Your Dallas Cowboys completed their first official training camp practice of 2019 (which is a delicious sentence to write). Now, it was the first practice which meant it was most mostly stretching bodies out and getting reacquainted with football activities; practice consisted of drills as the offense and defense did not face off against each other.
Still, there’s no doubt in my mind who the standout player of the day was: Travis Frederick. Simply by being a participant, Frederick has accomplished much since a 2018 training camp diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome. While the prognosis for recovery was always good for Frederick, nothing is certain in such medical situations. The fact the All Pro center has met every goal up to this date was promising.
But for Cowboys fans, teammates, coaches, front-office personnel and Frederick himself, the simple act of walking onto the practice field was an enormous accomplishment. We still can’t be certain Frederick is back to 100% until he has practiced multiple times and faced real competition; and truly won’t know for sure until Frederick competes in NFL games that count.
While the Cowboys have made upgrades in a number of places on the roster and the coaching staff, nothing will have a bigger, more positive impact on the Cowboys’ 2019 fortunes than having one Travis Frederick manning the center position again. Today was a good day on that front.
This also is easy: Ezekiel Elliott. Just as the simple act of Travis Frederick being on the field was a win for the Cowboys, Elliott being absent is a concern. Zeke has been a slow starter each of his three seasons in the NFL. Him missing time - even simple offensive drills - could result in another slow start (assuming he’s here for the season opener, which seems like a safe bet to me).
The Cowboys do have a new offensive coordinator, meaning there should be some new things to learn, even for veterans. And the league doesn’t allow much practice time throughout the offseason, making the practice time available that much more important. Zeke’s absence isn’t a huge deal, but it’s far from ideal. Every day he’s not participating with his teammates is a missed opportunity.
Trysten Hill - Cowboys fans held their breath when the rookie, second-round draft pick had to be carted off the field. We then breathed a sigh of relief when it was reported he was simply suffering cramps. That means the team, for now, won’t be deprived of their top pick from this year’s draft. Nonetheless, Hill is fighting for playing time and any time you’re not on the field it’s bad, especially for a rookie looking to carve out a role.
Hopefully the talented youngster is back tomorrow and won’t have another incident of cramping issues.
All in all a rather uneventful day. Another light day tomorrow, as the offense and defense again won’t face off against each other.