Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on rookies at weekend minicamp: “We’re at 100% attendance. Everybody is here.” https://t.co/A3Mpvm17AW— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 14, 2021
Normally, that would just elicit a “so what?” No player trying to make an NFL team wants to be in the doghouse because they failed to show up for their first chance to work with the coaching staff. This is hardly a normal year, however. The NFLPA has been pushing a boycott of all voluntary activities, including the rookie and full minicamps. While it was widely expected that most rookies were not going to join that effort, it is still a bit reassuring to see all the newbies and tryout players on hand. The Cowboys are not one of the rosters that has publicly come out in support of the boycott, and it is expected that the veterans will almost all be present at the start of OTAs later this month.
Unfortunately, the rookie minicamp is closed to the public, and the information from it is expected to be minimal. However, one bit of data did emerge before the players even got onto the practice field.
Micah Parsons to the Cowboys website: “Right now I’m at Mike linebacker and looking at the playbook this is a position for me to go sideline to sideline and make a lot of plays and really stop that run that’s how I’m supposed to do it.”— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) May 14, 2021
While this is not definitive at this early stage, it does offer some insight into what the team would like to do with Parsons, as well as giving some hints at the eventual shape of the Dan Quinn defense. It also seems to put Parsons in competition with Leighton Vander Esch. Given that the team declined the latter’s fifth-year option, this might indicate that the staff is hoping Parsons can win the starting job.
That is still a long way from being decided, but it is not an illogical inference at all. Having the rookie minicamp will start the evaluation of Parsons. It is a very limited one at this point. But the first tiny step in sorting out the roster for 2021 has now begun.
And, yes, it’s nice to see players in uniform again.