The Cowboys rookies all reported to the Star today to take part in the annual rookie minicamp. Yesterday, Jason Garrett explained that they have scrapped some of the old regimen that consisted of working these guys until they were sick (i.e. Dez Bryant back in 2010). Instead, it’s now more of a walk-through approach to get them acclimated with the tempo and style of how they want to practice going forward.
It’s going to be an easing-in process as the Cowboys just don’t want to start out with any setbacks this early:
Cowboys aren’t even calling rookie minicamp a rookie minicamp. It’s rookie orientation. There will be nothing more than walkthroughs over next three days. Won’t much of anything to see on field.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 11, 2018
To break the rookies in slowly, the Cowboys are putting the players through drills at a jog-through pace without helmets as they get acclimated to their new surroundings. First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch found himself... https://t.co/J5PyZFmeqo pic.twitter.com/mG4p96JdhC— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 11, 2018
There are actually a few veterans that are allowed to take place in rookie minicamps and the Cowboys had their fair share of one-year guys:
The following veterans will take part in the rookie minicamp: K Brett Maher, LS Scott Daly, OL Jarron Jones, OL Dustin Stanton, S Jameill Showers, S Jason Thompson, WR K.D. Cannon, WR Lance Lenoir, CB Marquez White. https://t.co/4UDnRfDaen— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 11, 2018
For anyone interested in contract situations, the Cowboys have signed every pick except for Michael Gallup as there is some specific wording in the contracts for third rounders:
The Cowboys have signed first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch to a four-year contract worth $11.847 million guaranteed. He will receive a signing bonus of $6.696 million. Only third round pick Michael Gallup is unsigned. https://t.co/KpRHV1f9k4— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 11, 2018
Leighton Vander Esch was asked about his contract but only wanted to talk about the important aspects of his job.
Vander Esch got $11.847 milion guaranteed for four years. He said earlier hadn't thought about what he wanted to buy first. He plans to save his money. His focus on living to expectations on the field.— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) May 11, 2018
First round pick Leighton Vander Esch: “It’s kinda hard for me to relax, honestly. I feel like at this point expectations are so high there is no time to relax. There are no days off. You’ve just got to keep truckin’ away.”— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) May 11, 2018
The Cowboys new projected starting left guard was getting after it. Connor Williams certainly resembles what athletic offensive linemen are supposed to be:
@dallascowboys rookies hit the field for minicamp @thestarinfrisco @VanderEsch38 @SportsDayDFW @dmn_cowboys @dallasnewsphoto @khairopoulos @jonmachota @JoriEpstein @DavidMooreDMN @CowboysViews pic.twitter.com/qsCe6aPX45— Louis DeLuca (@ldelucaDMN) May 11, 2018
Is that a linebacker running drills with the running backs? Nope, that’s just seventh-round pick, Bo Scarbrough.
Bo talked about the rapport he’s already building with fifth-round quarterback Mike White, hopefully we can see some preseason magic between the two:
Cowboys rookie RB Bo Scarbrough on working with QB Mike White: I felt comfortable with him, didn’t have to look or anything. I trusted him and he did a great job pic.twitter.com/8GUdzDmISd— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) May 11, 2018
One of the more intriguing areas to keep an eye on will be at receiver, where it’s Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and a whole lot of new faces. The Cowboys brought in Sanjay Lal, who’s known around the league as an excellent teacher at receiver, he wasted no time today:
New Cowboys coach Sanjay Lal on teaching route running: "It’s choreography. If you have a free-access look, you can’t be thinking about yards, depth. It has to be muscle memory. Once they can self-correct, then you have a real good shot."— Brandon George (@DMN_George) May 11, 2018
With just 45 minutes on the field it was interesting to note the Cowboys receivers did not catch one pass. They simply ran routes for new coach Sanjay Lal. What was the message? “If you are a technician in your game the ball will come,” third-round pick Michael Gallup said.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 11, 2018
New Cowboys WRs coach Sanjay Lal said he won't box-in a WR: "My goal, I take pride in, 'Well, they’ve said he can’t run this route.' Well, that’s not going to be the case anymore. We’re going to coach it and he’s going to be able to run the comeback even though they say he can’t.— Brandon George (@DMN_George) May 11, 2018
Sanjay Lal isn’t the only impressing addition to the coaching staff as Rod Marinelli had high praise for Kris Richard:
Rod Marinelli with high praise for new passing game coordinator/DBs coach Kris Richard: “I think he might be as good as any acquisition coming in. I mean that. This guy’s really good.” #cowboyswire— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) May 11, 2018
DC Rod Marinelli's pumped about one "spectacular" guy at Cowboys rookie minicamp "as good as any acquisition" who he was "tickled" to get it. "You know that 'it'? He has it."— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) May 11, 2018
One receiver who wasn’t shy for words, Michael Gallup, who addressed everything from Dez Bryant to the (un)luckiness of the number 13, for which he’s chosen to sport.
Cowboys rookie WR Michael Gallup: "Dez is a great player. It’s hard for a rookie to come in and just replace all of the stuff that he’s done here. We’re out here trying to practice to be like him, obviously. But I’m not coming in here just to replace him. That’s not my role yet."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 11, 2018
#Cowboys WR Michael Gallup is wearing No. 13: "Maybe [it's unlucky] for other people, but it's not going to be for me. I'm not superstitious." FWIW Lucky Whitehead wore it last.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) May 11, 2018
Gallup isn’t worried that he didn’t go to one of the biggest schools, like Deion Sanders says: “If you ball, you’ll get the call.” Gallup knows what a big deal it is for him to be a Dallas Cowboy.
Michael Gallup on Colorado State being his only D-1 offer: “You can go undrafted and still be one of the best to do it. You can go to a D-2 school and still get picked up. It doesn’t matter where you go. If you can play, they’re going to find you.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 11, 2018
Michael Gallup on getting drafted by the Cowboys: "Just coming in to the Cowboys, you definitely want to go to work for them. You can go to a store in Georgia and you can find some Cowboys stuff. It's a big deal."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 11, 2018
Speaking of what a privilege it is to be a Dallas Cowboy, Jason Garrett walked all the rookies over to the famous touchstone:
Jason Garrett walking everyone at rookie minicamp over to the touchstone inside The Star that reads: “It is a privilege, not a right, to play, coach and work for the Dallas Cowboys.” He then spent a few minutes explaining its importance to the group. pic.twitter.com/EUCPnfVG79— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 11, 2018
Here’s the touchstone in all it’s magical glory:
It’s such a privilege that those that roamed the halls before may be gone but never forgotten. When it comes to Jason Witten, nobody is ready to say goodbye:
Jason Witten’s locker still intact in Cowboys locker room. No decision on how long 82 and his stars will be there, Jason Garrett said— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) May 11, 2018
Without Witten in the fold, fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz will get an opportunity that no tight end has had in 15 years:
We did get an update on Maliek Collins recovery timetable for his broken left foot. They are hoping to see him at some point in training camp:
Jason Garrett after first day of rookie orientation: DT Maliek Collins expected to need three months to recover from surgery for broken foot.— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) May 11, 2018
That’s about all for the day but you can check out Jason Garrett’s press conference following the first day of rookie minicamp: