First impressions from the first practice

OXNARD, Calif. – Here we go.

The Cowboys are holding their first practice of training camp 2022 here in Southern California.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy holds his first solo press conference of camp.

Around half a dozen players were made available for their first camp interviews, and that included a jovial Ezekiel Elliott taking the main stage with Dak Prescott due to follow on Thursday.

Remember to take a lot of this over the next few days with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to individual or team performance. It was the first of four practices scheduled for helmets, jerseys and shorts, per the NFL collective bargaining agreement. Contact is fairly minimal during this ramp-up period, trying to prevent unnecessary soft tissue injury early on._

And while coaches are used to grinding players during training camp, McCarthy and all 31 other NFL head coaches are only allowed 11 hours a day of player time, the clock ticks. starts from the first mandatory meeting or field activity. until the last compulsory team event. That’s all.

“We have to maximize it,” McCarthy said of what they can accomplish in those 11 hours. “They have to understand that it’s going fast.”

But hey, the thermostat is conducive to all the work you can do here. At 6:30 a.m. this morning it was 58 degrees, and by the time the Cowboys arrived at the practice ground for one of those minicamp-type workouts, it was in the mid-60s with a high of 68 today. today. And that’s with the sun shining most of the day for the first time in three days here.

So we better start shooting some juicy shots press.

  • Welcome view: While it was fairly predictable that the Cowboys would place WR Michael Gallup on PUP and rookie LB Damone Clark on NFI before that first practice, LB Jabril Cox’s status wasn’t as certain since fourth draft pick last year’s round spent the entire offseason. rehabilitation following knee surgery to repair his torn ACL. Well, there was the No. 14 in blue on the field again, not only to resume practice, but also for the second-team defense at linebacker with Luke Gifford. The Cowboys aren’t deep at linebacker past starters Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch, so they really need Cox to be strong at outside linebacker and maybe pull off a few snaps in a two-linebacker nickel defense, while becoming a main participant of the special teams. .
  • Look at her : It was to be another welcome sight for the Cowboys coaching staff, and probably for you too. When the team’s first offense hit the field, Dak Prescott’s three receivers were CeeDee Lamb, James Washington and Jalen Tolbert. Remember, Washington signed in free agency for veteran depth at a troublesome receiver, but missed all OTA and minicamp practices this offseason with a sore ankle tendon. Lamb and Tolbert also missed some of those workouts. But knowing that the suspected No. 2 receiver Gallup will likely miss the first month of the season, seeing these three guys on the field at the same time allays some of the receiver’s growing fears after trading Amari Cooper and unable to re-sign free agent Cedrick Wilson. Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko and Dennis Houston were out with the second team.
  • jerry said: Speaking about this year’s team, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said at the opening press conference that he was optimistic despite the loss of several prominent veterans from last year’s team. , namely Cooper, Randy Gregory and La’el Collins. He said: “I thought last year we had a chance to have a hell of a run and had some people in place who if we were healthy enough we could have them. And I think we’re in better shape. shape.” That is, this year. Part of me thinks Jones was also referring to the fact that the Cowboys have about $20 million in cap space. That if they need to fill an emergency hole in a position, they actually have, for a change, money in the kitty to sign a veteran free agent still there.
  • Run DC: The Cowboys might have finished ninth on the ground last year, and Zeke passed the 1,000 yard mark in the final game of the 17-game (1,002) season. So when McCarthy was asked if he was happy with last year’s run-to-pass ratio, he had a long explanation about how many factors can determine that from game to game. But his most important comment about the running game was this: “You gotta run the ball when you gotta run the ball…you gotta have a phone booth running game when you throw it no matter what.” That is, in the middle between tackles when the defense knows you’re going to run into them.
  • First impressions: Speaking of Elliott, McCarthy said, “It’s all football” and went on to say, “When you think of Zeke, you think of his running style. That was always my first impression. I remember from the first time I saw him, 2016, I was on the other side. He came running along the sideline, ‘Oh my god, look at the size on that guy’s head .’ He’s just a different runner. He can run really fast. He’s just a strong runner.” Looks like the head coach is happy he’s his. No mention of increased snap sharing with Tony Pollard.
  • On guard: I found it interesting that as Connor McGovern came out again with the first-team offense at left guard like he did during OTAs and minicamp and first-round pick Tyler Smith working with second team, there were times when Smith got snaps at left guard with the first team. This one is worth looking at the competition.
  • Finish or tackle: Maybe we should start calling these guys just defensive linemen. During those off-season workouts, last year’s third-round draft pick Chauncey Golston was seen working more at defensive tackle than the defensive end he had been in 2021. Was written off as trying just to be versatile. Well, that versatility could be more than that, as almost all of Golston’s Wednesday snaps came inside on a 3 technique defensive tackle. After all, Golston is 6-5, 277, a nice 280 dinner. And there were also snaps with left defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence rushing inside at tackle during the offense’s two-minute drill. Why, even second-round defensive end Sam Williams was seen inside at tackle in pass-rush situations, and so was he, 6-4, 261.

Today’s final word goes to rookie Williams when he talks about how he worked on some technical-type things after the Cowboys’ last minicamp session. And when asked where he did all that work, Williams, who played his college prom at Ole Miss and grew up in Alabama, said this about his first experience in Texas.

“I was right there. I was in Texas the whole time. I don’t know anyone in Texas, so when I say I was bored, I need new friends. Whoever listens, y’all, if you need new friends, let me know.

“Because let me tell you I was bored. I just got home and then I had my son. We went to this place called Lifetime (health club). It’s a new place to Frisco where they can watch my son while I work. go out and do my thing. It was a pretty fun experience. I’m trying to learn Texas and stuff, but it’s so hot man, so hot.

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