He might have been selected after Goff and Wentz, but Ezekiel Elliott is outpacing the two quarterbacks in the popularity race, as evidenced by jersey sales. The Cowboys exciting new addition is far and away the most popular of all rookies at this early stage of his career. It might not mean a thing as far as on the field performance goes, but it is good to see the fan base excited, especially on the heels of the Cowboys dismal 2015 season.
There's a reason they call the Cowboys "America's Team." If they don't have the largest fan base of any team in the NFL, it's pretty close. And when a team with a fan base of that size not only has a high draft pick, but uses it on an exciting skill position player, they're going to sell a lot of jerseys. (These are presumably full jerseys and not the kind that cut off just below the shoulder pads so everyone can see your abs.)
The incoming group of rookies reported to the team officially on Thursday as rookie mini-camp kicks off today. It was a day for drawing pads, getting physicals, and taking the official team photos. For Baylor basketball player turned NFL hopeful Rico Gathers, it was a formal return of a different sort.
"I've never seen such a big locker room for so many players. I'm used to 12 or 15 other guys. Now we're all here and we're here to make this journey worth our while. Hopefully we become successful Cowboys."
The Dallas Cowboys defense struggled in 2015 and now it will start the 2016 season with a couple of key linemen serving time in Roger Goodell's doghouse. That makes it vital that the new additions to the roster step up quickly. Rod Marinelli knows that rookies Maliek Collins and Charles Tapper, along with free agent signings Cedric Thornton and Benson Mayowa, are going to be critical during the four weeks that DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are in NFL purgatory.
"We need those guys. We have two very talented ends with those guys. We have to be patient for the first month and find a way and just compete."
According to team owner Jerry Jones, the issue with DLaw's suspension is very similar to the one that faced corner Orlando Scandrick a couple years ago. On Thursday it was announced that Lawrence intends to follow the same appeals process that the Cowboys defensive back used to have his suspension reduced from four to two games.
Jones did not go into much detail, but he is cautiously optimistic about the defensive end's chances for an early return.
"It's under consideration, and just like anything that's being judged, you don't want to get out here and be trying to tell them what to do. Let them look at all the facts and all the entire situation which is what is required and will be done and maybe we can get a reduction."
You have to wonder just how much the Cowboys know from having their team physician, Daniel Cooper, M.D., being the one who repaired Smith's ACL and MCL after his bowl game injury. The actions of the front office indicate that they might know quite a bit. Jerry Jones is seriously considering the possibility that the rookie linebacker may see some action around playoff time.
The Cowboys' team physician performed Smith's surgery, which can at least aid Dallas' brass in making a determination as to when it's safe to bring Smith back. Jones is confident that can happen sooner than many hope.
It may seem strange to think that a team could get a lift from a rookie making his first professional appearance in a post season game, but remember that the front office, and many others, considered Smith to be a top five talent prior to his injury.
Moving on from this year's crop of rookies and looking toward future drafts. is it any surprise to see Jerry Jones lobbying for the opportunity to host the NFL Draft?
"With what we're doing and have done with our great stadium, and then with what we're doing with Arlington and then what we're doing out at The Star in Frisco, we've got a chance to put quite a show on for that draft, and we'd like the opportunity, quick." - Jerry Jones
I've said it here before. Jerry Jones was P. T. Barnum in a previous life and is always eager to put on a spectacular show. A national audience, and an opportunity to redeem the fiasco resulting from issues at the Super Bowl a few years back is the right temptation to get Jones in full swing.
What would be the best part of Dallas hosting a future draft? There is a chance that we might have a 'BTB Live at the Draft' feature opportunity.
Funny. I thought Norsemen had tougher skin.