One Week in Oxnard: What We Have Learned So Far.

Training Camp Oxnard

Training Camp Oxnard

The Dallas Cowboys finish one week of camp and will conduct a blue white scrimmage on Sunday. Their first preseason game will be with the Chargers next Thursday. A look at what we are learning about this team so far.

The Offensive Line May be Very Good:
To start on a positive note, it appears the Cowboys will have an offensive line that is one of the better ones in the NFL. Either that or our defensive line really stinks. Or perhaps both?

Anyway, guess that is what having three first round picks on the line will do for you. The Rookie guard Zack Martin has been reported more than holding his own with former all pro DT Henry Melton. In fact Martin has been so dominant I look for the rookie guard to tell the veteran defensive lineman to carry his shoulder pads off the field instead of the other way around.

Defensive Line Appears Weak as Dish Water:
The defensive line was the biggest need coming into the season and so far, no one needs to expect it to be a lot better. They are getting their collective butts kicked in blocking drills. Wish I had better news here. We can only hope that practicing against the offensive line causes them to improve quickly.

Tyron Smith a Cowboy for life
The young talented left tackle is locked in on a long term deal with Dallas. Signing a 10 year contract this week worth…let’s just say a lot.

Trading up in the Draft is a bad idea:
The Cowboys invested 2nd and 3rd round picks in rookie DE DeMarcus Lawrence only to see him go out with an ankle injury in camp. He is expected to miss about 10 weeks reminding us that trading up in the draft is generally not a good move.

They sure could use that 3rd round pick now to help in other areas. And before accusing me of indulging in Monday morning GM, I said so right after the draft. With Jerry it’s not Monday morning GM anyway, it’s more like “GM-ing for Dummies.”

Romo is Ready to go….Sort of:
All indications are Romo is better from back surgery but he does sit out of practice at times. Should we be a little concerned? With Weeden as their backup, hell yes!

The Owner is Still Cray Cray:
Like your crazy uncle after a few drinks, Jerry parked in front of the cameras and talked about an improved defense and affirmed a Cowboys playoff birth this year. Where is Jim Mora when you need him? “Playoffs? Playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs??”

Matt Johnson is indeed “Ham-i-capped”
Safety Matt Johnson went out with….wait for it…yep, a hamstring pull. This was quite predictable but it still seems unbelievable. His ham is just not meant to play NFL football.

Mo is fragile:
CB Mo Claiborne is one guy that needs to step up and so far in camp he has given a very good effort but at the end of the week he complained of a sore knee. Not looking that serious yet, but it must make fans say “here we go again”. Will Mo stay healthy enough to finally justify that high price they paid for him in the 2012 draft? Did I mention the pitfalls of trading up already?

Dez a Man among Boys:
Dez has dominated pass coverage drills and seems to be catching everything. Expect a big year from Dez this season.

Rookie CB acting like a rookie:
Rookie CB Terrance Mitchell has appeared a little too aggressive at practice on more than one occasion even resulting in an injury for WR Dwayne Harris. Mitchell seems to crank it up when players are told to tone it down a bit at practice and I fear he will be one of those who tones it down when it is time to crank it up, like a game for example.

May have found a Diamond in the Rough:
This team needs some help on the defensive line and may have found it in undrafted Arizona State DT Davon Coleman. His name has come up often in twitter coverage of camp practices as a guy making plays and difficult to block. Coleman is providing hope in an area of need.

FINAL:
No surprise that in many ways Dallas is picking up where it all ended last season. An offense with explosive weapons and the ability to score but a defense that needs a lot of improvement with the first preseason game less than a week away. Some injuries in key spots are making it even more challenging to get the defense up to speed.

Other than in Jerry’s own mind, the playoffs seem very distant. And on that note, some things never change.

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