We made it.
At long last the Dallas Cowboys are about to practice during training camp. This isn’t a minicamp, these aren’t OTAs, it is not just a celebration of them being on their way to training camp, this is the real deal and it feels glorious (never mind the fact that the first few practices are light and what not, we are being positive here!).
Wednesday may be the first day of practice but the Cowboys will be back in action on Thursday before a day off and then will return to work on Saturday (view their whole training camp schedule here). Many of us (as in the robust Blogging The Boys community) will make our way to Oxnard or Frisco at some point throughout this process and the hope is that we can all learn from and live through this all together.
Speaking personally I will be heading out to California this Sunday with my friends from San Antonio Sports Star and will be hosting a show on their network every day next week where we will have some fun guests on. We will of course share whatever is relevant from there here at BTB (on site with quotes and links plus audio and video from the interviews and conversations on the podcast network and YouTube Channel) in the name of the group as mentioned.
There are other BTBers I have spoken to that I know will also be in Oxnard at certain points soon and many that will be there when I will be, so we are going to organize some sort of meet up next week to get together and hang out. The iconic BTB flag that we debuted back in 2018 may or may not make an appearance.
As far as today goes this is the first post in a series (if you want to call it that) that I will be doing throughout camp. Every morning/day of practice we will pose three questions that we hope to have figured out by the time the day’s session is over and, with the obvious exception of today, we will also address (and hopefully answer) the previous day’s questions. I’ll also be doing an additional series while in Oxnard based on observations from that day although that will be specific to next week, just so that you all know.
So with all of that being said let’s get to today’s list of questions.
What will the exact configuration of the offensive line be?
The final question asked at Tuesday’s opening press conference (before all of the massive news involving the team including Trevon Diggs’ new contract) was about the offensive line and how things would work as far as lineup configuration was concerned.
It is not a secret that Cowboys fans have wondered what the team is going to do there, and for what it is worth Mike McCarthy made sure to keep us as in-the-dark as possible by being a bit coy. McCarthy noted the Cowboys would line up “how they last did” and jokingly encouraged the media present to check their notes.
The safe assumption here is that the Cowboys will line up (left to right) Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, a Zack Martin replacement and Terence Steele. With Martin holding out at the moment, Matt Farniok and Josh Ball are expected to see work at right guard.
Answering the question here on paper is easy work but it will be very interesting to see how the Cowboys do it on the field. Additionally, who will the top reserve tackle be? Matt Waletzko? Or is the secondary option/plan to kick Tyler out and take Tyron off the field with someone else sliding in at left guard?
Who will see the most work at wide receiver out of the obvious four?
We know that CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup are the top three, and Jalen Tolbert likely rounds out the top four wide receivers on the Dallas Cowboys. It also feels like a consensus that Simi Fehoko is next man up, but is there someone who is prepared to challenge that order?
Perhaps the answer to that question will come as camp evolves, and not on the first day that players are out on the field, but a Noah Brown-less world means that there is suddenly some healthy competition there.
Things on this front will also be made more interesting by how much (if at all) the Cowboys utilize KaVontae Turpin on offense. Turpin is a valuable returner, but the current landscape of the NFL is so that returners, in general, are not that valuable based on the limited number of opportunities that they get to really make an impact. It stands to reason that Turpin would like to give the team another reason, to be specific an offensive one, to keep him around.
What will happen that we are not expecting?
Consider this a bit of a wide net to cast but it is the first day and we need to go into it with wide eyes in general.
Work to this point for the Cowboys has been rather chalk and if I press myself to answer what I think was the most shocking development so far it would probably be seeing the team work Kelvin Joseph a bit at safety. That was not the most shocking thing ever, but it was a bit unexpected.
Similar to that we are likely going to see something that was not as obvious to all of us on paper but, forgive me for being blunt, that is literally the point of all of this. The Cowboys have been hard at work determining their course of action for the 2023 season and are finally at a point where they can no longer keep things under wraps. All eyes and ears will be on everything that they do so we can finally sneak a peak at these potentially super secretive plans that they have had.
Maybe that is just me being hopeful. Either way I am excited to answer these and find some new questions to ask as we make our journey through the next month and change.