It’s minicamp time!
The Dallas Cowboys are off and running with their first minicamp in preparation for the 2018 season. Things are seemingly going well this week with Zack Martin’s contract progressions and Randy Gregory in New York, but what else is going down?
Jason Garrett spoke to the local media on Tuesday. Here’s what he had to say (besides the obligatory “how we doin’ guys?”).
Even Jason Garrett doesn’t know the details on Zack Martin’s new deal
The Cowboys and the best guard in football (Zack, duh) are closing in faster and faster on a new long-term deal. The details of this deal have been harder to track down than Carmen San Diego, so much so that even Red Ball himself doesn’t know them.
Garrett noted that Zack and the Cowboys were close to getting it done, and he acknowledged that he would practice on Tuesday. He did specify that Zack would only do individual drills and then get in work off on the side.
David Irving is back, and the Cowboys are easing him in
Zack Martin won’t be the only player getting individual-then-side work on Tuesday. Defensive tackle David Irving is back with the team after a mysterious absence, hopefully everything is working well for him.
The Cowboys have an interesting situation brewing along the middle of their defensive line. There’s no denying Irving’s talent, it’s just been a question of if all the pieces can line up properly. It seems like we’re headed in that direction.
Charles Tapper is back!
Third-year defensive end Charles Tapper is someone who is in desperate need of all the work that he can get.
While on the subject of mysterious things, Tapper suffered a concussion... during OTAs. This isn’t said to minimize how serious concussions are, but being on the receiving end of one during some of the lightest football “practice” there is raised some curious eyebrows.
Jason Garrett noted that Tapper (and Tavon Austin) would both practice on Tuesday.
Leighton Vander Esch (and others) won’t practice on Tuesday
The Cowboys are being as smart as they can with their players, they know too-well how big-time injuries to stars can ruin their seasons.
One of the most glaring examples of this is linebacker Sean Lee. Leighton Vander Esch was drafted in the first round to help shore up that issue, but he’s had an ankle issue going on and the team is being cautious.
A person with knowledge of the situation tells me #Cowboys rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch tweaked his right ankle which led to some swelling last week. They don't believe it's a big deal, holding him out of practice is just a precautionary move.— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) June 12, 2018
It’s a Tuesday in June. Deep breaths. Also not practicing on Wednesday are L.P. Ladouceur, Deonte Thompson, Maliek Collins, and Lewis Neal. Apparently it’s an achilles and shoulder problem for Deonte.
Deonte Thompson is being held out with achilles and shoulder shoulder issues— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) June 12, 2018
Garrett continues to emphasize, or at least hint, that Rico Gathers needs serious work in the run game
When asked about the ever-hyped Rico Gathers, Jason Garrett gave a spin-off of a normal answer of his. He noted that Rico’s made “a lot” of progress, but then he discussed the role of the tight end position on the Dallas Cowboys.
Red Ball spoke on how the tight end is so critical to the Cowboys run game, noting they’re almost an extra offensive lineman at times, but then spun into Rico having success in some areas like route-running and in the passing game.
It’s obvious that Rico Gathers needs work in the run game if he’s going to help the Dallas Cowboys. Based on his comments a few weeks ago it doesn’t seem like that’s a priority for him. Time will tell.
Tyron Smith had a “shoulder thing” and the team was careful with him
When asked why Tyron Smith had taken some time off from OTAs previously we learned that Tron had a “shoulder thing” that the Cowboys were being mindful of.
Garrett noted that this was simply precautionary and that Tyron will indeed be practicing on Tuesday. Thank goodness.