The Dallas Cowboys have only been in training camp for three days, that’s less than half of a week (barely). Still, there’s a clear difference on offense. They’re going deep. A lot.
To be clear here we’re talking about in the light practices that the Cowboys have had so far, but it is undeniable that the team’s quarterbacks are pulling a driver as opposed to laying up more often than they have in the past.
This is something that Michael Gallup touched on recently and even went as far as saying that offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is doing it because Dak Prescott wants to. That’s great to hear and hopefully will be even more great to see on a regular basis across the season.
On Monday afternoon I caught up with Xavier Woods after practice and he offered his own level of insight on the deep ball happening, in fact he even brought it up.
Question: What’s the most difficult thing for you guys to guard against, against this offense in practice?
Xavier: Well today it was definitely deep balls. This is something that we haven’t seen from them a lot. Not that many deep balls, so that was new.
At this point it struck me how Woods mentioned it was “new” for the defense to have to face so many deep balls. I brought up to him how Michael Gallup mentioned Kellen Moore allowing Prescott to throw them and asked if that was something that he sensed as well. With a wry smile he got to the point rather succinctly.
Xavier: You seen the practice today?
Without trying to make any gigantic leaps here it really does seem like deep balls were so foreign to the Cowboys offense over the last few years (at least the last two, Woods’ time in the NFL as our chosen sample size) that even the team’s own defensive players are thrown off by the frequency that they’re happening through three days of training camp here in 2019. That is kind of crazy to think about.
It hasn’t just been Dak Prescott that’s been swinging for the fence in practice. Cooper Rush and Mike White have both had their chance to go yard and it’s made for some great moments early on.
Candidate for play of the day on Monday... Cooper Rush to Reggie Davis pic.twitter.com/yJfAwE4ViZ— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 29, 2019
For what it’s worth, Woods said that the defense struggled a bit against the deep ball in practice on Monday, At one moment it looked like Dak was going to find Michael Gallup for a highlight-worthy play, but it was Woods and Anthony Brown that made sure it was not to be.
Anthony Brown and Xavier Woods just wouldn’t let Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup have a nice moment pic.twitter.com/5iK6Z3h9HA— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 30, 2019
Welcome back, deep ball. You were missed.