Plus other news and analyst from around the league.
Dak Prescott is expected to resume throwing in “two, three days” – Josh Alper, PFT
Prescott and the Cowboys are playing it safe and Dak’s limited status doesn’t look to be an extended one.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott left Wednesday’s practice with tightness in his right shoulder, but said he was fine when he spoke to the media later in the day.
Medical tests agreed with that assessment and head coach Mike McCarthy also feels “no high concern” about Prescott’s muscle strain. He said it was smart to pull the quarterback when they did to stay in front of a potential issue and that he’ll do everything other than throw in practice for the next “two, three days.”
“Dak will still do all the drill work, he’ll be able do all the mock games,” McCarthy said at his press conference. “We’re really just going to cut out the throwing here for a few days.”
McCarthy said he saw no connection between the shoulder issue and Prescott’s return from last year’s ankle injury. McCarthy also said he still has the same plan for Prescott to play in the preseason based on the medical reports he’s received at this point.
Practice Points: Birthday Smash, New Injuries, More – Dallascowboys.com
Get caught up with all the news and notes from the Cowboys second padded practice.
Better day overall for the offense after two defense-dominated practices Tuesday and Wednesday. The passing game started slow, in part because the offense focused more on run game and short yardage Thursday. But Garrett Gilbert and the first team got going in situational team drills. Gilbert followed up a 30-yard pass to Cedrick Wilson with a 20-yard touchdown to CeeDee Lamb, the first of three TD passes. Another TD pass to Lamb was almost a Micah Parsons interception, but the ball bounced off the rookie linebacker’s hands and straight to Lamb. Practice ended with a beautiful one-handed touchdown grab by second-year tight end Sean McKeon, securing a “win” for the offense in two- and four-minute drive work.
The “surprise” period that head coach Mike McCarthy referenced Thursday morning appeared to be a team drill with the offense backed up against its on 1-yard line. If the offense could get two first downs, it won the drill. On Gilbert’s first rep, he found Ezekiel Elliott on a quick pass for a 30-yard gain. Third-year linebacker Luke Gifford had two would-be tackles to stall the second- and third-team offenses.
In what appeared to be the first team-period kicks of camp, Hunter Niswander was 2-of-3 from 25, 34 and 47 yards. His 47-yard attempt bounced off the left post. Niswander is filling in for Greg Zuerlein, who’s starting camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list (back).
Day in camp: Cowboys rookies Micah Parsons, Kelvin Joseph among standouts – David Moore, DMN
The Cowboys are six practices deep into this camp.
What stands out?
“What I love about this camp is that it’s as competitive as I have seen it in a while,’’ executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “It will be real hard right now to say who is your 53 guys.
“A lot of times it’s a lot easier to I think who is going to be on the 53. We’ve got 65 guys who could be on the 53. Easily.”
“The competition is going to be really good. That should help us in terms of depth if we do have some injuries.’’
The club has thrown a lot of bodies at the defensive side of the ball. The majority of rookies the Cowboys drafted or veterans signed in free agency during the offseason were targeted to upgrade a deficient defense.
Asked who in that group has stood out, Jones immediately mentioned Kelvin (Bossman Fat) Joseph, the team’s second-round pick out of Kentucky.
“Yeah, Fat is kicking butt,’’ Jones said. “He is. He’s doing some really good things. He’s really going to be a big help for us this year. He’s jumped out.
Dallas Cowboys stars dominate NFL Player Sales List – Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
The Cowboys move merchandise.
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since the 1995 NFL season. For those who are counting, that was more than 25 years ago. Yet, that fact hasn’t allowed the team to drop in popularity.
Despite the Cowboys’ lack of playoff success in recent years, its loyal fanbase continues to flock to games, both home and away, and to make the team’s contests some of the most-watched programs on all of television.
Of course, that fan love extends to merchandise sales as well. From jerseys, t-shirts, and hoodies to wall decals, toys, and figurines; if the item features the logo of America’s Team or one of its prominent players, it sells.
That’s why it was no surprise that several Cowboy players dominated on a recent list published by the NFLPA titled Top 50 NFL Player Sales List March 1, 2021-May 31, 2021. Three Cowboy stars were among the top 10 of all officially licensed products sold by the NFL.
Malik Hooker Describes Himself as an Athletic Ballhawk, Game Changer- Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star
Adding Malik Hooker brought some much needed talent and competition to the safety room.
The Dallas Cowboys have been looking for playmakers at the safety position since the days of Darren Woodson and Roy Williams. Donovan Wilson proved he fit that mold last season at strong safety, but who would play opposite him was still a mystery coming into 2021. Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker both came in for visits in March, but the former was the one who secured a contract.
The thought of Hooker joining the Cowboys lost its luster for months until he came in for a second session last week. It was a productive meeting, to the point where the only thing stopping Hooker from signing was a physical and getting through COVID-19 protocol. After a workout on Tuesday, Hooker signed with the Cowboys and it instantly created quite the buzz in North Texas.
Despite multiple injuries that cost him major time on the field during his stint with the Indianapolis Colts, Hooker feels he brings a plethora of skills to the Cowboys.
Gilbert Not “Trying To Be Dak” With First Team – Dallascowboys.com
QB2 is looking to be the best version of himself when his number is called.
OXNARD, Calif. – Once the draft had passed and most of free agency’s biggest signings had been complete, the move that plenty of Cowboys fans were waiting for the team to make was to acquire a backup quarterback. Andy Dalton had left the team for Chicago and a chance at a starting quarterback job and Dak Prescott was coming off of major ankle surgery.
But the team made no such moves. Perhaps they didn’t like the options out there, but in some sense, there’s no doubt that standing pat meant they had some degree of confidence in three of the players who had backed up Prescott in the past: Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, and Cooper Rush. All three are present in training camp.
But when Dak Prescott left practice on Wednesday with what turned out to be a minor shoulder strain, it was Gilbert who stepped in and took reps with the first team. There was a collective sigh of relief when it was confirmed that the starting quarterback was not seriously injured, but within the circumstances was a potential tell that Gilbert might have a lead on the competition for Prescott’s backup, though Mike McCarthy alluded to Prescott’s unavailability as a chance for all three backups to excel.
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