At long last we have finally arrived at Dallas Cowboys training camp week, 2021.
Yes, by week’s end America’s Team will have touched down in Oxnard, California where they will begin preparations for the 2021 NFL season. This is a year where the Cowboys have to show some sort of serious rebound considering their head coach was hired last year because they were on the precipice of something special. That time is now.
Seasons like the upcoming one for Dallas are always a bit more exciting than usual because they are coming off of what felt like a lost year. With the team losing so many important players for so long due to injury they never stood much of a chance in 2020.
Generally speaking, poor performance on the field leads to big-time changes off of it. Such is sort of the case with Dallas as they have a new defensive coordinators swapping out Mike Nolan for Dan Quinn and plenty of new toys for him to work with.
The Jersey Boyz podcast on the Blogging The Boys podcast network recently discussed some things that they are specifically looking forward to with camp’s arrival on their Monday episode. You can listen to it above, plus make sure that you subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network (Apple devices can subscribe here while Spotify users can subscribe here).
Things that bring excitement can be specific players (maybe new ones in particular), the return of others, or new coaches/things in general. Here is what has the guys pumped.
The last Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator (so to speak) who had this much pomp and circumstance surrounding him was probably Kris Richard. Many fans liked to see how in-your-face he was with players and how involved he was in practice sessions.
Unfortunately, those methods didn’t translate into a ton of success. The Cowboys definitely took a step backward with Mike Nolan running the show last year, and while it will be hard for Quinn to have the results that he did last time he worked as a DC with the Seattle Seahawks, the fact that he is well-versed in this role is certainly a positive step forward.
Time will tell if Quinn was the guy that the Cowboys had to have when they made the move that they did this past offseason. Watching how he works at camp will be our first strong point of evidence for us to draw a conclusion one way or another.
How the young secondary works against the wide receiver group
Whenever a team has a strong position group (like the Cowboys do at wide receiver) it is always fair to deduce that the players who work against them (in this case the secondary) will benefit from it. Such has been the case with great pass rushers and offensive tackles before.
Obviously the Cowboys boast one of the top receiver groups in the NFL, and while it will be fun to see CeeDee Lamb out in Oxnard for the first time, the true test will likely be for Trevon Diggs and the other young secondary players.
Kelvin Joseph was the cornerback who the Cowboys “settled” for in the second round of this year’s draft after they were wiped out in the first. Watching how he contends with the likes of Amari Cooper and Co. when he gets his opportunities will be definitely be fun to watch.
The Obvious Things
While we can look to this or that as things that excite us about the Cowboys starting up camp (it’s fair to be excited about a lot of things!) there are also a group of things that aren’t much trouble finding, the obvious things.
As mentioned the Cowboys were dealt a number of serious injuries last year so seeing the likes of Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and even Leighton Vander Esch, at full strength is going to be a sight for sore eyes.
Obviously the challenge for these players involves more than just flashing at camp. But this is the first step on a marathon of a race and it will be very fun to see it all come together.