This is not the best news for a running back trying to make the 53-man roster.
Dallas Cowboys running back Rico Dowdle will be forced to miss the remainder of practice this week after testing positive for COVID-19, a person familiar with situation told The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken.
Dowdle is the latest player in the RB position room to contract the virus, joining rookie Aaron Shampklin. A minimum five-day quarantine is required for any positive test.
Protocol determined by team at this stage. If player has 24 hours of no symptoms after 5 days of quarantine/isolation, he can return for the Cowboys.
He will be required to mask for an additional 5 days after his return. https://t.co/1R2RTmWdpH
— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) August 4, 2022
Stuck behind Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard on the depth chart, Dowdle has largely been a forgotten man despite making the Cowboys’ 53-man roster as a UDFA in 2020. He missed all of last season with a hip injury.
Dowdle, who played in college at South Carolina, has seven career rushing attempts for 24 yards, all coming in 2020.
It is not the cavalry, but at least the depleted WR room gains an extra body.
The Dallas Cowboys have activated rookie undrafted free agent wide receiver Dontario Drummond from the PUP list.
Drummond, who had a breakout season at Ole Miss in 2021, will now have a chance to impress the Cowboys’ coaching staff in training camp.
Considering the team is a bit shorthanded at the wide receiver position, Drummond might be able to push for a roster spot if he plays well enough.
After posting 38 receptions, 605 receiving yards and seven touchdowns during the 2019 and 2020 seasons at Ole Miss, Drummond exploded for 76 catches, 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021.
Right now, the only clear locks to make the Cowboys’ roster at wideout appear to be CeeDee Lamb, 2022 third-round pick Jalen Tolbert and Michael Gallup, who is recovering from ACL surgery.
Rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith is one of the winners of training camp so far. He has arguably done enough already to secure the starting job.
From a power perspective, Tyler Smith is as advertised. When the Cowboys drafted Smith out of Tulsa they highlighted his power and athleticism as his standout traits. His film backed it up with Smith often looking like a man amongst boys.
As with any leap in competition, there were questions as to how his game would translate to the professional game. Was he just beating up on kids or was he really as strong as he looks. I’m here to say, this guy is stronger.
Finesse wins in nonpadded practices but when the contract becomes real, power shines. More often than not, Tyler Smith looks like the strongest man out there. His heavy hands and powerful legs have been crushing opponents. More importantly, his technique and discipline have improved as well.
Tyler Smith was a walking penalty at Tulsa. If Dallas Cowboys fans hated Connor Williams (the former LG) then they were probably in store for a rude awakening with Tyler Smith. Not only did Smith get flagged a metric truckload at Tulsa, but the flags were only a fraction of what officials in the NFL would call.
But early returns in Oxnard show Tyler Smith playing with better discipline and technique. He’s keeping his hands in front of him and his legs moving to avoid reaching. Part of it is the position change but part of it is also his maturation as a player. It’s enough to make people like me a lot happier with his selection in the draft and enough for me to say, “it’s over. The kid won the job.”
Mike McCarthy reveals how Barr could fit into the defense.
New linebacker Anthony Barr has arrived in Oxnard and was still getting his physical completed as the Cowboys began practice Thursday.
Barr agreed to a one-year deal Wednesday. Once Barr officially signs and joins the team, head coach Mike McCarthy says he’ll be another weapon for the defense “on and off the ball.”
“I think when you look at packages and how we feature Micah (Parsons), I think it gives you another weapon, another excellent player on and off the ball,” McCarthy said. “I think when you get in and out of packages as you build your system for a 17-game season, I know the defensive staff is real excited to have another piece.”
With a new addition to the linebacking room, Dan Quinn is free to use Parsons anywhere and everywhere.
2. 15+ sacks
Entering the 2021 season most were unsure how much the Cowboys would allow Parsons to rush the passer. Luckily, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn put him in a position to get after the passer a lot and Parsons responded with 13 sacks. The linebacker already has his eyes set on a lot more than 13 this season.
“23 [sacks] is that goal, to break the record.”@MicahhParsons11 has his eyes on history
— NFL On Prime Video (@NFLonPrime) July 25, 2022
The 23-year-old told CBS Sports that 15 is the minimum, but his goal is to beat the NFL single-season record. While 23 sacks would be amazing, it is hard to predict someone to break the sack record. But, even Parsons agrees that 15 should be attainable for him in 2022. Adding the 17th game to the schedule allows for many more opportunities to break seasonal records. No. 11 only played in 16 games last year so the extra game will help his overall numbers.
The versatility of Parsons makes it very difficult for an offensive line to know how he is going to attack them. He can rush from the edge or blitz up the middle and get past any offensive lineman with his speed and strength. Fifteen sacks may seem like the minimum for Parsons but even if that is all he gets in 2022 the Cowboys’ defense should be in great shape.
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