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Thread: OTAs/Mini-camps Thread...

  1. #51
    Senior Member p1_'s Avatar
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    Ok, so Irving hasn't taken part in OTA's because he's so out of shape. I guess he doesnt really want a long term deal after all.
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  2. #52
    Senior Member Cowboysrock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p1_ View Post
    Ok, so Irving hasn't taken part in OTA's because he's so out of shape. I guess he doesnt really want a long term deal after all.
    Reading between the lines it sounds like something else is actually going on. A lot of comments about Irving dealing with personal stuff.

  3. #53
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    What the 2nd week of OTAs told us about Cowboys going into 2018
    By PATRIK WALKER 80 minutes ago

    The second week of OTAs are wrapped for the Dallas Cowboys, and we've learned that much more about their direction for 2018.

    In an offseason chock full of headlines, the team enters late May having released All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant followed by perennial pro bowl tight end Jason Witten waving goodbye as he takes his talents to the ESPN booth for Monday Night Football. Add the retirement of other veteran tight end James Hanna and it's not difficult to see what the Cowboys are up against, but an usually active free agency and very promising draft haul have them in position to potentially be better than they were this time last year.

    That will, of course, be contingent upon players like wide receiver Allen Hurns showing up in a big way while rookie Michael Gallup gets up to NFL speed, and veteran additions like defensive end Kony Ealy again finding their overall swagger.

    It's a new-look Cowboys' team on the field and in the front office, given the massive amount of turnover within their assistant coaching staff, putting a lot of onus on head coach Jason Garrett and his coordinators to make a major impact this coming season. Simply making the playoffs may not be enough to save their jobs, particularly considering the talent of the incoming Kris Richard -- the key driver behind the now-dismantled "Legion of Boom" that dominated the NFL for so many seasons.

    Having now moved Byron Jones to cornerback full-time and keying in on what he thinks undrafted safety Kam Kelly could morph into, there's promise in them thar hills. Add these positives to how explosive a fully-healthy Jaylon Smith looks at linebacker, ready to play alongside first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee, and this could be one of the more dangerous Cowboys' defenses in recent memory. They're more concerned with defensive lineman David Irving, who has not participated in OTAs yet, and defensive end Charles Tapper following an injury suffered in Week 2.

    Let's recap the latest from Frisco, TX.

    CHARLES TAPPER IS INJURED, AGAIN...

    Charles Tapper is sidelined by injury yet again.

    Speaking from Week 2 of OTAs, head coach Jason Garrett revealed the oft-injured defensive end has is faced with yet another setback, this time suffering a concussion at practice. It's an injury made that much more curious by the fact there is no contact allowed in OTAs, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement. There is no timeline yet for his return to the field, adding to an already dark cloud hanging over his roster spot on the team.

    Do the Cowboys feel Tapper can finally deliver on the upside they invested in with the 101st-overall pick in 2016? If he can't stay on the field, he'll never get the chance.

    The bubble beneath his roster spot is growing by the minute.

    DARIUS JACKSON IS BACK...

    He hasn't played a game in the NFL yet, but Darius Jackson already has a cult following.

    Now re-signed for a second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, he's through-the-roof about returning to a place he calls "home". His first tour with the team didn't have a storybook ending, and he'll again have his work cut out for him this offseason to make the final 53-man roster. It looks like he's ready though, and the fans are ready for him.

    Jackson was drafted in the sixth-round that same year out of Eastern Michigan, a high-upside talent that joined a then-crowded running back unit. The Cowboys wanted to make room for veteran Darren McFadden in his return from injury, so Jackson was shown the door. He'd land with the Cleveland Browns and spent time on their injured reserve list with a knee injury before being released and finding his way back to square one, with the very team that gave him his first shot at the pro level.

    Behind former 2016 NFL rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott is a very-capable Rod Smith and now Bo Scarbrough, the latter being a sixth-round pick himself. Smith and Scarbrough are set to battle it out this summer for the role of RB2, and Trey Williams is ready to take on Jordan Chunn for a shot at proving he deserves to remain with the team in some capacity going forward. And then there's Tavon Austin, a wideout listed as a running back, who'll also land reps out of the backfield at times.

    Already on the practice field shortly after signing, a now-healthy Jackson couldn't be more excited, citing how "proud" he is to be back in Dallas and how "hungry" he feels for his second chance.

    EZEKIEL ELLIOTT DROPS HINTS ABOUT THE NEW-LOOK OFFENSE...

    Expect a new-look offense for the Dallas Cowboys this season.

    Captain Obvious observations aside, change has been the true constant with the team following a controversial and disappointing 2017 that saw them miss the playoffs en route to a 9-7 finish, one that looked precipitously worse than the record would indicate. Sweeping changes within the coaching staff were just the beginning and quite the omen for anyone, personnel and player, who the team felt would not fit the new mold they were forming for the immediate future. The Cowboys went as far as releasing the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns, Dez Bryant, as a means of helping to make the offense "Dak-friendly" -- a phrase now tattooed on the mind of those who follow the team.

    While Dak Prescott himself has shrugged off that label, there's an obvious scheme change as they work towards full integration of the RPO (Run Pass Offense), going as far as watching film from his days at Mississippi State to glean ideas. Running back Ezekiel Elliott hinted at changes to come for the offense, but won't go as far as saying it'll be a complete overhaul.

    "We got a couple of new wrinkles in," said running back Ezekiel Elliott. "But at the end of the day, we're going to be the Dallas Cowboys we've been the past couple years [and] try to establish the running game with that dominant offensive line and make big plays."

    THINGS SOUND OMINOUS FOR RICO GATHERS...

    Rico Gathers hopes his destiny is to make the Dallas Cowboys' final 53-man roster after two failed attempts, now entering the third season of his rookie deal. Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the team saw something in the former Baylor basketball star despite knowledge he hadn't played a snap of football since his junior high days. Transforming him into a tight end would be a daunting task in and of itself, but transforming him into one at the professional level -- having skipped the gauntlet of high school and college football altogether -- was one few, if any, teams were prepared to undertake.

    The Cowboys had a plan though, and it led them to pay him $449,990 to remain on their 10-man practice squad after roster cuts his first year, a sum that rivals the paycheck of the 53rd man.

    Head coach Jason Garrett said the season was too far gone at that point to put Gathers on the field following his medical clearance from concussion in Week 7, but there were still 11 regular season games remaining at the time. That's more than 68% of the season remaining, a fact that undermines Garrett's point and refocuses attention to the reality the Cowboys simply don't believe in Gathers yet, two years after the selection.

    His other comment was much more telling of the team's view right now, proclaiming Gathers "needs more football" before there can be any talk of exalting him as the heir to now-retired Jason Witten.

    JAYLON SMITH IS NOW BUILT LIKE A TERMINATOR, BUT FASTER...

    Don't look now, but Jaylon Smith is in position to dominate in 2018.

    Speaking from Week 2 of Cowboys' OTAs, he's now revealed to the media he put on eight pounds of pure muscle and reduced his body fat by 3.5%. Still not impressed? Let's toss in the fact he adds his 20-yard shuttle time has dropped from 4.03 seconds (with brace) to 3.98 seconds (without). That effectively makes him quicker than he was before both Notre Dame and high school, and he says he "feels faster" than he's ever been. His new shuttle time is also faster than the fastest LB at this year's combine, Dorian O'Daniel, who ran the drill in 4.07 seconds.

    His 3.98 second burst ties him with rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander, the number being elite enough for third-fastest at the combine. In other words, Smith is not just regaining his speed and quickness -- he's becoming chiseled lightning in a bottle.

    “I’ve been very thankful," he said to 247Sports and others. "Just to be able to move even better, more like myself. I’m just taking it all in. I’m gonna be great.

    "I wanna be great for this team, for my brothers.”

    ZACK MARTIN CONTINUES TO SIT...

    Zack Martin continues to sit out OTAs, but the Dallas Cowboys don't seem worried at the moment.

    The two sides have been at the negotiating table yet again this offseason, after pausing talks from a year ago to focus on playing football games. Optimism has shifted mildly to protectionism by Martin, the perennial All-Pro opting to insure himself against potential injury until his pen meets the Cowboys' paper. EVP Stephen Jones has consistently held his believe in a soon-to-come done deal, and doesn't take Martin's OTA absence as a slight. If anything, he understands why his four-time pro bowler isn't at practice, and is working feverishly to find terms both sides agree on so they can move forward from engagement to marriage.

    They haven't been able to throw rice yet, though.

    "We just aren't there yet," said Jones, via Todd Archer of ESPN. "We'll continue to roll up our sleeves and go to work on it. We understand this is the hard part of our business. Nobody wants to have Zack signed more than we do. We think he's one of the best offensive linemen in the league.

    "Certainly we think the best offensive guard in the league [and] should be paid accordingly. It's just a matter of structures and by how much and that type of thing. No one respect what Zack has done for this team more than we do."

    Watch the latest, in-depth details on Martin's negotiations here.

    THE COWBOYS FIRED SOME AND HIRED SOME...

    'Tis the season for high roster turnover for the Dallas Cowboys.

    Adding to the signing of former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Eric Pinkins and former Cowboys' sixth-round draft pick Darius Jackson, ESPN insider Todd Archer reports they've also signed defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and wide receiver Mekale McKay to the team. To make room for the four new additions, wave goodbye to defensive tackle DeQuinton Osborne and offensive guard Jay Robertson, who'll join LB Eric Shockley and WR Malik Early in the search for a chance elsewhere.

    Woods is a 6-foot, 300 lb. big-bodied lineman who the Cowboys hope can help solve their issues a the 1-tech position. The former USC standout went undrafted in 2016 and was signed by the Tennessee Titans, where he spent time on the team's practice squad and injured reserve list before being released with an injury settlement only days before being signed by the Cowboys. He'll see a reunion with offensive lineman Damien Mama, who himself hails from USC and wants to carve out a spot on the team. The two played together during the 2015 season for the Trojans, before Mama made his way to the NFL ranks.

    That competition won't be pretty, but it's far from the world war that exists within the WR room, which is where McKay is headed. A young journeyman, he's a long shot to survive the summer.

    PROJECTED WR DEPTH CHART

    There are currently more bodies signed to the wide receiver position than any other for the Dallas Cowboys.

    That's fine for the moment, because they're allowed to carry 90 men into their OTAs and subsequent offseason program. It just won't do, however, for the month of September when the team will dwindle the count down to a likely six-man unit as they round out their final 53-man roster. While there's still three months to sort out what will happen, we can now legitimately ascertain some sort of direction following free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Now in the second week of OTAs, a team without Dez Bryant created a strong opportunity for veteran Terrance Williams to prove he can be the guy before his contract becomes more release-viable, but instead he's sidelined with a broken foot and faces charges of public intoxication (and potentially more, pending investigation). This could change everything in the WR unit going forward, creating a shakeup at every level of the position.

    Take a look here for the new projected depth chart for 2018, which reveals a surprise or two.

    DAVID IRVING

    David Irving isn't having the best offseason.

    Caught in the middle of a messy custody battle that has escalated to the point of his child's mother accusing him of domestic violence would have the mind of any man tangled in knots. Angela Sanchez, the alleged victim, would go on to recant her statements -- saying she fabricated everything -- only to later make another attempt at the very same allegations she had already admitted were untruthful. In the meantime, Irving is fighting to keep custody of their daughter and, oh by the way, try to focus on getting ready for the Dallas Cowboys this season. He's not attended an OTA practice as of yet as he "works to get in shape", as noted by head coach Jason Garrett.

    His attendance this offseason has been sporadic, tied directly to the war in his personal life, and the team isn't wholly concerned just yet. As he seeks peace of mind with his daughter, he'll be tasked with also balancing the needs of the team going forward.

    Mandatory minicamp rapidly approaches.

    FULL TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE...

    Believe it or not, but the regular season isn't that far away for the Dallas Cowboys.

    No shortage of headlines being present has apparently helped time grow wings this offseason, the club now being in the throws of OTAs with only one week left to go. Up next will be mandatory minicamp, where the intensity will be ratcheted up to another level. Following that will be the team's training camp, set to again be held in the summer home of Oxnard, CA. With several key dates remaining before they suit up for the test that is the NFL preseason, we take a look at when the remaining portions of their offseason program are set to take place.

    The team also released it's official training camp schedule during Week 2 of OTAs, and it's all right here for you.

    Mark your calendars accordingly.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  4. #54
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    The full TC schedule can be found at https://247sports.com/nfl/dallas-cow...2018-117883005.
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  5. #55
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    Cowboys' rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch did not take part in Wednesday's OTA because of a sprained ankle. It's not anything serious but there was no need to make it worse through an OTA. The other players not practicing today were: Sean Lee, Cedrick Wilson, Terrance Wilson, Deonte Thompson, DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Maliek Collins, Chalres Tapper and Jameill Showers.

    Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
    20h ago
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  6. #56
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    A completion to remember for Dak Prescott, Allen Hurns
    9:00 AM CT
    Todd Archer
    ESPN Staff Writer

    FRISCO, Texas – It’s early and it is only an organized team activity in June, but there was one play during Wednesday’s practice that showed there just might be some tread to the Dak Prescott-to-Allen Hurns connection for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018.

    Facing third-and-long in 11-on-11 situational work after a holding penalty on an Ezekiel Elliott run, Hurns lined up in the slot with a receiver outside of him. Under some duress, Prescott found Hurns between cornerback Byron Jones, who was responsible for the outside receiver, and safety Xavier Woods for a long gain and a first down to keep a drive alive.

    Hurns was signed before the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, and they will ask him to be a major part of a wide receiver group that has changed over. Hurns has shown the ability to play all three receiver spots, and with more plays like Wednesday’s, the Cowboys’ passing game might be better than folks think.

    On to more OTA observations:

    Prescott was particularly sharp in situational work in which the offense was trailing 23-20. He found tight end Geoff Swaim down the seam for a big gain with linebackers Jaylon Smith and Justin March-Lillard and safety Kavon Frazier in close proximity. In team drills, Prescott was unofficially 12-of-15.

    The aforementioned drive would have ended with March-Lillard scooping up a fumble on a low shotgun snap from Travis Frederick to Prescott, but coach Jason Garrett allowed the offense the recovery since he did not want players diving on the ground. Dan Bailey made a short field goal that tied the game.

    It was a good day for March-Lillard, who will be in the fight for the reserve linebacker spots. In tight red zone work, he broke up a pass from Prescott to Blake Jarwin in the end zone. He is somebody to keep an eye on once the pads come on in training camp.

    Prescott got on right guard Chaz Green for a false start with the offense driving. Prescott went with the hard count to try to draw the defense offside to get a free play, but Green flinched and the quarterback let him hear about it.

    Cole Beasley had an uncharacteristic drop, but earlier he had a nifty one-handed grab of a Prescott throw on a crossing route near the sideline.

    The second-team offense was not able to move the ball well in its situational work after Bailey’s field goal. Jarwin had a drop. Cooper Rush was sacked, forcing a timeout, and on fourth down his slant was incomplete in part because of pressure from undrafted defensive end Austin Larkin.

    In the tight goal line work, Jarwin and Rush hooked up for a touchdown in the middle of the field with a nice throw down the seam over linebacker Damien Wilson and between Wilson and safety Kavon Frazier. The third-team offense also was able to get a score in the compete period with rookie QB Mike White finding rookie tight end Dalton Schultz.

    The Cowboys went through clock-management drills before practice. For all the folks who get on Garrett about clock management, he puts his players through a lot of scenarios during the offseason and minicamp to be prepared for any type of situation.
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  7. #57
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  8. #58
    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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    One-armed Knife Sharpener Iamtdg's Avatar
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  10. #60
    Senior Member p1_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iamtdg View Post
    DAVID IRVING

    David Irving isn't having the best offseason.

    Caught in the middle of a messy custody battle that has escalated to the point of his child's mother accusing him of domestic violence would have the mind of any man tangled in knots. Angela Sanchez, the alleged victim, would go on to recant her statements -- saying she fabricated everything -- only to later make another attempt at the very same allegations she had already admitted were untruthful. In the meantime, Irving is fighting to keep custody of their daughter and, oh by the way, try to focus on getting ready for the Dallas Cowboys this season. He's not attended an OTA practice as of yet as he "works to get in shape", as noted by head coach Jason Garrett.

    His attendance this offseason has been sporadic, tied directly to the war in his personal life, and the team isn't wholly concerned just yet. As he seeks peace of mind with his daughter, he'll be tasked with also balancing the needs of the team going forward. Mandatory minicamp rapidly approaches.
    Ive been down on Irving, but I have to commend him for fighting for his daughter. Too many deadbeat parents out there, and he is apparently not one of them.
    Leading in defensive player suspensions, 5 years and counting

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