The Dallas Cowboys have concluded their offseason workouts and now will have five weeks before the start of training camp. This is a time period that concerns some NFL teams because the players can pretty much do whatever they want over the next five weeks. Hopefully they are getting ready for camp so they can get into the best shape possible when they report for camp, but more times than not guys will find themselves in trouble on every team.
Mandatory minicamp just ended this Thursday and the defense appears to ready to compete at a high level from everything that has come out from those practices. Chidobe Awuzie is ready to take a major leap in his second year. It is expected that he will begin the season as one of the team’s starting corners, but it would not be surprising if he got some snaps at safety if no one steps up and takes that job.
One of the knocks on the Cowboys receivers in 2017 was the lack of separation. Gallup just finished his first mandatory minicamp but is already showing the ability to get open. He has impressed Awuzie with the ability to consistently beat press coverage. He could be on his way to contributing in a big way in his rookie season.
Dak and Zeke Leadership
As I mentioned earlier, this next five week period can be a tricky time period for NFL players. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are trying to do their part. The two have stated they are looking to get some of the offensive guys together to go on a trip to continue to build chemistry over the next five weeks.
Elliott has stated that his leadership is a major focus for his third NFL season. He feels that is very important with the losses of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
Jihad Ward was the guy that the Cowboys picked up in the Ryan Switzer deal. Ward was taken in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Raiders. He is known for having a high motor, great length and frame. He did not play much in 2017 due to injury. Ward has quickly made a name for himself so far during the Cowboys offseason program and could have a major role with Irving missing the first four games.
The Cowboys found out Friday afternoon that David Irving will face a four-game suspension to start the season for the second consecutive season. Irving violated the league’s substance abuse policy. Irving’s ex-girlfriendhinted at failed drug tests in April when she hacked his twitter account. The suspension will cost Irving $685,000.
Leighton Vander Esch
Leighton Vander Esch missed the last three sessions of OTAs after injuring his ankle and was also held out of the team’s mandatory minicamp this week. The team has said that the injury is not serious but anytime a rookie is missing practice time, it is eye opening. Hopefully he can get right over the next five weeks so that he can some practice time in before the games start.
Terrance Williams had a rough offseason. He had offseason foot surgery then was arrested for public intoxication. Williams is expected to be ready when the team reports for training camp. When Dez was let go, there was a belief that Williams could step up into a bigger role. He still has the opportunity to do that but the team has plenty of playmakers that they brought in that could make this offseason tough to come back from.
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