Teams across the NFL have already started placing players on the Physically Unable to Perform list as training camps are already starting for some. The Dallas Cowboys' rookies and veterans aren't reporting until Tuesday so we haven't had any official news yet, but here are a few players you can expect to start camp on PUP.
The good news here is that PUP doesn't put any restrictions on how quickly the player can start practicing. They can come off PUP and get back to work once medically cleared to do so; no minimum amount of days served are necessary. Plus, players on PUP are still able to participate in non-physical activities and use the team's medical staff and rehab facilities.
So which Cowboys do we expect to start camp on the PUP list? And are there any others who could but whose statuses aren't yet clear?
LOCK – LB Damone Clark
Clark fell to the 5th round of the 2022 NFL Draft because of having spinal fusion surgery earlier in the offseason. The Cowboys knew this when they took him and that getting Damone on the field at all as a rookie would be unlikely, if not impossible.
Still, Clark will get to spend time with coaches and teammates and work on the mental side of the game. And if he does wind up returning at some point during the regular season, any work Damone gets now will be valuable.
LOCK – WR Michael Gallup
With concerns that WR2 won't even be ready for early regular-season games in September, Gallup starting camp on PUP is almost guaranteed. He's still recovering from last year's ACL tear but Dallas was confident enough to give him a new long-term deal in the offseason.
Gallup's absence will give James Washington, Jalen Tolbert, and other WR prospects additional reps and opportunities in Oxnard and preseason games. There's still hope that Michael will be back for Week One but chances of anything sooner are slim to none.
Maybe – LB Jabril Cox
Cox's recovery from last year's knee injury has gone well thus far and left him optimistic about starting training camp without an issue. But while you know Jabril is hungry to get back out there and resume his career, the Cowboys may take a more conservative approach.
If Jabril builds on last year's flashes then he could be a starter in 2023, if not at some point during this season. Dallas isn't going to gamble on his long-term health and may ease him back into things at the start of camp.
Maybe – RB Rico Dowdle
Dowdle missed OTAs after a knee scope but has had an additional two months now to recover. One of the top candidates to be the third RB and to play a big role on special teams, Rico can't afford to miss more time as camp begins and other prospects show what they can do. He needs to be out there restoring confidence in his value and availability.
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There are usually some surprises that pop up during this process; guys who had an issue that you never knew about or are just needing some extra time with the training staff to get ready for the rigors of camp.
We'll find out very soon, perhaps even later today, which Cowboys players will start training camp on the PUP list.