The Dallas Cowboys Mandatory OTA’s are here. Rookie Minicamp is a distant memory. Volunteer OTAs in all of their walk-through glory are gone. The entire team is now in attendance with newsworthy items there for the keen observer.
Dallas Cowboys Mandatory OTAs
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot to observe as OTAs get underway. Defender Micah Parsons is seeing time all over the formation including edge rusher. The ‘Boys need help pressuring the QB and Parsons showed a penchant for getting to the QB in college. Sure it was talked about but a lot of things are talked about. Seeing it is grand. Loving this news.
Prescott is getting in sync with his receiving corps making successive nice hookups in camp with different guys catching the rock. What’s not to like?
One of the most dynamic and exciting young WRs in the NFL who also happens to be in his first “contract year” is uber excited about the possibilities of the offense he will play a big part in. What’s not to like about this recipe? Michael Gallup is feeling it.
Big man Tyron Smith has been fighting a debilitating neck injury since he came into the league. It was getting progressively worse and last season it all came to a head. Smith and the team decided to go after the root cause instead of “playing through it” and now Smith is feeling better than he has since before he came into the league. That is scary for opposing pass rushers who perhaps thought Smith had plateaued and was on the way down. Not so. Look for the still relatively young OT to take his game to the next level. He looks FIT and is motivated after 3 brutal seasons of pain and poor performance (for him).
6’1″, 193 lbs CB Maurice Canady opted out of the 2020 season after signing with the ‘Boys last offseason. The forgotton man has skills and is the wild card as OTAs get under way. Maurice fits the template the Cowboys are using to build their defensive backfield. Keep and eye on this kid!
Speaking of the cornerback position it is NOT clear who will be starting opposite Trevon Diggs this season. Kelvin Joseph had an “illness” and missed the last OTAs leaving the door wide open for fellow rookie Nashon Wright who is “off to a good start” taking full advantage of the extra reps. The coaches could care less who takes the spot just so long as somebody “steps up” as the saying goes. Joseph is the favorite but not the prohibative one by any means. It’s going to be a fun camp!
Shotgun Camp News
Link – The team took the field for the first day of its mandatory minicamp on Tuesday morning. Strictly speaking, it was incredibly similar to the two weeks of OTAs. But at the same time, it felt a bit slower and more instructional than in past practices.
The Cowboys put themselves through several situational aspects in this first minicamp practice. Despite that, there were several things worth noting over the course of the day …..
Michael Gallup Doesn’t See Anyone Stopping Cowboys
Link – The Dallas Cowboys showed, at least for five games, just how explosive they could be on offense in 2020. With Dak Prescott under center, they averaged 32.6 points per game. Once he was taken off the field with an ankle injury the team only put up 21.1 points per contest for the rest of the season.
As the 2021 season approaches, not only is Prescott healthy but so are his top-three offensive linemen (Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, La’el Collins) as well as Blake Jarwin, who will look to have his breakout year at tight end. Sprinkle in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard at running back, and a three-headed monster at wide receiver (Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb), the Cowboys will have one of the league’s best offenses in 2021 …..
Tyron Smith Stronger Than Ever
Maurice Canady In The Mix at CB
Link – Maurice Canady has become somewhat of a forgotten player with the Dallas Cowboys. After signing as a free agent last year and deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season due to the COVID pandemic, he is flying way under the radar right now. Despite that, he is still someone who can make some noise this offseason.
When it comes to to position battles this year for the Cowboys there is probably none more intriguing or important than at cornerback. All eyes will be on the position from here on out, and although Maurice Canady isn’t a name thrown out there much, he is someone everybody should keep an eye on.
At 6’1”, 193 pounds, Canady fits a prototypical mold Dan Quinn has preferred in his outside cornerbacks in the past. Also, his past experience in the league could give him a slight advantage over some of the competition. That alone should make him a player worth watching …..
CB in Big D – Battle for Playing Time
Link – Coming away from the 2021 NFL Draft with new talent in the secondary was the biggest priority for the Cowboys. Unable to do so in the first round, Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph was the pick at 44th overall. Playing in just 15 collegiate games, the Cowboys went with inexperience but high upside in looking to replace a combined 74% of snaps lost at cornerback from 2020.
Joseph was absent from the Cowboys last week of OTA practices with a reported illness, though DC Dan Quinn said the rookie is “off to a good start”. In a draft where the Cowboys brought in eight new defenders – heavily influenced by Quinn’s vision to rebuild this defense – there remains a clear path for Joseph to play opposite Trevon Diggs.
However, 99th overall pick Nashon Wright out of Oregon State has taken full advantage of his practice time. Looking to outplay his third round draft status, Wright has made a strong first impression …..
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on Twitter: Steven Van Over