Even although there are more questions marks for the Dallas Cowboys than standard, we nonetheless got here to the start of training camp with some opinions about sure players and conditions. That occurs yearly. And yearly we are rapidly disabused of our preconceived notions. It has solely been every week since issues began out in Oxnard, and there are a handful of names immediately being talked about far more than we might have guessed.
WR TJ Vasher
His title was on all people’s tongue after the spectacular one-handed seize final week. That was removed from all he did, as he had a constant week catching the ball. Vasher is a tall receiver who can actually sky to go after the ball, and he does appear so as to add pretty respectable fingers to the equation. Although not everybody ignored him coming into camp, most had been more intrigued by the bevy of first yr UDFAs the crew introduced in.
Now Vasher is changing into one of many early stars of camp. That is nice, as a result of the crew now has even more to fret about with the huge receivers. Fortunately, Vasher shouldn’t be the one one exhibiting the workers one thing.
WR Dennis Houston
The scenario at WR was already a bit dicey earlier than James Washington was carted off the sphere on Monday. Now a troubling scenario is feeling a bit dire. We must see if Stephen Jones will get a few of his powder moist or to not assist this example. The workers has to have a fallback plan prepared in case that isn’t the course. It appears they’ve already chosen one.
It ought to be famous that Dennis Houston is getting some reps with the 1’s with James Washington damage proper now.
That’s the UDFA to observe this yr on offense
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) August 1, 2022
While it was anticipated that one in every of this yr’s new UDFAs would change into one thing of a camp darling, Houston was not one of many more often talked about names. His being the following man up when Washington was taken off the sphere was not a random choice. Observers in Oxnard had introduced him up as a participant who was doing a whole lot of good issues. Now as we wait to see whether or not the crew does signal a free agent WR so as to add some expertise, which it undoubtedly ought to, Houston has an incredible alternative to interrupt via to the 53-man roster.
Ok Lirim Hajrullahu
There had been many who had absolutely talked themselves into the concept that UDFA kicker Jonathan Garibay had mainly been awarded the kicking job. Many welcomed the crew bringing Hajrullahu again for one more shot, however noticed it as only a approach to supply some competitors in camp.
Well, as of proper now, Hajrullahu is profitable that competitors, and it isn’t even notably shut.
Cowboys camp observations – Practice 5
Dak Prescott accomplished 17 of 23 passes in crew and 7-on-7 drills. Those 17 completions went to 9 move catchers.
Lirim Hajrullahu related on 7-of-8 FG tries and his two “mojo” moments. Jonathan Garibay was 6-of-8 and 0-for-2 in “mojo.”
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 1, 2022
For these who don’t know in regards to the “mojo” factor, these are sudden situational reps that Mike McCarthy throws out more or much less at random throughout practices. While nothing actually simulates the stress of a dwell recreation scenario, that is no less than some approximation. Excelling in these is precisely what coaches are on the lookout for. Monday was the second time Hajrullahu confirmed up Garibay as he additionally was one of the best on Friday. There continues to be time for the rookie to catch as much as the previous CFL star, but it surely might run out rather a lot sooner than any of us anticipated.
QB Will Grier
Cooper Rush held the QB2 job final season, and deserves credit score for profitable his lone begin whereas Dak Prescott was out. Most thought he would haven’t any drawback hanging onto that job. However, studies out of camp have Grier making this a a lot more aggressive scenario.
Cooper Rush profitable a recreation for the Cowboys in spot obligation final yr is an awfully huge feather in his cap, and makes him onerous to unseat because the Cowboys backup quarterback.
But Will Grier has accomplished some good issues early on on this camp, that make him an intriguing man to observe.
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) July 30, 2022
You know that head-turning Vasher catch pictured up prime? It was thrown by Grier, and positioned completely the place solely his receiver might get to it whereas giving Vasher room to remain inbounds for the TD.
We all hope we by no means see a backup having to begin at QB this season. But if we do, we need the best choice accessible. Given that the Cowboys are in no way interested by bringing in a veteran backup it’s good to see a battle growing right here.
RB Rico Dowdle
Maybe I used to be sucked in by final yr’s Hard Knocks, however I actually anticipated JaQuan Hardy to be the man who would fill the RB3 spot. Instead, Hardy was minimize to open a roster spot, and now Dowdle shouldn’t be solely getting these reps, he’s doing one thing with the chance.
The hope right here shouldn’t be solely that Dowdle continues to shine, however that the workers treats him and never Tony Pollard as Ezekiel Elliott’s backup. Keep Pollard within the change-of-pace function and don’t topic him to early down carries when Elliott wants a break. If Dowdle can be productive each three or 4 collection to let Elliott get a little bit of relaxation it actually helps the crew.
WR KaVontae Turpin
It feels a bit like dishonest to have him right here, since nobody had the slightest inkling that the Cowboys would signal him. But he has not solely gotten the possibility, he’s already standing out. He was the participant that price Hardy his spot on the crew. While the primary concept behind including him appears to be for the punt and kick return roles, to guard CeeDee Lamb and Pollard, the workers can be utilizing him out of the slot and on jet sweeps. He seems good on the market. With the attrition at huge receiver, he may be capable of assist out in a few methods. This might be one of many more intriguing finds by the scouting workers.
CB Nahshon Wright
The players listed thus far have all been on offense, which displays the bigger uncertainty on that aspect of the ball. But one defensive participant that’s beginning to make a little bit of an surprising splash is that this second yr nook.
Cowboys CB Nahshon Wright simply intercepted the move Will Grier supposed for T.J. Vasher. Length on size crime.
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) August 1, 2022
This shouldn’t be the one play Wright has made. He has additionally come near a decide or has damaged up passes different instances. He appears to be matched up in opposition to Vasher rather a lot, which may be a touch as to a potential function. At 6-4, he might be the designated crimson zone defender when different groups have a tall, leaping receiver like Vasher. He shouldn’t be a lot of a menace to overhaul the beginning corners and even Kelvin Joseph. But going deep on the place is an actual chance, particularly if Wright continues to be onerous to finish in opposition to.
Those are a number of the names not anticipated to be mentioned so intently. This continues to be the primary quarter of the camp, so rather a lot can change. But it is much better to get off to a great begin. We will be watching all these to see if they will keep our curiosity.