Dak Prescott not fretting Cowboys’ WR corps: The young guys will ‘step in and take on bigger roles’ - Kevin Patra, NFL.com
Dak has faith in his guys.
Those questions have only been exacerbated with Michael Gallup’s continued rehab from an ACL tear — he’s already said he won’t be ready by Week 1 — and free-agent addition James Washington’s recent fractured foot that will keep him out 6-10 weeks.
As of now, the Cowboys’ receiver corps is CeeDee Lamb and a bunch of young question marks.
While there might be consternation about the Cowboys’ situation outside the locker room, quarterback Dak Prescott dismissed any worry.
“You’re never going to catch me looking at anything in my life as a step back. You’ve got an opportunity to move forward, you’ve got an opportunity to grow. If you don’t do that, you’re in trouble and you’ve already lost to begin with,” Prescott said, via the team’s official website. “I just know, the young guys that we’ve got, the guys that we already have are going to step in and take on bigger roles. I continue to say exciting, but that’s what it is. And the reason is, is because I feel like a lot of you — and people don’t know necessarily — what these guys are, what these guys can do.”
Who is going to rise up at wide receiver?
While the Dallas Cowboys finally did something to address depth issues, it was at linebacker with the signing of Anthony Barr. That still leaves a few other areas of concern. One of the most talked about is wide receiver, where the experience level took a big hit with the injury of James Washington. As you may have heard, that leaves the team with only CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown who have ever caught a pass in a regular season NFL game until Michael Gallup is able to return from his injury. Lamb is only in his third season, while Brown has seen very limited use so far in his career with a grand total of 39 catches over four seasons, none of them for a touchdown. With a stated approach of having no urgency to sign another veteran receiver, the plan seems to be to roll with those two plus a third-round rookie, a second-year player who saw no real game action last season, and a whole bunch of current and former UDFAs. The odds seem long that it will work out.
Well, the staff seems to be channeling Han Solo in not wanting to hear the odds. And during Thursday’s training camp practice in Oxnard, those receivers were doing everything they could to prove they were ready for the challenge.
Mike McCarthy should know Anthony Barr very well.
Linebacker Anthony Barr may be new to the Dallas Cowboys but is no stranger to Head Coach Mike McCarthy. They know each other well from their days in the NFC North, and especially from an incident that had McCarthy criticizing Barr publicly.
Barr has been with the Minnesota Vikings for the last eight years. From his rookie season until December of 2018, McCarthy was coach of the rival Green Bay Packers. With their two teams duking it out twice a year and Barr going to four Pro Bowls during that time, McCarthy is quite familiar with what the linebacker can do.
In fact, one of Anthony’s more infamous plays led to public criticism from his new head coach. During the 2017 season, Barr hit Packers QB Aaron Rodgers immediately after a throw and drove him to the ground. The hit broke Rodgers’ collarbone and knocked him out for two months,
McCarthy called Barr out in the aftermath, accusing him of an illegal hit on his starting quarterback. But many in the football community rejected that notion and said it was just an unfortunate result to a legitimate play.
Green Bay went 3-5 during Rodgers’ absence and finished the season with a 7-9 record. You could make the case that Barr’s hit knocked the Packers out of the playoffs in 2017, and perhaps helped set the stage for McCarthy’s dismissal the following year.
Nevertheless, Anthony Barr is now the newest arrival to the Dallas Cowboys roster. Mike McCarthy must have gotten over the incident or is at least willing to swallow any resentment in the hopes of his current team benefitting from Barr’s talent.
Barr believes in his new team.
OXNARD, Calif. - There were arguably no big splashes made by the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, but they changed that during the first week of padded practices. Having now signed four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr to the roster, they’ve not simply made a splash, but someone should probably issue a storm surge warning to NFL offenses around the league.
For while there still exists a myriad of questions to be answered by the team’s offense ahead of the 2022 season, the defense is shaping up to again be the strength of the roster - as defensive coordinator Dan Quinn looks to “adapt” an already proven scheme.
That adaptation now includes Barr, but free agency is a two-way street, so what was it that led Barr to giving the Cowboys the green light in July, and following months of interest from the club?
Well, the answer is simple: relationships and team potential.
“Obviously, I have some connection with [senior defensive assistant] George Edwards - being in Minnesota - we got real close while I was out there, and we’ve had some success,” Barr said in his first media appearance at training camp. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about [Dan Quinn], and how he operates.”
“And I think Dallas is a contender. I wanted to be on a team I think has a chance to win. I wanted an opportunity to play at a high level, and I’m excited to be here.”
Barr and Edwards established a connection at the outset of his NFL career, the latter having joined the Vikings as defensive coordinator in 2014 before selling the team on making the former their first-round pick (ninth-overall) that same spring.
The Cowboys secondary might be really good.
OXNARD, Calif. — With all due respect to a lot of former Cowboys defensive backs, something feels different in 2022.
It used to feel like a rite of summer to come out to the West Coast and watch this team’s receivers put on a show. From Dez Bryant and Miles Austin to Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, it was common as recently as last year to watch a Dallas wideout take over training camp.
For the record, Lamb is playing just fine in his third NFL training camp. But this time around it feels more like a fair fight, because, for all the criticism the Cowboys’ secondary has taken over the past decade or so, this one has opened camp at about as high a level as possible.
“I feel like the defense is finally catching up, and we finally can match the offense with flash plays and points and everything,” said Anthony Brown.
Brown was the perfect guy to ask about the secondary. Draw up a list of Cowboys players enjoying the best first week of camp, and the seventh-year corner had better be on it. He pick-sixed Dak Prescott on the first day of practice, and he has managed to maintain that level or performance for the past week. On Thursday, he showed his recovery ability by regaining a lost step on KaVontae Turpin and breaking up a would-be touchdown.
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