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20 Questions: Who Emerges As This Year’s Surprise Camp Standout?
Despite completing four weeks of OTAs and mini-camp practices, several things remain unsettled for the Cowboys. When the team reports to training camp on July 28 in Oxnard, Calif., several questions still need answers.
The staff writers at DallasCowboys.com – Rob Phillips, David Helman, Nick Eatman and Bryan Broaddus – will attempt to answer these questions before the start of training camp.
Today, the series continues with the staff trying to predict this year’s surprising training camp standout.
17) Who Will Be This Year’s Surprise Training Camp Standout?
Nick Eatman: I wanted to name just a random player who hasn’t done much in the summer, because it tends to be one of those guys who plays well and makes the team. With that, I would’ve picked Tim Scott – so watch out for him. But my real answer is going to be Ken Bishop. I think this guy has a chance to be a really good player for this defense. He’s got the size, but matches it with agility. When he finally got back on the team and in the game against the Packers in the playoffs, Bishop was more than productive. I think he makes a big jump this year as a productive player in the rotation. He looks a little leaner, but still weighs over 300 pounds and should be a fixture on the goal-line defense. I predict some good one-on-one battles in camp with Frederick, Martin and Leary.
Bryan Broaddus: Never really a popular selection when you pick an offensive lineman as your potential camp standout, but I am just going to do that with Darrion Weems. At the beginning of the offseason several months ago I viewed this as a crossroads type of year for Weems. He had been with the club since late 2012 working and waiting for an opportunity. He showed promise at this time last season but a shoulder injury ended all that. This year, with Doug Free still rehabbing his foot injury, Weems stepped in and did a fine job during the OTA practices at right tackle. He looked confident, comfortable and prepared to finally handle the responsibilities that will come with being that important piece of this offensive line. Weems will be the player that people are talking about when we come to the conclusion of this training camp.
Rob Phillips: Skill position players usually stand out more at training camp in part because it’s not full contact. I’ll go with rookie free agent receiver Deontay Greenberry. He flashed in OTAs and minicamp and has traits teams seek in a developmental wideout: good size (6-3), very good athlete. Like most rookies, his route-running still can be refined, and he didn’t return kicks in college, so that part of Dwayne Harris’ role would likely have to be replaced elsewhere. But Greenberry has been very competitive on offense. Maybe he’s a guy who pushes for a roster spot. Receiver will be a fun position to watch in Oxnard – there’s a lot of undrafted talent here.
David Helman: A lot of readers should be happy to hear me say this, because he’s become a bit of a fan favorite: I think Ben Gardner is going to turn some heads in Oxnard. His shoulder injury derailed his rookie camp before it even got going, but it’s worth remembering that he was an all-conference player for Stanford back in college. When OTAs and minicamp kicked off, he certainly looked like a guy who had spent the offseason in the weight room. We haven’t seen him play a real down of football to this point, but I really like his chances to earn some snaps at left end. Read