Looks as if some Cowboys stars and new comers are making quite the impression.
FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys wrapped up their final OTA practice on Thursday at The Star with a spirited workout that saw some of the new faces starting to find their groove as they fit in with the entire roster.
The Cowboys will head into next week’s three-day minicamp, but here are some things that stood out from Thursday’s OTA:
Quarterback Dak Prescott looked sharp in some modified 7-on-7 and team drills, working against no defensive line. He threaded a nice ball to CeeDee Lamb over the middle and connected with rookie Simi Fehoko twice downfield.
Catch of the day: Lamb’s leaping grab over cornerback Anthony Brown from Prescott for about a 40-yard gain down the right sideline.
Strong practice from linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. He had a terrific diving interception on Prescott near the sideline. He said it briefly knocked the wind out of him, but he returned to drills and later blew up a Tony Pollard run play for a would-be tackle for loss.
Micah Parsons and Tony Pollard got looks at some new spots.
Pollard at receiver?
Last week in OTAs, Tony Pollard lined up at receiver in a few specific snaps. It won’t be a permanent switch, but it was likely an enticing nugget for fans who want to see the young running back more involved in the team’s offense.
“We had a few guys under the weather,” McCarthy said, justifying switching things up. But he also noted that it was a great opportunity to put Pollard in reps that “he wasn’t able to see last year.”
Pollard played receiver in college at Memphis. How did he fare at the position in OTAs? McCarthy said that he looked “natural in space and alignment” and that it was no surprise because Pollard is an “exceptional athlete.”
Apparently, Pollard’s receiving skills also earned the respect of the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. “Dan Quinn is looking at him as a receiver. That should tell you how he looks.”
‘Get your popcorn ready.’ Dallas Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb sets expectations for Year 2 - Clarence Hill Jr., Star Telegram
We all saw what Lamb did in year one, looks like he expects even better in year two.
In anticipation of his enormous talent and potential, the Dallas Cowboys gave former Oklahoma star receiver CeeDee Lamb the legacy No. 88 jersey, made famous by the team’s Hall of Famers Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin, upon his arrival as a rookie last season.
But as Lamb prepares for second year, he is parroting a message made famous by another Hall of Fame receiver who donned a Cowboys uniform.
“Get your popcorn ready” adorned a bracelet worn by Lamb as he spoke to the media after OTA practice on Thursday.
Lamb said it was inspired by Terrell Owens, who used it as his catch phrase.
It also may as well be the theme of the jump he and the Cowboys expect him to make in Year 2.
“You saw it today,” Lamb said with that million dollar smile of his.
‘I Don’t Even Like to Talk About Last Year,’ Cowboys Coach McCarthy Says of 2020 Season - Pat Doney, NBC DFW
Mike McCarthy, like many of us, is looking to put 2020 in his rear view.
The Cowboys were back on the practice field at The Star in Frisco this week with the team’s head coach believing things are going to be very different in 2021 compared to his disastrous first season in Dallas.
One reason Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy believes his 2021 team will be much improved from last season’s disappointing year is Dallas’s ability to have offseason practices and workouts.
After COVID-19 shut down just about everything in the NFL offseason one year ago, McCarthy was unable to hold traditional offseason workouts as he was trying to introduce his program as a new head coach.
“I don’t even like to talk about last year because I think it’s a terrible comparable and one I’m not using,” McCarthy said. “When I look at our offseason program that we’re in currently, I compare it to my past experiences when you have a full offseason program. I have confidence when we conclude next week we’ll be pretty close to hitting the targets that you’ve been able to hit in the past.”
With Zeke looking for a bounce-back year and the development of veteran Tony Pollard, the Cowboys running back group looks positioned for a good 2021.
The running back position for the Dallas Cowboys has been one of the better position groups for the team for much of the last five years. Even as the offensive line has taken a hit in talent from the outstanding 2016 group, the Dallas Cowboys were still quite effective running the football.
Heading into his sixth year in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott is entering something of a prove-it season. Even though his roster spot is solidified, many think he’s experienced a drop-off in play in production. While there might be some truth to it, there’s also context that’s required as well.
The Dallas Cowboys offensive line in 2020 was nothing short of a disaster. After Travis Frederick retired, they were forced to break in a rookie fifth-round pick at center. Tyron Smith played just two games, and La’el Collins missed the entire season. The Cowboys were also missing their starting quarterback for much of the season. The Dallas Cowboys struggled to keep teams honest after Dak Prescott was lost to his ankle injury in week five.
Then there’s the matter of COVID-19. It’s easy to forget because Elliott didn’t miss any time. Elliott had COVID-19 during the Summer, and it certainly affected his ability to train and prepare for the 2020 season. While he recovered, it’s unknown what lingering effects the virus had on Elliott’s body.
Report: Cowboys CB Anthony Brown favorite to start at boundary corner opposite of Trevon Diggs - Blogging The Boys, Connor Livesay
Even with the additions the Cowboys made through the draft, it may be a familiar face in starting line up.
One of the best things from OTA’s is when beat reporters drop little nuggets that their picking up from a source, or from something their picking up at practices. In Thursday’s practice, the only practice open to media, Michael Gelhken of the Dallas Morning News put out a tweet regarding the state of the cornerback depth chart.
With second-round pick Kelvin Joseph sidelined (reasons unclear), Anthony Brown has manned the boundary corner spot opposite of Trevon Diggs. While this isn’t totally shocking, it is interesting that with Joseph and Nahshon Wright being high draft picks by this new defensive coaching staff and front office, that they would elect to go with the veteran in Anthony Brown.
Throughout his career, Brown has been a quality player for the Cowboys, but has had more success in the slot than on the boundary. If Joseph is unable to prove in OTA’s and training camp that he’s the man for the job, rookie third-round pick Nahshon Wright may also bring up some competition for that job after impressing early on in OTA’s.
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