Training camp is a step in the process of getting ready for the NFL season. In 2021, the Cowboys went to Oxnard with several questions, primarily on defense, about where this team is heading. With the Hall of Fame Game and a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams in the books, Head Coach Mike McCarthy took stock of where this team is with just a couple of practices left in California.
Speaking with the media, McCarthy mentioned that he liked where the team is and that they're making progress.
With Tuesday's cancellation, Cowboys have two more practices in Oxnard, those on Wednesday and Thursday. Mike McCarthy: "This football team is making progress in training camp. You can see it. We are getting better. We still have a ways to go, …but I like where we are so far."
They're still a work in progress, but there's a lot to like so far.
If there's one concern, it's with the health of several key players, including quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has yet to resume throwing, though he's still within the typical one to three week timeline for a shoulder strain. However, it would be nice to see him get some preseason work in before the start of the 2021 season. According to McCarthy, he's progressing, but his timeline back to action is still unknown.
Dak Prescott did some light throwing for the first time since leaving practice July 28, according to coach Mike McCarthy. The coach said, “light throwing,” and followed up with, “light objects.” “We’ll see how his progression goes," he said when asked if Prescott would throw Wed.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 8, 2021
Neville Gallimore and Tarell Basham, who figure to be a big part of the defensive line rotation, are each sporting lower leg injuries. Though those injuries aren't expected to keep them out long, they're setbacks.
This team looks to be heading in the right direction. They're making plays on defense, and the offense has looked sharp at times, even despite Prescott's absence. When Prescott gets back on the field, this offense will be as explosive as expected.
Injuries happen every training camp, but the Cowboys have a small margin for error, especially on defense. They can't afford to lose any of the valuable pieces to their defense the rest of training camp. For the Dallas Cowboys to get where they want to go, keeping healthy will be key.