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5 Things to Watch at Cowboys OTAs


FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys officially kicked off their OTAs on Tuesday, as it serves as the first opportunity of the offseason for the entire team to get together post-draft for organized workouts and activities.

The media will be allowed to attend two practices, one on Wednesday and another on May 30, as a few key storylines will take the attention front and center given the offseason happenings – and unhappenings, if you will – so far this year.

As the majority of the team returns to The Star this week, here are the things to watch.

  1. Will CeeDee Lamb and/or Micah Parsons show up?While CeeDee Lamb awaits a new contract extension, he is expected to hold out of OTAs after missing the opening day on Tuesday. He isn't the only big receiver name holding out, as Justin Jefferson has begun his holdout and Tee Higgins is not expected to report when Cincinnati has its OTA period next week. One domino falling in the receiver market could make all of them topple over, but until then, Lamb looks prepared to hold out however long it takes.
    On the other hand, while Micah Parsons could also make the argument for a new contract extension, his absence from OTAs could be more reasonably attributed to the unorthodox offseason approach that he has taken the last couple of seasons in focusing on individual work away from the facility. Despite a new defensive system being put in place this year under Mike Zimmer, Parsons was not present at the first day of OTAs. Only when the team reports for mini-camp in early June is when his attendance becomes mandatory.
  1. How will rookies Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe look early on in their positional change journeys?It's still early for both, but when drafted with the expectation of competing for a starting job on the offensive line in their rookie seasons, tracking the early development of both Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe will be important to follow.
    Guyton making the switch from right tackle to left tackle won't be completely foreign to him, but there will still be work needed with offensive line coach Mike Solari to perfect his technique to be ready to start week one – especially against Myles Garrett.
    Beebe is making the switch from left guard to center, and while he said he has been practicing his snap for months and even more so since being drafted, it will be important to see where exactly that progression is as he prepares to enter a starting competition with Brock Hoffman at training camp.
  1. Has Mazi Smith regained the weight he lost in 2023?The Cowboys' first-round pick from a year ago, Mazi Smith, won't be participating with the team as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery, but looking at his physique will be a big storyline coming out of OTAs.
    Playing down the stretch last season much lighter than his listed 337 pounds, his weight loss has been attributed to numerous things depending on who you talk to. Regardless, if the Cowboys want him to be a starting 1-Technique going into the season, he will need to be back in that 330-pound range to make an impact in the middle of that Cowboys' defensive line.
  1. Who will be on the kickoff coverage and kickoff return teams?New kickoff rules will be an interesting wrinkle in 2024, and with the new setup could come new personnel. Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel – who was one of the lead proponents of the rule change this offseason – spoke last week about how guys like Asim Richards or Luke Schoonmaker may have opportunities in the kick game whereas before it was never even a thought.
    As Fassel toys with how his personnel groupings will look like on both phases of the kickoff, will he try to implement more power with the close-quartered blocking opportunities? Or is there still a need for speed in both units to get through and around coverage? In addition, there is expected to be an additional returner under the new rules. Does that opportunity begin with Deuce Vaughn, Jalen Cropper, Malik Davis or an unlikely candidate?
  1. Will Trevon Diggs or DeMarvion Overshown work with the team or off to the side while still rehabbing ACL injuries?While Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones stated back in February that it would be more realistic to see Trevon Diggs and DeMarvion Overshown make it back in time for training camp from their respective ACL injuries, it will be interesting to see how much work they do participate in during this phase of the offseason.
    Nothing but positive news has come out of each of their rehab processes – and the same could be said for John Stephens Jr. and his ACL recovery – but does that mean that they will be ready to go in time to participate this week? It's not completely out of the question, especially considering Terence Steele was on the field for OTAs last offseason after tearing his ACL the previous December.

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