For the first time in a long time, the Cowboys have playing time available at RB, and plenty of young players ready to claim it.
OXNARD, Calif. — Another day has passed and the running back picture behind Tony Pollard has somehow gotten even murkier with the suspension of Ronald Jones.
However, the group behind Pollard – which includes Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle, Jones, Deuce Vaughn and Hunter Luepke – has competed fiercely through one week of camp and they brought the physicality on day one in pads on Monday.
Despite uncertainty still following the group, head coach Mike McCarthy took the time on
Monday morning to give praise to two young guys in the room that have taken a step forward so far in training camp.
“I’ll tell you, I’m loving Rico [Dowdle],” McCarthy said. “And it’s great to have him back. Malik [Davis] has taken that jump that we’re looking for. Those two guys have really jumped out.”
In catching up with Dowdle after Monday’s practice, the fourth-year South Carolina product was encouraged to hear that his boss had good words for him today, but he knows it will all be about staying consistent throughout camp and the preseason.
“Just want to stay on the right track and stay on that good side of him,” Dowdle said with a laugh. “Keep doing what the coaches like me doing. Hard work and just try to win a spot. But obviously, that’s nice hearing that from Coach McCarthy.”
Coming into training camp, Dowdle has been able to grow a close bond with the running back room, but he knows the mission is to compete with them in California in order to earn his main goal in 2023 which is to be the number-two back behind Pollard.
The Cowboys want to find an immediate role in the offense for their sixth-round pick out of Kansas State.
Now we are here at the end of July, and the Cowboys’ training camp is in full swing.
It’s the first opportunity for meaningful reps for rookies and undrafted free agents.
That also means it’s our first real chance to see what Deuce looks like in Cowboys’ gear as opposed to a Kansas State Wildcats uniform.
The first footage of Deuce carrying the football didn’t disappoint.
Yes, I know it’s in helmets only, but you can’t deny the quickness, foot speed, and willingness to attack the hole in between the tackles.
The Cowboys needed a veteran presence at RB when they signed Ronald Jones this offseason, but will be without him to start the 2023 season.
If Ronald Jones is going to make the Dallas Cowboys’ roster, he’s going to have to be even more impressive in training camp. On Monday it was announced that Jones, signed in the offseason to compete for a rotational spot in the backfield, will miss the first two games of the regular season after violating the NFL’s policy of PEDs.
The suspension length means it’s Jones’ first offense. With recent changes to the NFL’s policy in the most recent CBA, the league doesn’t have to announce the parameters with the penalty, it’s understood by the length. Stimulants and masking agents get two-game suspensions while first-time suspensions for anabolics was increased to six games for a first offense. A tampered test results in an eight-game ban.
Jones, who will be 26 next week, enters his sixth year in the league. A former second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones won a championship ring with the Kansas City Chiefs last season despite seeing little action. He carried the ball just 18 times, only once in the postseason, for 70 total ground yards.
His best season was in 2020 when he had a league-high 98-yard touchdown as part of a 5.1 yards-per-carry average. He toted the rock 198 times that year, a career high. Now, he’s battling for a place behind Tony Pollard alongside several young prospects. Just Monday head coach Mike McCarthy singled out a couple of Jones’ competitors without mentioning the veteran.
This was interesting from the Cowboys’ WR1.
“All the offense is in Dak’s hands now. It’s not necessarily, you know, being called from Mike or Kel since last year,” Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb told Shan & RJ on 105.3 The Fan on Monday. “But now it’s all on Dak, like, however he’s feeling versus the coverage. If he likes the matchup, we’re gonna call that play. If he likes whatever he likes versus zone, he’s gonna call that play. So technically it’s all in Dak’s hands.”
The added responsibility has actually proved liberating for Prescott, according to Lamb.
“I feel like that opens up the game. That opens up Dak’s mind and he doesn’t feel so closed off.”
Communication has been a big buzzword for the Cowboys this offseason. A spike in Prescott’s interceptions was often written off by players and coaches as a problem of the quarterback and receivers being on the same page.
Social media was buzzing about Micah Parsons after dominant display in Cowboys training camp - Kevin McGuire, Yahoo
Micah Parsons throwing Tyron Smith like a rag doll has created some buzz.
It did not take long for former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons to leave his mark on the NFL. Parsons was the NFL’s unanimous winner of the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year award two seasons ago and he was brilliant in his second season in the league as well, although falling a bit short of NFL defensive player of the year accolades.
It may be easy to overreact to any one short video clip from a training camp practice before the calendar moves into August, but that didn’t stop social media from exploding over a viral clip of Parsons breaking through the Cowboys’ offensive line in practice on Monday.
Odds are pretty good this will not be the first time the internet lights up reacting to a Parsons highlight. But it’s never too early to start looking forward to what one of the NFL’s top defensive players is going to do to opposing offenses this season.
I’ve only seen this happen to Tyron Smith once before. The man that did it? 3x DPOY J.J. Watt. Micah Parsons is about to WRECK the league https://t.co/TR9EbLS7h8— ✭STX Mario✭ (@_STXMario) July 31, 2023
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