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10 Observations from Wednesday's OTA Practice


FRISCO, Texas — The first media availability for the Dallas Cowboys' OTA practices was on Wednesday, as the team began its session outside on the grass field before weather in the area forced them inside the Ford Center for the final portions of practice.

Players not present included CeeDee Lamb (holdout), DE/LB Micah Parsons (player decision), OG Zack Martin (undisclosed), DE DeMarcus Lawrence (undisclosed) and CB Trevon Diggs (injury recovery, undisclosed). Players that were working with the rehab group or not participating at all due to injury included DT Mazi Smith (shoulder), TE Luke Schoonmaker (hamstring), LB DeMarvion Overshown (ACL recovery), DT Osa Odighizuwa (undisclosed), TE John Stephens Jr. (ACL recovery) and WR David Durden (ACL recovery).

Here are more observations from the practice session on Wednesday.

  • Ezekiel Elliott is being viewed as the leader of the RBs room, but it is already beginning to look like a committee approach as he and Rico Dowdle split nearly all of the first-team reps on Wednesday. - Walker
  • Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe will need to earn their way into starting roles in 2024, beginning their journey taking second-team reps while Chuma Edoga (left tackle) and Brock Hoffman (center) took the starting role to open OTAs. - Walker
  • The battle for WR3 is off to the races, literally, as Jalen Tolbert and Jalen Brooks were both targeted by Dak Prescott in first-team duties during full team drills, but KaVontae Turpin was not to be denied — targeted heavily in 7-on-7 drills and catching at least one deep fade in full team drills from Prescott. - Walker
  • Trey Lance had several well-placed throws in full team reps to open practice — including in traffic over the middle that only undrafted wide receiver Corey Crooms (5'11") was in position to elevate and grab (it was completed), as Lance looks far more comfortable in his process now. - Walker
  • Looking at some of the defensive rookies, Marshawn Kneeland won several reps against the Cowboys' starting offensive line while Marist Liufau spent most of his practice time rotating between the first and second team; as cornerback Caelen Carson was assigned to the boundary for all of his reps (and not the nickel). - Walker
  • Remember the famed "Here We Go" cadence that Dak Prescott brought to the offense last year? Well, it was loud and proud once again at practice as he looks to take the confidence he built in 2023 in Mike McCarthy's first year as playcaller into 2024. Despite a lot of noise around Prescott this offseason, he was the same calm and collected presence in commanding practice on Wednesday. - Harris
  • Mike Zimmer and others have discussed the likely usage of three linebackers under his system, as Damone Clark, Eric Kendricks and Marist Liufau were the ones taking the first-team reps on Wednesday. DeMarvion Overshown figures to factor into that equation when he is medically cleared later this offseason. - Harris
  • As Lance continues to grow more comfortable, he has found a pair of receiving weapons that have proved to be consistent for him: rookie Ryan Flournoy and Jalen Cropper. Flournoy displayed strong hands on a pair of difficult grabs on Wednesday while Cropper was able to make grabs in tight windows and leak across the middle of the field for would-be yards after catch. - Harris
  • While he was off to the side while still rehabbing from his ACL injury, DeMarvion Overshown looks considerably bigger in his upper body going into year two. In the locker room after practice, he said that he has added 12-13 pounds in anticipation of his taking on a big role in 2024. - Harris
  • On the flip side, Mazi Smith looks to be hovering around the same weight that he ended the season at in 2023. He was off to the side with Osa Odighizuwa in street clothes, as his upper body looked considerably slimmer than when he arrived a year ago. When asked about an ideal playing weight in 2024 for Smith, head coach Mike McCarthy declined to comment. - Harris

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