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Cowboys training camp 2018: Five takeaways from a week in Oxnard

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There’s a lot to discuss about Cowboys training camp.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another week of training camp is officially in the books. We’re so far into this thing that we’ve actually got an NFL preseason game in the rear-view mirror. It’s a glorious time of year.

I spent the last week out in Oxnard and made some observations. Let’s discuss.


The Kris Richard hype is very real and totally justified

By now you’ve heard this ad nauseam, but it needs to be noted that Kris Richard is making a significant impact on the Dallas Cowboys defense and the team as a whole.

Richard’s impact is tangible. There is a legitimate intensity that he brings, albeit a calming one. He’s a stern voice, but one of reason. He’s part teacher and part friend, part coach and part player. He literally wants to play.

Many had made a point this offseason about the secondary needing a point of leadership. Kris Richard is the big brother they needed and it shows.

Chidobe Awuzie is going to be a superstar

There’s a swagger that Chido emanates. It’s not empty swagger, but calculated swagger. Kris Richard called him a cerebral player, and Chido talked to me about where that comes from.

This past week has had a lot of days where it felt like the defense won. Awuzie has been right in the middle of that and it is really difficult to find anything that he isn’t doing well.

The state of the cornerback position is very safe in his hands, as is any errant pass.

Brian Price could be something special

There was a lot of hype around Brian Price last season, but it seems like he’s found a way to build off of it. While Price lost pretty handily to Travis Frederick last Saturday, Fredbeard himself has noted how Price has actually been quite good during camp.

Defensive tackle is a position of question what with the injury to Maliek Collins and suspension of David Irving early on. Brian Price could benefit from that.

Do not forget about Anthony Brown

During OTAs people had their feathers ruffled when we found out that it was Anthony Brown, not Jourdan Lewis, who was playing in the slot at cornerback. Lewis is a talented corner and people are somewhat out on Brown after he was benched last season.

Brown has justified the faith that the coaching staff has put in him so far. He’s done a great job when he’s had opportunities, so much so that he’s even making big plays.

Don’t overreact to this statement, but I was at camp for an entire week and never really saw anything from Jourdan Lewis outside of one-on-ones. It’s still extremely early in this whole process, but the top three corners feel set.

Tavon Austin is definitely a leader

Earlier in the week here at BTB I noted a particular moment where it seemed like Tavon Austin’s leadership was on display. All throughout the week it seemed like Tavon definitely held some legitimate stock in the receiver room, so much so that Lance Lenoir corroborated it.

Tavon stayed well after most players when Thursday’s practice concluded. He went and found rookie undrafted quarterback Dalton Sturm and ran about 30 routes. These weren’t half speed or lackadaisical routes, this was 100% full all-the-way effort.

This isn’t meant to discredit Dalton or his accuracy, but Tavon wasn’t catching passes between the numbers every time. He wanted balls all over the place and he was diving everywhere to get them.

There’s a lot to what Tavon Austin brings, and we’re going to see it all season.


It was a great week as always out in Oxnard and we’ll be talking a lot more about it in the coming days. These are preliminary reactions and we’ll likely have a whole lot more a week from now after the preseason game in San Francisco.