Cooper Rush’s win at the Vikings last year still stands out, but he has to separate himself from Will Grier this preseason.
Grier is entering his second season with the Cowboys after joining the team in September of 2021. He didn’t play last season, but the former third-round pick from West Virginia did spend time in the classroom. And that is starting to pay off, it seems, with a competition brewing between him and Rush.
Rush has his win at Minnesota last year to his credit. He’s 28, came to Dallas as a UDFA, and has bounced back and forth as a member of the club.
Grier is 27, lacks skins on the wall - he started twice in his rookie season of 2019, both losses - and is still trying to find his NFL way.
But, McCarthy said of Grier, “You can see the instinct and awareness. Coming out of college I think that was something that jumped out for him. Will has played a lot of quarterback, came out of the womb playing quarterback for his (coach) dad. So now you’re starting to see that in his comfort in our system ...
Dallas Cowboys to work out three kickers on Tuesday, including Brett Maher - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys know they need to ass some competition at kicker.
According to The Dallas Morning News. the Cowboys are bringing in three kickers for a workout on Tuesday and former Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is among them.
Maher improved as a member of the New Orleans Saints in 2021, but signing him would feel like a step backwards for the Cowboys. At the very least it is them looking in the rearview mirror for help on the road that lies ahead.
Matt Ammendola spent six games last year with the New York Jets, the team who decided to bring in Greg Zuerlein this offseason. He made 13 of 19 field goals for them (68.4%).
Cole Murphy is coming off of a season with the USFL’s Michigan Panthers where he made 11 of 12 field goals. He made 9 of the 11 extra points that he attempted.
Update: 7:00pm ET
There will actually be four kickers working out on Tuesday as JJ Molson is a part of the group as well.
The Cowboys secondary has been their strongest position group at training camp, with veteran Anthony Brown leading the way.
“I think he’s someone that should get more love from you guys,” McCarthy told an assemblage of reporters recently in Oxnard. “Just a suggestion.”
The former sixth-round draft pick out of Purdue was a popular target of Cowboys Nation’s ire last Thanksgiving after he committed four pass interference penalties in an overtime loss to the Raiders.
It was a particularly brutal game for the veteran, now 28 years old. But that game wasn’t indicative of who Brown truly is as a player, McCarthy argues.
“I think if you look at A.B., the way he played last year, he had a heck of a year,” the coach said over the weekend. “I think from year one to year two [of McCarthy’s own tenure], he made the strength gains that he felt that he needed and I thought it really showed last year.”
Brown started 16 games last season and notched career-high marks in passes defensed (17), tackles (71), and interceptions (3). He added to that pick total in the team’s postseason loss to San Francisco with a fourth-quarter interception to set up the touchdown that brought the Cowboys to within six points.
And McCarthy says he’s picked up in training camp right where he left off.
Even with another double-digit win season, the Cowboys need playoff success for 2022 to not be a letdown.
2022 Win Projection: 10
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the highest win projections in football, but this unit may be unlikely to tally double-digit W’s in 2022.
The receiving corps went from one of the league’s deepest to one of the more banged-up and thin units. The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper for a Day 3 draft pick early in the offseason and declined to retain Cedrick Wilson Jr. in free agency.
That leaves CeeDee Lamb as the No. 1 pass-catching option with a series of question marks behind him. Michael Gallup could assume the No. 2 WR role, but it’s uncertain when the veteran will return from an ACL tear he suffered in January.
Free-agent pickup James Washington is also out for a stretch and missing valuable training camp time after going down with a right foot fracture. That leaves Jalen Tolbert, a third-round rookie, as the likely No. 2 for the season opener.
The Dallas offensive line is no longer the force it once was either. Injuries and age have taken a toll, most notably at left tackle where perennial Pro Bowler Tyron Smith has been limited to 13 games since the 2020 season. Dallas released starting right tackle La’el Collins, and guard Connor Williams departed on the open market, adding more uncertainty to the offensive trenches.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott is fading and will likely see his playing time drop as Tony Pollard’s usage goes up this season. Unfortunately, Elliott’s massive contract extension is tying up funds the team could have used to retain key players and reinforce areas of need, meaning the Cowboys will rely on unheralded talents to fill gaps in the lineup.
With a thin squad that is a few injuries away from collapsing, Dallas could be in rough shape with some bad breaks in 2022.
The Cowboys offensive line won’t be dealing with a familiar opponent in the preseason opener.
Gregory is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He started Denver’s training camp on PUP and is not expected to participate in any preseason games, though the Broncos hope to have him ready for Week One.
By missing this week’s matchup, Randy’s chances of ever suiting up against the Cowboys have taken a big hit. Dallas and Denver just played each other in 2021 so, if the current scheduling rotation holds, their next meeting regular-season game may not come until the 2025 season.
Of course, the introduction of the 17th game does increase opportunities for interconference meetings. And there’s always the possibility of another preseason date between the two clubs.
Gregory left the Cowboys this offseason after seven tumultuous years. Just as it seemed the defensive end was finally getting his career on track, disputes over language in a proposed contract last March angered Randy and pushed the free agent into the Broncos’ arms.
Dallas has had a busy offseason trying to replace Gregory and boost their pass rush. They re-signed Dorance Armstrong, drafted Sam Williams in the 2nd round, and are taking a flier on former 1st-round pick Dante Fowler.
Projecting the Cowboys’ 53-man roster: Depth on defense leads to difficult decisions - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
Have KaVontae Turpin and Dennis Houston already done enough to make Cowboys roster?
Wide receiver (7)
Washington (foot fracture) must be on the initial 53 in order to qualify for midseason activation from injured reserve. Turpin probably can roll out of bed and be one of the NFL’s top returners. His inclusion reflects the preliminary excitement he’s created. “I like Turpin,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Saturday. If Michael Gallup (ACL) starts the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as projected, he is required to miss at least the first four games.
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