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Cowboys News: OTA Highlights, Dak Prescott Better, Ryan Switzer Shines, Ezekiel Elliott Sits

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An in-depth look at the first Cowboys OTA session open to the media.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Rookie Minicamp
Ryan Switzer was the standout on the field.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Scout's Notebook: Switzer's Early Success, Watching Taco Vs. Tyron; More - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus always has tons of great observations, and you will want to follow the link to read all of them. It's hard to pick one, so I'll let my Aggie prejudice take over here.

Damontre Moore continues to get work both on the left and right side at defensive end with favorable results. I like from what I’ve seen so far from Moore and he works extremely hard not to stay blocked. One of his better pass rushes of the day came against Tyron Smith on an inside swim move that left him lunging and off balance. I also like how Moore has bought into chasing the ball. There were several snaps where he was well down the field ripping at the ball out of the runner’s hands.

Cowboys OTA Highlights: Ryan Switzer Shows Out For Dak Prescott - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
If you missed it, make sure you check out Michael Sisemore's instant recap of the day's activity in OTAs.

Ryan Switzer makes quick first impression with Dallas Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN
The star of the day for the Cowboys was rookie receiver Ryan Switzer.

He made one acrobatic catch near the sideline of a Dak Prescott pass while falling down. Backup quarterback Kellen Moore found him three times with underneath routes.

“I think he’s going to be a good player,” Prescott said after practice. “He’s a guy that can definitely learn a lot from Beasley. They’re definitely similar in their play style. He’s got some stuff to him. Excited just for him to keep learning, getting better watching Bease, watching these other guys.”

Jason Garrett Updates Cowboys' Injury Concerns During Week 1 Of OTAs - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
The OTAs are a time when a lot of caution is taken with any and all injuries. Jason Garrett updated the status of all the players who sat out on Wednesday, including this that opens the door for Rico Gathers to get lots of work.

James Hanna and Geoff Swaim are both absent from OTAs while they work back from injuries. Swaim broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot earlier this spring during team workouts and isn’t expected back until training camp. Garrett said Hanna is making good progress recovering from the knee injury that sidelined him all of last year, though he likely won’t be back until training camp. “We don’t anticipate him probably doing anything for the next couple three weeks,” Garrett said of Hanna. “We might not even see him here in the offseason program. But he’s really made some strides.”

Ezekiel Elliott Held Out Of OTA As A Precaution Following Minor Car Accident - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Apparently a car Ezekiel Elliott was riding in got rear-ended, leading to the team holding him out of practice. Maybe Jerry Jones should assign him the Cowboys bus to protect their investment.

“We learned about it on Monday morning,” Garrett said. “He was a passenger in a car accident on Sunday night. When he came in on Monday he had some body stiffness and some neck stiffness. So we got him checked out.

“We felt like it was the right thing to do to keep him out. He’s done the dynamic warmup over the last couple of days, but we kept him out of the practice portion of it.”

Cowboys' OTAs about who's not practicing more than who is - Todd Archer, ESPN
It is not always easy to keep players like Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee, and Jason Witten to sit out even these early practices, but head coach Jason Garrett keeps a firm hand on things.

“It's always been a fight to get them out of an individual play, let alone a practice, but you sit down with them and you talk to them,” Garrett said. “We're doing this to help them and to help our football team. I think they understand that and they can have a really productive day even when they don't practice. So, they are involved in the meetings, involved in the walkthrough. They did all of that. And then when they warmed up with us, they went in and worked with the rehab guys just to work on some things where they can hopefully benefit from. And then they came back out and watched the team stuff. So, very positive day for those guys. We'll continue with that rhythm."

With “99 Percent More Reps” Than Last Year, Dak Still Focused On Improving - Jonathan Auping, Dallas Cowboys
It is an entirely different experience this year for quarterback Dak Prescott, who is now the focus of the offense.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said that Prescott had 99 percent more reps this time around.

Prescott remembered the same thing.

“It’s funny just watching that film from last year day two I got about two reps the whole day compared to the reps I got today,” Prescott said with smile. “It’s a great improvement in number of reps, thankfully.”

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott moving at faster, quicker pace - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
But "they" still say Dak Prescott is due for a sophomore slump.

Quartebacks coach Wade Wilson said Prescott has surpassed his rookie numbers in the team’s off-season program in terms of speed, strength and agility.

Tested with his teammates in the 20-yard dash, bench press, cone drills, vertical jump among others, Prescott is faster and stronger heading into his second season.

“They tested last Monday,” Wilson said Wednesday during the media availability of the first week of OTA practices. “He has improved strength-wise, flexibility-wise, speed-wise, quickness-wise. He is not resting on anything that went on last year.”

Dallas Cowboys will be able to get by if David Irving is lost - Todd Archer, ESPN
The news of David Irving's possible suspension was very dismaying, but in reality, it may have little impact.

If the suspension holds, Irving will be able to continue to work out through the organized team activities, minicamp, training camp and preseason games. Once the team makes the final cuts for the 53-man roster, he would then be moved to the suspended list.

The Cowboys have felt comfortable with their defensive line depth. They added Stephen Paea and Damontre Moore in free agency. They drafted Taco Charlton in the first round and tackles Joey Ivie and Jordan Carrell on the third day of the draft.

In between they have Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, Benson Mayowa, Cedric Thornton and Charles Tapper.

Still, it would be nice to break this trend.

Dallas Cowboys: Jaylon Smith: I can do everything I was able to do before my knee injury; 'I feel amazing' - Jon Machota, SportsDay
The Jaylon Smith excitement continues to build, even though this was an off day for him as the team takes a careful approach to his recovery.

Smith said he's able to do everything that's been asked of him by the Cowboys coaching and training staffs. Although he didn't get into specifics, Smith did acknowledge that there's nothing he was able to do before his knee injury that he can't do now.

"I feel amazing," he added.

An in-depth report on why Cowboys are now so optimistic about Jaylon Smith's recovery - David Moore, SportsDay
Moore describes the "dramatic" improvement Smith has experienced recently as he continues to recover from his nerve injury.

[The Cowboys'] optimism stems from what has taken place over the last two months.

Little to no regeneration was evident over the first nine months. That was followed by only incremental improvement.

But what has taken place over the last two months has been dramatic. One club official describes it as exponential. The pace of regeneration shows no signs of slowing.

Now, could that regeneration stop at any moment, leaving Smith to manage at that percentage for the remainder of his career? Yes. But there has been such significant improvement in recent weeks the Cowboys are encouraged it will continue.

Dallas Cowboys: The funniest moments so far at Cowboys OTAs involve a massive offensive lineman and Jason Witten - Kristi Scales, SportsDay
This would be worth seeing.

What is the funniest thing you've seen at OTAs so far?

Scales: "QB Kellen Moore, all 6' 0" of him, throwing over his towering right guard, 6' 10" Dan Skipper. The rookie lineman from Arkansas, who played tackle for the Razorbacks, is playing right guard on the second team. He's in between RT Byron Bell (6' 5") and Jonathan Cooper (6' 2") who is getting some early reps at backup center.”


Patriots, Steelers, Falcons among NFL's 10 most talented teams - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
The original personnel genius of the Cowboys ranked the most talented teams in the NFL, and has the Cowboys as the fifth best.

If, as the old saying goes, everything starts up front, then the Cowboys are in great shape. Between Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, Dallas has four potential 2017 Pro Bowlers anchoring its offensive line. The pass-catching group (Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley) is impressive, and running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott push this offense into elite territory. Prescott isn't likely to top his Offensive Rookie of the Year performance, though it's unfair to ask him to. He'll probably both increase his interception total (he only threw four in 2016) and have another very good campaign. The Sean Lee-led defense will improve, with defensive tackle Maliek Collins playing a major role and rookie defensive backs Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis (presuming Lewis' availability isn't impacted by his legal issues) making the secondary better.

Tony Romo to make CBS Sports broadcast debut at golf tourney - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
The folks at CBS Sports originally said Tony Romo would not be doing any golf coverage before his debut as their top NFL game analyst. Apparently, they fibbed.

An avid golf lover/purveyor, Romo will make his debut during the Dean & Deluca Invitational to be held this weekend, during coverage of the 18th hole.

“It will be the first time he will wear a blazer and he will be introduced as our newest addition to CBS Sports," said CBS Sports Producer Lance Barrow, via Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Odell Beckham Jr. reportedly chose playing around with Johnny Manziel over Giants OTAs - SportsDay staff
We'll just throw this out without comment. Which is so, so hard.

Stop us if you've heard this before: Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s priorities are falling under the microscope.

While the well-known wideout has been missing from optional Giants organized team activities, he's been spotted running routes for former Heisman Trophy-winning Texas A&M quarterback and NFL flameout Johnny Manziel, according to TMZ.