Whether it was the paintball injury to Damien Wilson, the suspensions to DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, the no-show of Rolando McClain, or even the fat picture of Tony Romo surfacing on the Internet, the Dallas Cowboys are the true of epitome of the saying "never a dull moment." After just two days of training camp, a lot has been made about this roster.
Dallas' backup quarterback position is pretty questionable, but their biggest problem is the defensive line. The Cowboys organization has suggested that this group will surprise us and take a big step forward in 2016. But what happens if they don't do that and instead fall on their face? Some of these issues will take time to be settled. And while these issues make the headlines, there are plenty of positives to take away from the Cowboys' training camp over the past two days.
One of those positives has been the return of Orlando Scandrick. Just a year ago, Scandrick was a victim of an ACL injury that sidelined him for the entirety of the 2015 season. He's rehabbed extremely well and he's now being used at left cornerback. By doing this, Brandon Carr took on the right side and Morris Claiborne has worked in the nickel. No one was sure if Scandrick would be ready to go, but so far, it looks good.
Ryan Russell continues to be a notable name throughout the offseason. An injury kept him from his coming-out party in 2015, but the 2015 fifth-round pick is a name that will be called upon to produce from the start of the season with the suspensions to Gregory and Lawrence. Russell is lining up at both left and right defensive end in hopes that his versatility and explosiveness can lead to a pass rush for the Cowboys. The guy has athletic prowess, the Cowboys hope to harness it. There have been good reviews for his offseason so far.
Undrafted rookie Andy Jones continues to impress. With the tutelage of Derek Dooley, Jones has reformed his technique to go with his toughness and catch-ability. Dallas' receiving corps is quite robust, but if Jones continues to play well against decent competition in training camp, the Cowboys could give him a spot on the 53-man roster or sign him to their practice squad. That is if no other teams signs him.
Ronald Leary is at camp and ready to give the Cowboys highly-prized depth on the offensive line, despite requesting a trade just a few months ago. At 27 years of age, what has happened to Leary is a bit unfair. Once he got injured in 2015, the job was given to Collins and the rookie just ran away with it. Now that's not to say that Leary isn't a starting-level player because he is, but he may not be a starting-level player on the Cowboys. Leary has come to camp in great shape. He knows that this season will be his dress rehearsal to other teams that are interested in his services if he is needed to play. Leary is currently in the last year of his deal.
The tight end group got an unexpected bonus. Future Hall of Famer Jason Witten shouldn't be worried by his job at all, but the return of Gavin Escobar from injury has shocked a lot of observers. I've read multiple items on Escobar's agility and how it has improved since the Achilles injury. Escobar being back fills out a tight end group that should provide plenty of interchangeable parts for the season. Maybe 2016 is finally the season where Escobar can put it all together.
Training camp is the time where backups and reserve players can prove to the coaching staff that they are capable of a bigger role. On the flip side, star players like Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have been taking things a little bit easier. When the preseason games start to approach, we will get a better feel of how some of these players are progressing. But as of now, the national media will continue to focus in on the off-field issues that are plaguing the Cowboys' organization. But in Oxnard, the Cowboys are grinding away just like any other NFL team.