The Dallas Cowboys returned to practice on Thursday and it was a good day for that reason.
With the first full week of training camp almost reaching its end it was indeed back to work for America’s Team. The festivities got started with some great quotes from Amari Cooper, but once work got started it was a lot of fun for the Cowboys defense.
I’ve been in Oxnard all week long with ESPN San Antonio and we’ve been documenting everything we’ve seen and heard with observation pieces, podcasts, and videos. Football season is here and it’s glorious, y’all.
So what happened on Thursday specifically? I’m so glad you asked because I’ve got a playlist I really like in my ears and I’m ready to tell you.
Robert Quinn looks really good
These are just bag drills we’re talking about to be fair, but holy smokes Robert Quinn looked fast when it was his turn. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Quinn has been quiet as far as what he says into his microphones but his play is definitely very loud. It’s unbelievable that the Cowboys basically stole him from the rest of the league.
By the way I was able to get a handful of other defensive linemen on video doing the same drill. Click their name to see it: Kerry Hyder, Dorance Armstrong, Christian Covington, Daniel Wise, Trysten Hill, Taco Charlton, Daniel Ross.
Dorance Armstrong might finally be a thing again
While we’re talking about defensive linemen we need to say Dorance Armstrong’s name more. He really came on strong during training camp a year ago as a rookie, but on Thursday he beat Tyron Smith. Tyron Smith!
From earlier in the day Dorance Armstrong beats Tyron Smith. pic.twitter.com/N2MrKUIW8T— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 2, 2019
The defensive line depth on this team is insane.
Jourdan Lewis has a lot of personality and game to back it up
At one point when receivers and defensive backs were going one on one, Jourdan chirped up about how a penalty should have been called against the former (he wasn’t even on the field). But then he went out and had a practice full of big plays.
It’s so crazy that Jourdan has a hard time finding his way onto the field for this team. Byron Jones being on the PUP list has certainly afforded him opportunities in camp, but man alive he is good.
There really is value at tight end behind Jason Witten
Don’t get me wrong I understand that there are Blake Jarwin supporters, but there are also a lot of people who are wondering just what lies behind the Pro Football Hall of Famer on the depth chart.
Blake Jarwin is really good. Dalton Schultz is ascending. It’s exciting.
For now there’s every reason to believe in Year 2 Connor Williams
It’s true, Connor Williams is much bigger. Like, a lot bigger.
Travis will be very good for Connor this season pic.twitter.com/5bQ9ncYtA0— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 2, 2019
Evaluating offensive line play in these sorts of practice is so difficult, but Connor looks the part right now. A week in, that’s a very good sign.
Michael Jackson might be another great find
How do the Cowboys keep finding talent everywhere?
Michael was great all practice to be fair. What a luxury.
Choosing between Reggie Davis and Jalen Guyton is already hard
To be clear I’m speaking for myself personally, but these are both receivers that I could make a case for making the 53-man roster. They’re good.
The Cowboys obviously have their top three (and even four with Tavon Austin) set. Who will make it between Reggie, Jalen, JVJ, and Noah Brown? That remains to be seen. But It really does seem like Guyton is gaining Dak Prescott’s trust and Davis isn’t far behind.
Jaylon Smith should be even better in 2019
There is a lot of talking that comes from Jaylon (not a criticism), but every time he steps on the field you remember why he’s got such an aura about him. He’s always making plays.
This team has Jaylon Smith AND Leighton Vander Esch. Bananas, I tell you.
The Dak to Gallup connection is strong
While Prescott is building chemistry with a lot of his receivers, what he’s got with Michael Gallup is very special. They continue to connect at a high frequency.
He’s going to make a serious leap this season.
At times I forgot that Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t there
I’ve mentioned this multiple times throughout the week, but I feel like it’s that important. A lot of talk everywhere is about Zeke holding out and obviously that’s a big deal, but things are relatively normal and extremely focused for the Cowboys. It’s impressive.
After every practice there are tons of wives and children that join the field to see their favorite Cowboys. There’s an air of family in Oxnard, and it’s a really refreshing thing to see.