The Dallas Cowboys continued with OTAs on Thursday, the closest bit of football action were are going to be getting, along with minicamp, for about two months (a little less, but might as well round up).
Since things began last week, we have seen the Cowboys take things rather slow and cautiously so as not to wind up in a situation where they, and/or head coach Mike McCarth,y are fined for too much contact happening. That has been the case each of the last two offseasons as well, and with the New England Patriots this year.
If it is not obvious, things in a glorified walkthrough should not be taken with the highest level of seriousness. Still, we can do our best to discern what is happening with the team and the decisions that they are considering making with regards to the upcoming season.
Here are the notable updates from Thursday’s session.
Dak Prescott was unlucky on an interception, what else is new
We are all well-aware of the fact that quarterback Dak Prescott threw 15 interceptions last season and while a strong argument can be made that not all of them were his fault, obviously some were.
The one on Thursday definitely was not on Dak, though.
Dak Prescott’s aggression with football at times contributed to his career-high 15 INTs last year. But there were also moments like the one Thursday: TE Peyton Hendershot dropped a pass in short red-zone drill. Sixth-round rookie CB Eric Scott there for pick.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 1, 2023
A reminder that Dak was hardly a turnover-prone quarterback prior to 2022.
Yes, Dak Prescott threw too many interceptions last year.— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) June 1, 2023
But from 2016-2021, he had the 5th lowest interception rate in the *entire league.*
Talked about why I think Dak is clearly a top ten guy on today's QB draft: https://t.co/25po4Tj9rF pic.twitter.com/4y6hsy8VrA
Football can be a cruel game sometimes.
Eric Scott Jr. continues to see first-team reps
As noted up top, we needn’t freak out about alignments or where certain players are lining up on the first day of June, but nevertheless it caught some people by surprise when rookie sixth-round pick Eric Scott received work with the first team last week.
This happened again on Thursday, although there were a handful of players in front of Scott on the depth chart that were not participating which obviously opened the door of opportunity.
Opposite DaRon Bland, CB Eric Scott took first-team reps on day when Stephon Gilmore, Trevon Diggs and Nahshon Wright did not practice. Wright was only one on field as spectator. Diggs has missed both OTA practices open to media, but he is known to have been here Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/t7D1frq3qg— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 1, 2023
We noted it in the discussion about Scott getting the work last week and the Cowboys are very high on him. He was a visit of theirs and they specifically traded into the draft (sacrificing capital next year, although they are likely banking on a compensatory pick or two) to land him.
Interesting to say the least.
Kelvin Joseph saw work at nickel again
One of the revelations from last week was that third-year cornerback Kelvin Joseph was not seeing work along the outside but rather inside at nickel.
That happened again on Thursday.
Kelvin Joseph continues to work at his new position, nickel cornerback. Despite those absences, he stayed on far field with younger players during an 11-on-11 period early in practice. Joseph hopes to work up depth chart . S Israel Mukuamu busy at nickel. https://t.co/bEetfNHiCU— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 1, 2023
The Kelvin Joseph era has hardly been a prosperous one for the Cowboys and that the team is seemingly more comfortable giving snaps (even OTA ones in June) to a rookie sixth-rounder in Eric Scott over Joseph says quite a bit.
Training camp will be very interesting to watch as far as how the Cowboys use Joseph but obviously where they use him more specifically.
Matt Waletzko saw work... at left guard
This time a year ago many of us had an issue with how the Cowboys were approaching their swing tackle situation. Things went badly on paper, they clawed their way out of it, and now we are all currently upset about what the plan is going to be at left guard.
A number of names have been suggested here ranging from free agent signing Chuma Edoga to rookie Asim Richards to returning veterans like Josh Ball and even Terence Steele. It appears that Matt Waletzko, who was part of the plan at swing tackle last year, is now an option as well.
Cowboys OT Matt Waletzko is not only spelling Tyron Smith at right tackle but occasionally flipping inside to left guard. New OL coach Mike Solari taking long look at the 2022 fifth-round pick, who is fully cleared from the shoulder injury that sidelined him most of rookie year.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 1, 2023
Noted in this tweet is that Tyron Smith saw work at right tackle and it is also worth mentioning that Tyler Smith saw every first-team rep on the left side. It appears that the tackle situation is starting to become rather known (there is a faction of people who want to see Tyron at his old post), now it is just a matter of moving inside and figuring things out.
Tony Pollard believes he will be ready for Week 1
One of the lower-level worries for Cowboys fans these days is whether or not running back Tony Pollard is going to be healthy enough to play in the season opener against the New York Giants.
Cowboys brass has spoken optimistically about Pollard returning from the fractured fibula that he suffered in the season-ending loss against San Francisco, but for what it is worth Pollard himself believes he will be ready to go when things start in Week 1.
That is certainly very good to see.
Rookie TE Luke Schoonmaker is wearing a boot
On the other side of that coin, second-round pick Luke Schoonmaker is apparently wearing a boot.
Luke Schoonmaker is wearing a boot during OTAs as he deals with what’s described as a minor issue (inflammation).— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) June 1, 2023
Plenty of healing time before training camp begins in late July. #Cowboys
Team is not concerned.
Hopefully this is just a bunch of nothing.