The Dallas Cowboys are set to arrive in Oxnard, California on Monday for their 2023 training camp. Ahead of Wednesday’s opening practice, ESPN’s Todd Archer shared some interesting notes on the status of some key players.
The biggest news is that veteran cornerback Jourdan Lewis could be starting camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He suffered a severe foot injury in Week 7 last season and is apparently still having some issues.
While this would be a long timetable for recovery, it’s important to note that the rules around the PUP list also play a role here. Players who start camp on PUP have more flexibility in terms of return time, especially if they remain there through the preseason. Given Lewis’ experience, Dallas may prefer to give practice reps to younger prospects and ease him back in later.
Cowboys arrive in Oxnard, Calif., today for training camp. Will Zack Martin be on the plane? Unclear. Players technically do not have to report to camp until Tuesday. The first practice is Wednesday. If a player holds out, he faces a daily fine of $50,000.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) July 24, 2023
From a health perspective, Jourdan Lewis (foot) is looking at opening camp on the physically unable to perform list. Terence Steele (knee) is not expected to be on PUP but Cowboys will be smart with him in return. Tony Pollard (ankle) will be good to go.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) July 24, 2023
With Lewis out, DaRon Bland would likely go unchallenged for the slot role with the first-team defense. Other prospects like Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, Israel Mukuamu, and Eric Scott will be battling for the remaining spots on the CB depth chart.
Archer also noted that Terence Steele, a likely starter on this year’s offensive line, should avoid the PUP list, but may not be going full steam when camp opens. Steele was lost in Week 14 last season to a major knee injury and brought back this year on a restricted free agent tender.
While the Cowboys appear to experimenting with different formations, the expectation is that they will deploy Steele at right tackle as they have the last two years. But if Steele does get limited reps in camp, that will allow Dallas to try some other guys on the first team and perhaps discover new options.
Lastly, and this is more confirmation of previous news, All-Pro guard Zack Martin is still rumored to be holding out for an improved contract. The 32 year old is trying to capitalize on still being arguably the league’s best guard before he gets too old to expect max money. Missed practice won’t hurt Martin in 2023, but it could affect the line’s chemistry, especially with other moving parts to consider.
The Cowboys’ first practice is Wednesday morning (California time) but these and other news nuggets should keep rolling in until then. Stay tuned to Blogging The Boys as we keep you connected and prepared for all of the latest information from Dallas’ 2023 training camp.