With Dak Prescott out, Dallas’ backup QBs will have their chance to impress vs. Pittsburgh - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys backup QBs will need to impress to keep the team from brining in help.
Garrett Gilbert received more training camp snaps with the first-team offense since Prescott’s injury a week ago. It’s assumed Gilbert will start against the Steelers. Last year, Gilbert played in only one game for the Cowboys after he was signed in October. He threw for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh. Gilbert, an Austin native who played college ball at Texas and SMU, has been with seven NFL teams.
This is Gilbert’s second-year in this offensive system. With a full offseason, he’s the favorite to become Prescott’s backup.
“I’m enjoying getting all the bases of the offense this spring,” Gilbert said. “I feel a lot more comfortable with everything. Last year was sort of a crash course, catch up as you can, get with the game plan. This year I sort of got all of the Day 1 install type stuff, so I feel a lot more comfortable from a schematic standpoint.”
The second-year QB will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself this preseason.
DiNucci deserves tons of credit for handling his start against Philadelphia gracefully, but this has got to be a preferable circumstance. Not only is he working through a more traditional training camp, after a full offseason program, but he’s getting much more opportunity than a third-stringer is accustomed to. With Dak Prescott resting his sore shoulder, DiNucci is splitting second-team reps with Cooper Rush, which has given him a much larger workload over the last week.
“Last year during camp, I’d get two or three reps a day. That’s tough for your confidence, right, when you’re coming from college where you’re the guy for a few years and you get every rep in practice,” he said. “Being able to get out here this year and having maybe five to 10 reps a day, a little bit more today with Dak out this week. I feel like I’m progressing pretty well.”
The next step is even more fun – a matchup with his childhood team. DiNucci went to high school just outside of Pittsburgh, and he played two years at Pitt before transferring to James Madison. He grew up rooting for franchise legends like Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis and Troy Polamalu.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Steelers: 5 players to watch in Hall of Fame game - Steven Mullenax, FanSided's The Landry Hat
Five players to keep on your radar during tonight’s game.
Malik Turner, WR. The top end of the Cowboys’ depth chart at receiver is a lock in Dallas. Yet, there’s a heated competition happening at training camp for those spots at the end of the bench. And no one receiver within that group has arguably impressed more at camp than Malik Turner. A good outing by the fourth-year veteran could go a long way in securing him a spot on the final 53-man roster.
Quinton Bohanna, DT. It’s not often when you can choose a sixth-round selection as a top-five player to watch. But defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna is special. At 6-foot-4 and 330-pounds (down 30 pounds), Bohanna is the only true nose tackle on the Cowboys’ entire roster. As such, Bohanna can play a pivotal role in getting the Dallas defense back on track. He’s also shown to be a surprisingly agile interior penetrator at camp as well. Now, he’ll have a chance to show those abilities in front of a much larger audience.
The Cowboys will be without many of their starters in Canton.
Dak Prescott is among 16 players not making the trip to Canton, Ohio for Thursday’s preseason Hall of Fame game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Prescott has been limited to non-throwing drills the past week because of a strained shoulder muscle. The rest of the non-traveling list also includes players who are either returning from an offseason injury or have been dealing with an injury in training camp. It’s a chance for the group to get off their feet rather than having to make the cross-country trip.
A look inside the early performance of the secondary this training camp.
Not only are the CBs not thwarting passes from future Pro Bowlers, the receiving group they’re covering is missing a Pro Bowl player too. The WR depth chart is thinned without Cooper out there and while CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup are Pro Bowl caliber players, the matchups with the second, third and fourth groups of receivers are not just filled with lesser players, but by and large it’s a bunch of rookies. Aside from the second grouping of Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Malik Turner, there’s a bunch of rookies and redshirts out there.
So as we get excited about the exploits of guys like Maurice Canady, who after signing as a free agent in 2020 opted out for Covid safety… or Anthony Brown, who is feeling the heat of rookies drafted to take his place… or Jourdan Lewis who will try to convince his fourth of four defensive back coaching staffs to play him more consistently… or Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright who will try and crack the rotation as Day 2 rookies… I’ll be waiting on some of the other factors to kick in before believing the positive reports.
Find out which Cowboys you should target in your fantasy draft.
WR Michael Gallup. Current ADP: 127.5 (WR52). Michael Gallup is the forgotten man in the receiving corps. It's understandable. CeeDee Lamb lived up to the hype as a rookie and will now get Dak Prescott throwing him the ball. Amari Cooper is a proven fantasy football commodity who still saw 130 targets last season, but getting him on your team will cost you. His ADP puts him at WR16. It will be tough for him to exceed that. He was WR19 even with all the volume he got last season.
Gallup's stock has taken him out of the top 50 receivers, which is a bridge too far considering what he can do. Even with Cooper and Lamb in the lineup last season he saw 105 targets. From the way Mike McCarthy is talking camp, that isn't going to change.
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