clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys News: Why Cowboys Defense Is Going To "Find A Way To Be Good Again."

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys strong side could be the secondary in the 2016; faster, more aggressive play from the DB's; young players among notable practice standouts.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Lee says defense will "find a way to be good again." - Mike Leslie, WFAA.com
Not many people are expecting the Cowboys' defense to be any good in 2016. Just don't tell that to Sean Lee.

So much has been made about how the Offense is trying to get back to it's 2014 form, with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant healthy, and with Zeke Elliott running the ball. But Lee wants the Defense to look more like '14 did, too.

"We showed some things last year, but you know two years ago I think we caused a lot of turnovers, lot of game-changing plays. We're going to find a way to be good again. We're going to find a way to play at a higher effort. And I think it's going to start this year."

Cowboys strong side could be the secondary in the 2016 season - Delaney Brey, KTRE.com
The defensive backs have been on fire so far in camp, as new coaches, the return of Orlando Scandrick, and a renewed sense of purpose are driving the unit. Carr and Claiborne explain.

"I feel like we could be as good as we want to be. Obviously, all of us have talent. I feel like all of us can go out and get the job done. We just have to put it all together, and all of us have to stay healthy as a collective group," said Brandon Carr.

"Last year the ball didn't bounce our way. I think the major takeaway is to play sound defense earlier in the game, earlier in the downs. Running to the ball, sprinting to the ball and taking shots at it. Strip it, being disruptive on the quarterback. Stuff like that can help us get turnovers," said Morris Claiborne.

Mailbag: A More Aggressive Secondary? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
A reader "noticed faster, more aggressive play from the DBs," and both Rob Phillips and Bryan Broaddus agree.

Rob: Seeing that, too. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr have really challenged the receivers on the outside. Claiborne, in particular, is playing with a ton of confidence and his technique is really sound. From an intangibles standpoint, I think Orlando Scandrick’s return gives this group an edge.

Bryan: There is no doubt that this group has been more aggressive playing the ball and the results have proved that. The key for them is going to see if they can continue with this style of play into the regular season but it has been a welcomed changed from what we have seen with them in the past.

Morris Claiborne doesn't want to be considered a disappointment anymore - Melissa Rohlin, San Antonio Express-News
Claiborne has yet to live up to the expectations that come with his draft pedigree, but that may change this year.

Claiborne is hoping that this season he'll finally breakthrough. He had a rigorous offseason with a new trainer, Ronnie Braxton, that included daily workouts at 5 a.m. in Dallas.

"He pretty much changed everything," Claiborne said. "...He took my mindset to another level."

Cowboys' Coach Jason Garrett said whatever Claiborne did appears to be working.

CB Anthony Brown makes good first impression - David Moore, SportsDay
Brown is getting noticed by the right people.

"He's got the movement and he's got really good speed and instincts,'' defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said.

"He's a conscientious guy,'' head coach Jason Garrett said. "He certainly has athletic ability. He just needs to play. We're going to give him plenty of chances to do that. He's played both inside and outside and he's making progress.''

Carr singled him out Friday as a young player who has made an impression early in this camp.

Star_medium

Sat. Practice Report: Notable standouts - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
The Mothership offers a comprehensive camp summary, with the highlight being the notable standout section which today features three players:

Anthony Brown – The rookie cornerback did not allow a completion in four one-on-one reps, including a pass breakup against Cole Beasley working from the slot. Minutes later he won his rep in the compete period.

Brice Butler – The fourth-year receiver’s comfort level with the offense seems to grow as camp continues. He caught multiple passes in various drills, including a touchdown from Dak Prescott in seven-on-seven work.

Morris Claiborne – It only seems fair to keep acknowledging Claiborne’s strong camp as long as he can keep up the momentum. He’s not going to win every single rep, especially not in 1-on-1 drills. Dez Bryant once again beat him on a back shoulder fade. But overall, Claiborne continues to excel. He flew around the field in full-team drills, including a jumping interception of Tony Romo on a long ball.

Observations from Training Camp - Todd Archer, ESPN
Two of the many observations that Archer offers:

With cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr and right tackle Doug Free sitting out practice, rookie corner Anthony Brown took the first-team nickel snaps; Josh Thomas replaced Carr and Chaz Green worked at right tackle. Green has had a good chance to show the coaches what he can do the past two days with the first-team offense with left tackle Tyron Smith sitting out Friday.

This was easily Brice Butler's best practice of camp. He caught two touchdown passes, one from Dak Prescott and one from Jameill Showers. The fourth-year wide receiver was more fluid in and out of his breaks and did a nice job plucking the ball with his hands.

Daily Hot Takes: Dak’s Progress - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
The four staff writers each provide their own personal observation from yesterday's training camp action.

  • Bryan Broaddus was impressed Anthony Brown and reiterated a sentence from his college notes on Brown: "He has the traits of a complete corner."
  • Rob Phillips explains that "seven practices in, Mo Claiborne has been one of the team’s most consistent performers."
  • David Helman writes that Tony Romo and Dez Bryant still need to work on getting in sync.

An here's Nick Eatman's take in full:

Without a doubt, this was the best day I’ve seen from Dak Prescott. All summer long and through this first week of camp, I’ve thought Jameill Showers is a step above the rookie. And I’m not saying I’m changing my tune after one practice. But Prescott looked better to me on this day, showing not only some arm strength, but the ability to throw on the move. During a play-action period, Prescott made a good fake on the ball, rolled to his left and then, across his body, fired a pass back to the middle to an open Goeff Swaim. It’s not something quarterback coaches love to see because most quarterbacks can’t make the throw consistently because their feet aren’t set. Prescott made the throw with relative ease. He also showed nice touch on the ball during a Red-Zone period as well. Maybe these throwing sessions with Jason Garrett are paying off.

5 thoughts from Dallas Cowboys camp after Saturday practices - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Davison's camp summary leads off with Tony Romo connecting with Cole Beasley for a TD, Dez Bryant and Morris Claiborne going against each other, and how Mark Nzeocha and Chaz Green got first-team reps, most of which has been reported elsewhere. But this observation is interesting:

Romo wasn’t too pleased with Alfred Morris during the morning walk-through. Morris didn’t pick up a blitz, which would have given Sean Lee an open path to Romo. Romo has been injured in the past on missed blitz pickups, and certainly is cautious of that coming off an injury-plagued year. Morris now knows. But Morris made up for it a few plays later when Romo found him open in the flat, something that Romo verbalized.

Star_medium

Trio of defensive linemen close to returning - Todd Archer, ESPN
Tyrone Crawford will likely return to practice on Tuesday. Benson Mayowa and Maliek Collins may not be far behind.

Tyrone Crawford is looking at a return to practice early next week, according to coach Jason Garrett.

In addition to Crawford, Garrett said defensive end Benson Mayowa, who had knee surgery in June, is improving and the hope is he can get back on the field in some capacity next week. Rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins is a little further away in his recovery from foot surgery in the offseason.

Tashard Choice moving down coaching path with Dallas Cowboys now - Todd Archer, ESPN
Choice is working as a coaching intern for the Cowboys and explains how he got into coaching.

He was contemplating a career in media when he got a call from another former teammate, Jon Kitna, who was the head coach at Waxahachie (Texas) High School, and he got the coaching bug. Now he wants to coach in college one day.

"It changed my whole dynamic of what I wanted to do because I lit up," Choice said. "It was fun to me again. It was something I really appreciated doing."

Choice is working as an intern on the coaching staff through the minority fellowship program. The Cowboys also have NFL veterans Otis Smith (defensive backs), Cleo Lemon (offense) and Micheal Spurlock (special teams) working as part of the program.

Star_medium

Impressions From Cowboys Training Camp After First Week - John Owning, Today's Pigskin
Looks like we need to add another word to the growing encyclopedia of Garrett-speak.

It is obvious that head coach Jason Garrett and the Cowboys coaching staff was not happy with the tone of 2015, as they were cautious with injured players. This year, Garrett has stated that he will be "deliberate" with players.

Whether it’s Orlando Scandrick, Justin Durant or Tony Romo, Garrett has stated that the Cowboys will be deliberate with their process. This is in an effort to add a sense of urgency within the team when they are without some of their best players.

They can’t look forward to a week or two down the road when that player will be back; instead, they have to be deliberate in their processes and do the most they can to win. Garrett has always been careful with his word choices in an effort to portray a certain message to his team and media.

Denzel Washington really loves the Cowboys, visits training camp again - Alysha Tsuji, For The Win
Hard-hitting journalism from USA Today's sports site, with a shocking revelation: When Denzel Washington visited camp yesterday he wore the exact same things he wore to camp last year.