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Cowboys News: Highlights From Day One Of Cowboys Mini-Camp

Lots of news from the first day of mini-camp.

NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys: This Cowboys defender came up with two interceptions during the opening day of minicamp - Kate Hairopoulos , DMN

The answer is Jeff Heath.

Cowboys safety Jeff Heath is trying to make his case to become a starter this fall.

It's only June, but snagging two interceptions against the first-team offense during Tuesday's first day of mandatory minicamp at The Star will only help.

"He's been that way since we've had him here," defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. "He's either punching it out, or he's picking it. He doesn't say anything, but he keeps saying [with his play] this is my resume, keep looking."

Highlights Of The Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Minicamp Practice (Day 1) - Michael Sisemore, BtB

Nice recap by our own Michael Sisemore.

Scout's Notebook: Heath Shines, Chaz Green's Improvement; More - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership

Always worth reading Broaddus’ practice notes. Here’s just one of his observations.

Last week I thought Chaz Green had some balance problems at guard. This time around, he did a much better job of handling his technique. There were some situations where he and Tyron Smith had to handle some blitzes and games up front and he was good to go. He wasn’t overextended and reaching for his man. His weight was better through his feet and his knees had some bend to them. There was overall better adjustment to his game.

Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton on facing Cowboys LT Tyron Smith in practice: 'No matter who I'm losing to, I hate losing' - Kate Hairopoulos, DMN

Is this a story about Taco, or about the continued excellence of Tyron Smith?

"He's a Pro Bowler for a reason, one of the best left tackles for a reason," Charlton said. "We get after it - he's making me improve and study my game. I'm watching a lot of tape to see what I can do better, different things to beat him consistently. I'm still a competitive guy so no matter who I'm losing to, I hate losing, period. Even if I'm losing to him, I'm still not liking it. I take my wins when I can get them. I just keep trying to improve and get better."

NY Daily News writer: Adding Darrelle Revis would be no-lose situation for Cowboys - DMN Staff

Skip the headline, as the best nugget here is about Taco Charlton and how his Michigan pedigree will help him.

Watching him in college and then trying to project into the NFL is always a difficult thing because, obviously, the quality of play goes up. I think I saw enough of him in college. I think he's gonna be a good pass rusher. Regardless of what happens in the preseason or training camp, I don't think you can necessarily say, 'OK, that's how it's gonna be.' I think this is a guy who is just kind of breaking through as a really good player. A lot of these Michigan players really benefited by having Jim Harbaugh as the coach the last two years. They had, I think, it was 11 or 12 players drafted, which was the most of any school in the country. And none of them were Harbaugh players. But having Harbaugh there and teaching these players what it's like to be in a pro system and all the other things that go with making it in the NFL I think really benefited players like a Taco Charlton and a Jourdan Lewis.

Poll: Which Defensive End Will Be The Cowboys Best Pass Rusher In 2017? - Danny Phantom, BtB

While we’re on the subject of Taco Charlton, where does he stack up among the defensive ends this year?

While the Cowboys have been busy building their team with elite first-round talent over the last several years, the defensive end position has always been pushed aside. Well, that is no more. After a decade of selecting a different position, the Cowboys finally made a first-round investment in a pass rusher. What makes it even more exciting is that the 2017 draft had a handful of NFL caliber edge rushers to where they Cowboys could still grab one late in the round. And that selection was Taco Charlton.

Rod Marinelli finally has himself a legit talent along the edge. Granted, he’s a rookie and rookies take time to cultivate, but this kid has the size and athletic traits to prosper as a premier talent in this league. Just because he’s a rookie doesn’t mean he can’t pay immediate dividends.

Worried about La'el Collins' move to right tackle? Why Cowboys fans shouldn't be - Brandon George, DMN

La’el Collins is a confident player, and that’s a good thing for the Cowboys. He could be a real difference maker at right tackle.

Collins' right tackle play has already impressed veteran tight end Jason Witten.

"He's big, he's strong, he's athletic. He's good communicating the calls," Witten said. "It's not easy for a young player to do that, to just get settled into guard and now move to tackle."

Collins said moving from guard to tackle hasn't changed the way he views his job.

"My mindset is I don't care where I'm at, who I'm playing against, it don't matter," Collins said. "I'm going to block you, and that's just the way it is."

Has Cowboys Linebacker Sean Lee Shed The Injury-Prone Label? - RJ Ochoa, BtB

Sean Lee scored 16 Approximate Value last year on the Cowboys defense. Next best players scored 7.

Not counting that season finale, Sean Lee only missed one game in 2015. The same is also true for last season when Lee was absent for the regular-season finale for the second year in a row, this time because the Cowboys were resting players for the playoffs.

We’re now at a point in time where Sean Lee has, in terms of true misses due to injury, only missed one game over the last two seasons.

Knock wood.

One Current Cowboys Player Allows For Patience With Jaylon Smith - Michael Sisemore, BtB

A little love for Anthony Hitchens’ game, in what may be his last year in Dallas.

There is an underappreciated variable as to why the Cowboys are not rushing this situation, Anthony Hitchens has allowed them not to. Yes, Anthony Hitchens deserves our respect and gratitude for the way he played in 2016. Despite the doubts that were had for Hitchens last year, he stepped up and played well as a starter. You have to remember that Rolando McClain was the hopeful starter and Hitchens is not the “hammer” that McClain was. There were serious concerns that the Cowboys’ would be one of the worst defense’s against the run yet they were the very best at the end of the season. Anthony Hitchens deserves a sliver of the credit pie if you catch my drift.

Is Julian Edelman's deal good news for Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley? - Todd Archer, ESPN

Should the Cowboys think about extending Beasley a bit early? He has two years left on his deal at a bargain rate. One of Archer’s Five Wonders.

With Julian Edelman signing a two-year extension with the New England Patriots through 2019, I wonder if the Cowboys would look at extending Cole Beasley's contract. There is a difference between Edelman and Beasley. Edelman was set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Beasley is signed through 2018. But the Cowboys have shown a willingness in the past to extend contracts of core players with two or more years remaining on their deals. Make no mistake, Beasley is a core player. He led the Cowboys in catches last year and Dak Prescott looked to him in tight situations.

Cowboys' Rookies Already Seeing Results Of Offseason Program - David Helman, The Mothership

One guy who’s been getting lots of reps is Ryan Switzer.

The Cowboys’ rookies have yet to even make it through training camp, but it’s safe to say they’ve learned plenty in the mere six weeks they’ve been on the roster.

“It’s a huge difference,” said Ryan Switzer. “I’m a way better player than I was coming in in May, and I think that’s the whole thing about being a pro – you’ve got to come in every day and compete.”

The benefits of reps are extolled by coaches and players across the NFL, and Switzer is a fantastic example. Minor injuries to Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead have left the rookie as the primary slot receiver during this month of practices. To say he’s trying to take advantage of that opportunity is an understatement.

“The reps have been huge for me, and getting with the reps and those older guys has been huge,” Switzer said. “If I can continue to grow and make strides, I think it sets myself up for a good season.”

Scouting Report: New WR Lenoir Makes Up For Lack Of Speed With Toughness - Bryan Broaddus, The Mothership

The bottom of the roster is always churning. Cowboys signed a new undrafted wide receiver, and let a tight end go.

Highly-decorated receiver out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Undrafted free agent that doesn’t process great timed speed -- but one of the toughest guys I’ve studied.

Lenoir is physical in every sense of the word. He competes with a chip on his shoulder. He lives to mix it up with the defensive back and plays with a passion. This guy goes hard on every play. He also shows the mental toughness you like in your players.

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