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Notes on Scout’s Eye from Day Two of Cowboys OTA’s

One of my favorite things to read in the and is anything writer and former NFL Scout Bryan Broaddus has to say about what transpired during these practices. He has an excellent perspective when discussing football. As a former scout turned Dallas Cowboys insider, his stuff is must-read material. It's gold every single time.

Definitely go check out the Scout's Eye from Bryan Broaddus, but here are a few notes that I found very interesting.

The Newest OL Addition

is going to be a huge upgrade from Jonathan Cooper. Don't get me wrong, Cooper played well and was able to turn that into a one-year $5 million contract with the . Though he played well, he had limitations, primarily in his mobility as a blocker. Because he was limited, the running game was limited in what they could do. That won't be the case with pick Connor Williams.

“It might have had to do with the scheme, but I noticed plenty of running plays where Connor Williams was used as a puller. Williams was primarily working to his right. He had a couple of those pulls where his path appeared good and right where he needed to be at the contact point. Given his athletic ability, we might be getting a little taste what the staff has planned for Williams by getting him in space.”

Bryan Broaddus –

Athletic enough to play tackle and strong enough to play guard, he is going to make life very difficult on opposing defenses in the run game. The Dallas Cowboys are going to be able to run pull, stretch, zone, or power plays wherever they want because of the physicality and athletic ability across the .

The Defensive Backfield

One thing that has been clear from ' game is that even if he looks beat, he isn't really beat. Whether it's or AJ Green, Jones has great ability to make up the separation that wide receivers can sometimes get on him.

“Really nice job by Byron Jones recovering on a deep ball to . Jones tried to force Thompson to the sideline but couldn’t cut him off. With a little bit of separation Jones had to rally hard to close the gap.  put the ball in a spot where Thompson had a chance to bring it in, but just at the last moment Jones reached in with his off-hand and knocked it away.”

Bryan Broaddus –

Byron has always used his length and athleticism to knock passes away, and with the technique that Kris Richard is teaching these guys, Jones will have a lot of opportunities to get his hands on the football.

Richard wants them forcing players to the outside on their routes, keeping themselves between the receiver and the football. In addition to Jones' ability to make plays on the ball underneath the route, this could be a big year for him in his fourth year with the Dallas Cowboys.

Another note on the group.

“Just a note on how the lined up in first nickel: , Byron Jones on the outside and Anthony Brown in the slot. With  and Xavier Woods at  played both on the outside and in the slot with the second group. I was worried that with the new coach that maybe Lewis would not get enough opportunities, but I thought he was outstanding.”

Bryan Broaddus –

What's interesting to note from this is that Anthony Brown got the first team reps ahead of Jourdan Lewis. It's early in the preseason and so this could change, but perhaps it's not as much of a foregone conclusion that Lewis will be the primary slot .

With what we've seen from Anthony Brown in the slot in his first two years, he's pretty good from that spot himself. Lewis is the better all-around cornerback, but this will be an interesting battle to watch throughout the preseason.

Lewis had his own shining moment during practice against fifth round draft pick, Dalton Schultz.

“You have to give Jourdan Lewis some credit. Lewis drew the much bigger Dalton Schultz and fought him in the air to knock away a ball from Cooper Rush. Schultz had the position to make the play, but Lewis wasn’t going to let him have the ball. If Lewis is going to play in the slot there are going to be some days where he is going to have to deal with a tight end playing the inside.”

Bryan Broaddus –

Jourdan Lewis isn't the biggest cornerback on the team and doesn't fit Coach Kris Richard's size profile, but he's a gamer. He has enough length and fight to make things difficult for receivers in the middle of the field.

This defensive backfield is going to be really, really good.

Unsung WR Selection

One of the more underrated moves from the was the selection of sixth rounder Cedric Wilson from Boise State University. In two seasons with the Broncos, Wilson combined for 18 touchdowns while averaging 19 yards per reception. He topped 1,100 yards both seasons with a high of 1,511 yards in 2017 on 83 catches.

He had a tremendous career, but because he doesn't have a strong athletic profile, dropped to late in the draft.

Could he be this year's Anthony Brown or Xavier Woods?

The Dallas Cowboys have done an excellent job in the later rounds finding good football players. Wilson seemed to have a pretty good day at practice yesterday.

“Cedrick Wilson sure is smooth running routes. I liked what I saw from him driving Anthony Brown off the ball, then turning outside as Brown continued up the field. Cooper Rush put the ball in a perfect spot for Wilson to secure the first down. He also had a nice block on Duke Thomas to Trey Williamson a long run. Sanjay Lal came over and slapped him on the back after he was able to finish that one.”

Bryan Broaddus –

Anthony Brown is no slouch defending the pass. He had a really good 2016 and recovered in the second half of 2017 to put together a nice season. Yes, it's only the off-season and they aren't even in pads yet, but these are two really encouraging notes on Wilson's practice. If he can continue to win reps and flash as a run blocker, he'll be on the roster.

In 2019, the Dallas Cowboys be looking at a WR of Michael Gallup, , Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson, as your top four.

Reviewing Notes from Dallas Cowboys Day Two of OTA's 1
Dallas Cowboys' LB

Clear Eye View

The last thing I want to touch on is Jaylon Smith. For two years he's been one of the top stories for the Dallas Cowboys as we've watched and waited to see what his knee was going to do. It seems like things are progressing really well for Smith and he's going to be a better player in 2018 because of it.

“Jaylon Smith has some pass rush moves as a blitzer. He put a nice little side step move past Ezekiel Elliott in order to put some pressure on Dak Prescott. Elliott is one of the better pass blockers in the league and after the move, he had to scramble a bit just to get his hands on Smith.”

Bryan Broaddus –

The thing I find intriguing with the combination of Smith, , and rookie Leighton Vander Esch is that they all have shown a penchant for blitzing in their careers, even if it was just in college.

This is going to allow for a versatile defense that can line up in a variety of defensive fronts. Whether they are in a base 4-3 or in a nickel 3-3-5, is going to be able to mix up his blitz packages, especially if Jaylon shows a marked improvement in his lateral movement. Coverage was a weakness for Smith last year, but if he can improve, the versatility will be a strength for the defense.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

There are a lot of practices still to come and some very interesting battles to watch. What's the most intriguing camp battle for you?

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Albert Smith

Byron is in his 4th yr and they’ve picked his 5th year option.

Travis Diggs

To me the most intriguing position is the safety position. I like Xavier Woods, i think he will take the next step and get better. I don’t believe the same thing can be said for Jeff Heath .While he is serviceable at times, i don’t believe he is a starter in this league, for the cowboys he is, but no other team in the NFL would employ him as a starter .Whether it’s Kavon Frazier, UDFA Tyree Robinson, or somebody else.
Cowboys fans and writers love Jeff Heath for some reason but let’s be honest, Name a NFL team other than us he would start for?? Loyalty to these under performing players has been a problem with us for a while now .


I thought Frazier would start at SS and Woods at FS… we shall see.
Unless Richard sees something we haven’t, Heath has been a good back up and ST guy.


i’m with you on this one. 38 has done a decent job but way to often is out of position. he’s a good ST player and as a back up.

frazier is a down in the box player who can lay the wood. woods is the back end guy who can also bring the pop but his size might be a concern with the new coach, he likes them long and lean.

i would like to see one of the new guys step up. as you mention Robinson or even k kelly over into the FS spot, both long and lean and ball hawks.

John Williams

It’s likely you’ll see a Three man rotation at Safety. Heath and Frazier on Run downs and Woods and Heath on Passing downs or when teams go to 11 – personnel.

Travis Diggs

Im guessing your one of the Writers/Fans i was mentioning in my post. Three man rotation with Heath on passing downs??? What game tape are you watching, good offenses take advantage of him. I asked a question in my post, What other NFL team would employ Jeff Heath as a starter besides the Cowboys?? Somebody answer this question for me .I got two names for you, Tyree Robinson and Kam Kelly

John Williams

Heath isn’t as much of a liability when asked to cover deep like he’s been asked to do many times. He isn’t the best safety out there, but also it’s really hard to find elite safety play in the NFL.

You aren’t going to play Frazier over Heath on passing downs. Perhaps Robinson can take Heath’s job, but that’s asking a lot of an undrafted rookie.

Last year when the defense was bad, it wasn’t because of Heath, it was because of the linebackers. Jaylon and Damien Wilson got picked apart in the Green Bay and Los Angeles games.

Heath is a popular whipping boy, but he’s a solid presence on the defense.

Sexcdex Xfact

There’s just too much and to go around on both sides of the ball, coaching, players, owners getting in the way & distractions from players & owner alike
My God, we’re blessed to have had as decent of a year as we did
But could’ve /should’ve had better by all accounts

LD Jackson

Has anyone seen Charles Tapper? I wondered if he was involved in the OTAs.

John Williams

Tapper has been out there at OTAs running with the second team at Left Defensive End.

LD Jackson

I’m hopeful that he can stay healthy this year. I think he has a tremendous amount of upside if he does.

John Williams

I agree. He would provide some nice depth on the defensive line. They may be forced to keep six defensive ends if Tapper is healthy and Gregory is reinstated.

John Williams

I think so too. It’s really hard to produce sacks in the quick passing, quick tempo Big 12.

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