The Cowboys concluded their OTA's portion of the offseason and have a three-day mandatory minicamp scheduled to begin soon. There are a few observations to make but also some potentially unsettled situations that may arise before the Cowboys head off to Oxnard. Let's take a look.
Dez Bryant's status
More of the same but since it was reported a few days earlier on NFL Network that Demaryius Thomas isn't expected to join the Broncos, Dez will likely be sitting out as well. Like Thomas, Bryant cannot be fined for missing the mini-camp because he isn't technically under contract. Dez has yet to sign his franchise tag tender and likely wouldn't until the team is set for Oxnard. Though Stephen Jones is "optimistic" that the two sides could come to terms before the July 15th deadline, that optimism wears thinner by the day. However, even if Dez Bryant plays this season on the tag, he'll be set to make $12.8 million. Not too bad for a one-year, fully-guaranteed deal. Unless #88 just has another sudden itch to join his team next week, don't plan on seeing him out there until late July in sunny California.
Rolando McClain's Rehab
McClain is in a different category altogether as these team doctors will probably want to get a look at him. Though he got an extremely late scope procedure completed, he will be required to show his face at the ranch next week. Unlike Bryant, McClain could be fined for missing this portion. No matter if he can really get out there and do much is irrelevant. Jason Garrett spoke to reporters and offered his support but remained adamant about the process:
"Well, the minicamp is mandatory," Garrett said. "It's the only thing in the offseason that is mandatory, so it's important for us to make sure that's clear to everybody and express that to our players. There are some specific situations where things that you do in a mandatory fashion don't always happen. You know players miss practice during the season for different reasons and those are mandatory. So we'll work through the specific situations as we go. Rolando is doing a good job with his rehab, and we'll see what his plans are for next week."
Greg Hardy's Results
Hardy's appeal has come and gone and Stephen Jones spoke last week about when they were hopeful of hearing any news on the matter.
"I think usually it’s two weeks, is the time frame," he said. "I don’t think that’s a rule or anything. Sometimes it can be sooner."
If that timeline holds true then we should be hearing something from the league this coming week. This has already been and will continue to be a long process. The arbitrator Harold Henderson is widely expected to uphold the league's ten-game suspension, which Hardy's people are expecting. If that happens, then Hardy's camp is expected to take legal action. There is one caveat to this whole ordeal that won't take place until training camp but is certainly relevant in the matter.
Hearing before Judge David S. Doty on NFLPA's civil contempt motion against NFL, management council and Roger Goodell set for 9 a.m. Aug. 13— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 8, 2015
This is of course in response to the way the NFL has handled a few cases thus far as it pertains to the collective bargaining agreement. Also this contempt case directly names Greg Hardy's situation in the NFLPA's motion.
Pumping Brakes On La'el Collins
If you listened to the Mothership's weekly Talkin' Cowboys podcast on Tuesday then you know where this is coming from. La'el Collins is a first-round talent, no doubt, but Bryan Broaddus says it's time to pump the brakes. Collins cannot simply be penciled in ahead of anyone right now, especially the likes of Doug Free or Ronald Leary. Though the coaching staff and others have liked what they've seen thus far, Broaddus says that he may not be ready just yet. Both Zack Martin and Travis Frederick were day one starters but Broaddus was definitive that Collins isn't the exact same pedigree as those two. Now, Broaddus could be completely wrong once the pads come on and the competition heats up. Now, however, is not the time to start counting out Ronald Leary and those veterans that have made this offensive line the strongest in pro football.
Ryan Williams and Darren McFadden Nicked Up
Though it is still very early and a long way until training camp, it isn't necessarily great that these two guys have some early issues. McFadden has been bothered by a tight hamstring and it has kept him out of some portions of these practices. Ryan Williams has been slowed in his own right by some knee swelling. The Cowboys went out and signed Lache Seastrunk this week and he'll likely see an increased role if these things linger into minicamp. Joseph Randle will certainly look at this as a way to gain even more confidence from the coaches. The goal though remains training camp, as long as these guys are ready to go then; no harm, no foul. This is definitely the position with the most eyes on it even if it's just early June. The Cowboys have given their vote of confidence into the guys that are here, now those guys must get healthy and show out for their opportunity.