It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the time when the California breeze blows through the Marriott in Oxnard. The Dallas Cowboys are now squarely in training camp and there’s a lot for us to examine as they prepare for the 2019 season.
I’m in Oxnard with ESPN San Antonio, my third year in a row attending camp. Over the next week you can expect interviews with various members of the Cowboys (Sunday’s episode of The Ocho is here for your audio perusal) and my own personal observations.
ESPN SA’s The Blitz will air every weekday from 4-7pm CT and we’ll have tons of players and coaches on if you’d like to listen (you can do so right here). We’ll also do Facebook Live sessions from our residence while here in Oxnard, the Miller Lite beach house, where we’ll share observations from the day we just finished up.
You can follow me on Twitter for updates during practice and as the week unfolds, but at the end of every day I’ll be sure to share what I saw here. If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments here, tweet at me, or shoot me an email.
With that being said let’s begin. Here’s what I saw on Sunday.
Kellen Moore is really involved.... really
The new offensive coordinator was extremely vocal with his new squad, even physically adjusting guys after they ran routes and what not.
I want to be clear that while he was extremely vocal, it wasn’t in your typical rah rah way. Kellen is still Kellen, but he’s definitely extremely hands-on with the Cowboys offense.
Trysten Hill looked fine
There was a bit of a scare on Saturday what with Trysten Hill getting carted off, but from what I saw on Sunday he appeared fine. No worries.
Jourdan Lewis will have his chances
Obviously Byron Jones is starting things off on the PUP list, and Jourdan Lewis has been the biggest beneficiary of that. We’ll see if that translates to him as he’s had a hard time getting on the field during his Cowboys career, hopefully he makes an impression during this window.
Jason Garrett is loud... really loud
It’s probable that you’ve already made up your mind when it comes to Jason Garrett, but just know that he’s as vocal as I’ve ever seen him. He was yelling a ton throughout practice, and he was encouraging the other coaches to be loud as well.
“Let’s be f***ing loud!” he screamed at his staff. This was one of the things I asked Blake Jarwin about and he noted that Garrett wants them to do everything with conviction.
Jason Garrett signed autographs for fans after practice. He played “the number game” with them. He said a player’s jersey number and wanted the crowd to respond with what college that player went to. pic.twitter.com/WxEGXTqJfM— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 29, 2019
It’s also worth noting that Jason Garrett went and interacted with fans after practice for a long time, something else I’ve never seen. He carries a quiet confidence about him that rubs off on others in a good way.
Tyrone Crawford was lending a helping hand to Trysten Hill
The first pick of the Cowboys obviously has a lot to learn from the Hot Boyz, but one of them is helping him out. Tyrone Crawford made sure to instruct Hill on various things throughout their down time and it was good to see.
The receivers are focused on tiny details
Sanjay Lal (who has his own foot injury) put the Cowboys receivers through a number of interesting drills. They weren’t carrying bricks, but this one stood out to me.
Lal had the receivers slowly trot out, stop themselves, and balance on one foot. Check it out.
Another drill from Sanjay Lal. Leaning forward and then breaking back in. Here’s Randall Cobb and Amari Cooper. pic.twitter.com/JgvZhG0Dvu— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 28, 2019
This would be fun.
Dak Prescott can absolutely throw the deep ball
In case you thought otherwise (shout out to my finger for making a cameo).
Dak Prescott + deep ball + Amari Cooper = pic.twitter.com/1BdEEY3k0V— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 28, 2019
It was pretty.
Speaking of, Dak’s accuracy issues have been “overblown”
People have criticized Dak Prescott’s accuracy issues a ton over the offseason, but Jon Kitna thinks that’s hogwash.
Speaking to my pals at ESPN San Antonio (you can hear this on the episode of The Ocho at the top) he talked about how Dak having mechanical issues is an idea that he really doesn’t agree with. For what it’s worth, Dak looks totally fine moving around, it will be fun to see him with pads on.
Jason Witten seems to be soaking in the moment
You don’t give up the color analyst job on Monday Night Football for just any sort of thing and you can see that in Jason Witten.
He really does seem to be basking in everything that’s happening around him. He’s playing with his kids on the field when practice is over, doing more interviews than usual, and just having a good time in general. You can tell he missed this and knows that he will again when it’s gone.
Honestly, there isn’t a void without Ezekiel Elliott
I’m guilty of saying before Zeke officially held out of camp that his absence would be felt, but it really hasn’t been that way in my humble opinion.
There’s obviously a lot happening with camp just beginning and all, and while things would certainly be a lot better with Elliott here it’s not like there is a dark cloud hanging over the team. That’s good to see.