Dak Prescott among 13 NFL players to watch in preseason games - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today
The author with the most unwieldy name in today's news roundup identifies the top 13 players - rookies and veterans alike - to watch this weekend, and for the Cowboys it's Dak Prescott.
Prescott might no longer have the luxury of being several degrees removed from action, as Kellen Moore's ankle injury likely forces him to be Tony Romo's backup. That designation might be tempoary, however, as a poor preseason showing could build pressure for Dallas to sign an established veteran.
The rookie from Mississippi State is a project as a pocket passer, but he brings a dynamic element to the Cowboys' offense. Regardless of his immediate role, he is Dallas' most important investment at the position in quite some time.
Young players ready to shine in preseason opener - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Dak Prescott, Jameill Showers, and Darius Jackson are among the players who will get plenty of opportunities in the preseason opener.
For now, Prescott is the Cowboys’ backup quarterback. Team brass have said multiple times they are comfortable for the time being having Prescott serve as Tony Romo’s backup in the wake of Kellen Moore going down with a broken right fibula.
But Prescott must show he can handle game situations, as does Showers.
"If I got out there timid and late on throws, it’ll just show I’m not ready," Showers said. "And I am ready. I’m going to get a lot of playing time this game, so I need to show that I have control of the offense, that I know what I’m doing and I’m confident in myself. Just have fun and play."
Dak Prescott will take to the field with a solid sideline coach in Tony Romo to give him some much needed guidance.
Romo said he’s enjoying his role as veteran mentor to Prescott and second-year quarterback Jameill Showers.
"Anytime you can pass on your knowledge and help especially good people – guys that you see a little bit of yourself in with the work ethic – I think you’re excited to see them succeed and compete. I want them to be successful. The hope and goal is for one day to pass that on and let these guys run off and play, Kellen (Moore) included. Hopefully they can always carry on the level of play we want to have at the quarterback position."
Practice Recap: Witten Wants Some Reps vs. Rams; Superb Catch By Dez - Nick Eatman, Dallas Cowboys
Two of Eatman's standouts in this camp summary are Cedric Thornton and Mark Nzeocha.
Thornton is still working his way back from the sickness that sidelined him for much of the week, but he showed flashes on Thursday. Thornton was a handful for the Cowboys’ interior linemen to deal with during 1-on-1 drills. During the team period, while he was working with the second-team, he also batted down a pass from Jameill Showers.
Sean Lee sat out of the competitive portions of practice, which upped the reps for all the rest of the linebackers on the roster. Nzeocha benefited most obviously, as he had a chance to run with the second-team – and occasionally the starters. The second-year linebacker was around the ball often, and got in on several tackles.
Cowboys Training Camp: Five Observations From Thursday's Practice - OCC, Blogging The Boys
OCC deftly avoids a bad pun and explains why Darius Jackson may be preparing for a breakout preseason opener.
I didn't count the reps for every single player in today's practice, but if I had, I'm pretty sure Darius Jackson would have had the highest number ofr reps. Jackson was in on the second- and third-team offense during the full-team portion of practice, and was heavily involved in special teams work as well, working as the second-team kick returner. And to top it all off Jackson was practicing catching kickoffs before the official start of practice.
Jackson will see a lot of action on Saturday (see how I successfully avoided a Carl Weathers-related pun?) against the Rams, and judging by what we've seen in camp so far, the Cowboys should be very pleased with their sixth-round pick, both as a runner and as a pass catcher.
Camp Sights: Daily Hot Takes Include Chaz Green Battling & Showers’ Arm - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott has been hogging the headlines recently, but in this camp roundup by the four staff writers, Rob Phillips took note of Jameill Showers for a change.
Jameill Showers has been praised for his poise in the pocket, but he’s got plenty of arm strength, too. With seemingly very little effort he hit wide receiver Devin Street in stride for about a 50-yard catch on the left sideline – the most impressive completion of practice that wasn’t Dez Bryant’s remarkable one-handed catch. Showers delivered the deep pass one play after an incompletion, which shows he can have a short memory and move on to the next play, good or bad.
Scout's Notebook: Better Blocking By The O-Line, Romo's Reps; More - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Among Broaddus' handful of notes is an observation about Tyrone Crawford, who had missed a few days of practice.
Tyrone Crawford has been working his way back into the rotation and in this practice came up with a nice down-the-line play to stop Alfred Morris for no gain. Crawford, playing on the outside shoulder of Zack Martin, went hard to the inside as the play went away from him. Doug Free tried to make the cutoff block but was unable to work his head across Crawford -- who used his left arm to knock him off balance. It was a move by Crawford that showed tremendous quickness and power to defeat Free the way he did.
Rams Practice Report 8/11: Ready for the Cowboys - Myles Simmons, TheRams.com
Rams coach Jeff Fisher explains what the Cowboys can expect on Saturday.
"We’re keeping things pretty basic, as I would expect the Cowboys to as well," Fisher said. "Most people keep things basic in the first preseason game."
While the head coach said he had not yet discussed with the players the specifics of Saturday’s playing time, there are some general conventions that come with early exhibition matchups. "
Typically speaking, what we’ve done in the first preseason game is you play your starters in that two-to-three series [range], and then you start making your changes," Fisher said. "Most of them know what to expect as far as Saturday’s concerned. Maybe a couple guys don’t get on the field. We may wait until next week."
Dez Bryant's lefthanded touchdown catch a thing of beauty - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer leads with Bryant's spectacular one-handed TD grab.
Since he arrived in 2010, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has made a lot of "no he didn't just do that" catches. He added one to the highlight reel in team drills on Thursday, making the most ridiculous of one-handed catches while blanketed inside by Brandon Carr and outside by Byron Jones.
Dez being Dez.
Bryant made another spectacular one-handed catch during team drills Thursday, splitting cornerback Brandon Carr and safety Byron Jones, in hauling in Tony Romo's pass in the back of the end zone.
It's those types of plays that have Romo and coach Jason Garrett buzzing about Bryant being back healthy.
Two for the price of one. What do I mean, you ask? Buttitta destroys two commonly held memes that the media has held for years. One that there are no leaders in the Dallas locker room, and also that Dez Bryant is nothing but trouble with a bad attitude.
Now in his seventh season, Bryant is the undisputed leader of the receiving group. It's a responsibility he doesn't take lightly. After almost every practice, Bryant stays out on the field to catch balls from the jugs machine and challenges his fellow receivers to join him.
To those who follow the team closely these are not revelations, but it is refreshing to see the change discussed in a national publication.
There is another rookie on the Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott, and once he's ready go he will be under all kinds of scrutiny. The top five selection in any draft comes with high expectations, but when a team that has serious needs on defense passes on a defensive player to take a running back he is expected to be a game changer from the opening snap.
"This is what I've worked my whole life for and I wouldn't have it any other way," Elliott said. "I'm excited for the season, I'm excited to start this journey and I'm ready to go kick some ass."
Film Room: The return of Tony Romo, and how he keeps the Cowboys offense moving so smoothly - Cian Fahey, Football Outsiders
This is just the right kind of article on a practice-free day, as Fahey takes a lengthy and highly readable look at Romo's film. His conclusion:
In the 2014 playoffs, Romo completed 34 of 50 passes for 484 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He averaged an incredible 9.7 yards per attempt. Those numbers would have been greater had Bryant's non-catch been called correctly in the divisional round. That non-catch and an untimely fumble from DeMarco Murray prevented the Cowboys from potentially reaching the NFC championship game that season. Health derailed Romo and the Cowboys in 2015, but that lost season could prove to be a blessing. It allowed them to draft Ezekiel Elliott, a back capable of replicating and even improving on the impact of DeMarco Murray from 2014.
The Cowboys could contend in 2016. Even with all of their suspensions on the defensive side of the ball, the offensive outlook is such that they could have the most dominant unit in the league. A Romo-Bryant-Elliott trio working with the best offensive line in the league should make for an explosive, efficient and disciplined unit.
Cowboys' Jerry Jones was lead blocker for Rams' L.A. comeback - Sam Farmer, LA Times
Farmer takes a closer look at the role Jerry Jones played in bringing the Rams to LA.
"I believed in [the Inglewood plan] for all the right reasons," Jones said. "It was lifting the Cowboys, as well as every other team in the league."
"But what we did was in the best interest of both of those franchises," Jones said.
The Jones - Johnson feud has more twists and turns in it than a winding back-country road, but this most recent twist is an unusual one.
"I lost my tolerance for a lot of things I probably should have tolerated. I probably should have had a little more tolerance with Jimmy Johnson. Seriously."
This is actually the second time Jones has engaged in a self critique of the way he handled the relationship. A couple seasons back he alluded to the same thing with ESPN. Could it be that Jones is making an attempt to mend fences, could we see an overture toward adding Jimmy to the Ring of Honor in the future. Stay tuned. There will be more twists ahead.
Everyone knows about the Dallas "quarterback controversy" but the situation in camp is not the only QB battle of interest in the Jones family. There is one building at Highland Park High School as well. It seems that a young passer by the name of John Stephen Jones is making a move to take the starting job away from a pair of seniors.
Anyone have a guess about the lineage of young Mr. Jones?
Jerry Jones is taking Jason Licht off speed dial after Mike Glennon's performance tonight.— PewterReport.com (@PewterReport) August 12, 2016