff has been throwing everything they can at the linebacker. Parsons so far has been the player that Dallas envisioned when they drafted him as his speed and aggressiveness have been on display, which excites Cowboys fans for this season.
Cowboys first-round pick Micah Parsons (No. 11). May want to block that guy. pic.twitter.com/9Oa9XthCa5
Even though Parsons has taken snaps at all three linebacker spots as well as on the defensive line, I believe he will be on the field as the starting Mike where he can be free to roam and use his speed to chase and tackle.
At this moment, we do not know how many snaps Parsons will play in Thursday's game, but it will be good to witness how he will fit into Dan Quinn's defense.
The most surprising player so far at camp has been veteran cornerback Maurice Canady who was an opt-out for the 2020 season. Canady has been a ball hawk as he snagged in 4 interceptions (two pick-sixes) which has given the Cowboys another playmaker at the very young cornerback position.
Maurice Canady is having a great practice today pic.twitter.com/Np52P3Akxs
Maurice Canady with a INT. He's had a strong camp. 3 INTS. pic.twitter.com/rTi3MHggr4
Due to Canady's play in camp, he most likely will secure a spot as a slot corner if he can keep up the trend in the Hall of Fame Game and during the preseason. Canady is entering his sixth NFL season and he could be valuable to a secondary alongside Trevon Diggs, Donovan Wilson, and newly-signed Malik Hooker.
For a Cowboys secondary that struggled for most of the 2020 season, Canady could step into a leadership role and contribute to a defense desperate for playmakers.
Second-round draft pick Kelvin Joseph has come on these last couple of camp practices and displayed the great athleticism draft experts raved about. Fans and critics worried early about Joseph when he was absent from OTA's and minicamps when he was diagnosed with Covid symptoms, but he has been making plays all through camp.
This was probably a sack, but some nice coverage from Kelvin Joseph, who returned to practice today. pic.twitter.com/AlFZI7aX9e
— David Helman (@davidhelman_) July 31, 2021
Joseph will get his share of playing time on Thursday as he is slated to start as the 2nd cornerback opposite of Diggs and may get a few snaps in the slot if needed. It will be intriguing to see how well Joseph can match up again some of the Steelers' receivers after calling the Cowboys' secondary “Airplane Mode” when they picked off the Cowboys' offense six times in practice.
“We're gonna fly around. No-fly zone. We're gonna call it airplane mode. When y'all drop this interview, tell them, ‘Cowboys defense,' Kelvin Joseph says, ‘airplane mode.' You can't throw. No-fly zone.”
Now that Joseph has given the Cowboys secondary a boost of confidence, he will also get to prove on the field that he can back up his words.