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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 2015: Five Things We've Learned From Camp

The Dallas Cowboys have begun to wrap up their final week of training camp in Oxnard, California and we've certainly learned a few things about this team.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys continue their preparation for their final two preseason exhibitions and more importantly for their opening night matchup with their division rivals, the New York Giants. Through about three weeks now, we've seen quite a bit in camp practices and in preseason games, but what do we make of it?

The Defensive Line Is Night & Day From 2014

Even in limited action here, the Cowboys defensive front looks to be a formidable opponent for any offense to have to face. Part of the reason is certainly the influx of talent that has been added, but this coaching staff deserves a ton of credit. The seemingly quick development for the first-round talent that is Randy Gregory may be their best work that we've seen in a long time. Every week, Gregory has shown improvement in not only getting to the quarterback but also has fared well in run-support. DeMarcus Lawrence has been a load on his end as well, and boy, does he ever look menacing. He has definitely worked hard to re-build his body but his skill-set is showing up and out in these practices as well as his limited exposure in the preseason. Greg Hardy has been everything this team thought he could be and it practically goes without saying. These young defensive tackles Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop are making it really hard to cut either of them and have done well playing in place of Nick Hayden and Terrell McClain. Put all of that together and add in solid rotation guys like Jeremy Mincey, Ryan Russell and perhaps Ben Gardner, and you have a recipe for a healthy dose of pass rush.

Cole Beasley Has Become Uncoverable

Beasley is coming off a season where he became a bigger part of the offense and especially on third downs where he converted over 70% of the passes thrown his way. Beasley has progressed at the right time for this offense and more importantly Tony Romo. Though Jason Witten will always be Romo's security blanket, Beasley gives this team a dimension that is hard to counter. Throughout these practices, every defensive back has struggled with trying to stop Beasley. No matter who lines up opposite him, Beasley just finds a way to get open. That's probably his best trait, one that was taught to him by his SMU Coach June Jones. Beasley finds creases, seams, can go over the top, is great in the slot and that's an attribute that seemingly only Dez Bryant can match. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Beasley can become the NFL's new Wes Welker, if not better. Beasley surely looks to add plenty of catches to his resume in 2015 and is just simply uncoverable.

Sans Orlando Scandrick, This Secondary Could Still Be Good

Though the defensive backs have struggled at times, they have been pretty solid thus far in camp and it's carried over to the preseason. Corey White comes to mind as especially impressive. He's a big corner that can cover from just about anywhere on the field. In both exhibition contests, White has played very well and has helped the team become the preseason's best pass defense. Of course, it's only preseason but that should help build confidence heading into the regular season. Brandon Carr is trying to raise his level of play while he deals with a broken bone in his hand. Byron Jones has had some rookie lapses that he's had to recover from but not many. He has athleticism that few can match with a brain for the game. Morris Claiborne has approached this camp in all the right ways and hopes to be ready to make a big NFL-size step. Mo' just keeps fighting every single day and it hasn't gone unnoticed. Tyler Patmon is a likely candidate for slot duties, the Cowboys love his feisty demeanor and chip on his shoulder. In honesty, Patmon reminds you of Orlando Scandrick in many ways and all he does is make plays. Scandrick will be sorely missed by everyone but this team may be able to disguise the wound better than in year's past.

Swing Tackle And Starting Running Back May Carry Into The Season

First, we begin with the swing tackle which has been a difficult position to figure out. Darrion Weems has been the favorite to win the job and played better in Santa Clara than in San Diego, but he still has struggled. Weems has been slowed by injuries early in his career and he has a lot of rust on him. His issues all stem from situations in which he gets lazy and plays with bad technique. At times, Weems misjudges his own power and strength and gets knocked out of his stance, but instead of countering with athletic ability he tends to stiffen up and lose his balance. He's got a few more chances to change some minds, but seventh-round pick Laurence Gibson is progressing pretty well and may start pushing to compete.

Running back has been the biggest topic all offseason and mainly because of the bubble-wrap that has been attached to them and litany of minor injuries. Joseph Randle is the odds on favorite and seemingly ran pretty well in backup duties behind backup linemen on Sunday. Darren McFadden wasn't as impressive but hasn't had the chances that Randle has been given. If the starting line plays for a series or two this week, McFadden should get the chance to run behind them and see where he is. Lance Dunbar has mainly served as a third down receiving option, but has looked good in practice when given the chance. The running back position is all but settled currently, but with cuts looming, Dallas may be able to add fire to competition.

It's Time To Hit The Showers

Brandon Weeden hasn't been stellar but nobody is unseating him unless he's a veteran from the outside. Weeden has been able to move the ball some in preseason but is sidelined at the moment with a concussion. Dustin Vaughan played well in San Diego but followed it up with a very poor performance against the 49ers. Vaughan holds onto the ball for what seems like an eternity and needs to learn how to go through his progressions faster. His vision is not that impressive either and he tends to only look for Gavin Escobar which leads to forced balls and turnovers. Vaughan hasn't been able to shake himself free of these bad habits and it's time to see if his competition can. Jameill Showers threw a few picks too but he has better upside if you think about it. Unlike Vaughan, Showers has been able to avoid pressure and make plays on the run. He's got better vision for the game and he'll take some chances. The Cowboys will only keep a third arm around if he's good enough to run the scout team, Showers can help them there. Dallas has a decision to make at quarterback here and it's time that they see what they have in the arm of Jameill Showers. He's earned more exposure is these last preseason contests.

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