FRISCO, Texas – At long last, there was Dallas Cowboys football happening at The Star.
The Cowboys hit the practice field for the first time in 2020 on Friday amid unprecedented circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, the team has put a staggering amount of effort into taking the proper precaution, and they still managed to conduct a very standard practice to start training camp.
Here's some news and notes about what stood out from Day 1:
- It didn't take long for first-round pick CeeDee Lamb to make an impression in his first NFL practice. Wearing No. 88, Lamb spectacularly hauled in a pass from Dak Prescott with his right hand on an out route. The rookie receiver also fielded some punts during special teams work.
- Offensive tackles La'el Collins and Brandon Knight were dressed for practice but worked with the athletic training staff before and during the morning session. First-year tackle Wyatt Miller got first-team reps at right tackle with veteran Cameron Erving also not practicing.
- Head coach Mike McCarthy said guard Connor Williams would be somewhat limited at the start of camp coming off last year's ACL surgery, but he participated in practice wearing a left knee brace.
- In his first NFL practice since the 2015 season, defensive end Aldon Smith got an early rep against Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith in one-on-one drills. Smith showed burst trying to beat Smith with an outside move. Call it a draw.
- With outside temperatures close to 90 degrees Friday morning at The Star, the Cowboys have set up cooling stations in multiple white tent structures between their two outside practice fields, giving players a chance to cool down during breaks.
Views of the Dallas Cowboys during the first day training camp at Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, TX.
- Donovan Wilson seems to be picking up where he left off last preseason. The coaching staff gave Wilson an opportunity to work with the first-team defense, and he definitely made the most of it. Wilson read Dak Prescott looking to make a near side throw outside the numbers, and he darted in front of the ball for a nifty interception. It was the first takeaway of training camp for a defense that is stressing the importance of generating turnovers.
- Despite the sizable knee brace, Connor Williams was able to take part in plenty of the practice. The coaching staff limited him during the one-on-one portion of practice, but he was able to get some reps during the full-team period.
- It's been a talking point all offseason that the cornerback depth chart is wide open, and it sure looked that way Friday. Every position in the secondary was rotating throughout practice. Chidobe Awuzie and Daryl Worley split reps on the left side, while Anthony Brown and Trevon Diggs split reps on the right side. Jourdan Lewis and Brown split time as the slot cornerback. Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were the initial starting safeties, but both Darian Thompson and Donovan Wilson got a chance to work with the starters.
- It's typically a position that doesn't catch the eye, but the Cowboys' defensive tackles seemed to have a solid Day 1. Gerald McCoy wears his new uniform well, and he had a fair share of wins in 1-on-1 pass rush reps. Antwaun Woods and Trysten Hill also jumped out of the solo portion, as they each tallied several wins against their offensive counterparts. Then there was Tyrone Crawford, who actually started at defensive tackle in the full-team portion of practice. Dontari Poe is still on the team's PUP list while he works back from an offseason surgery, but it'll be exciting to add him to the group when he's ready.
- One minor change: Justin March has a new number. The veteran linebacker has worn No. 53 for most of his Cowboys career, but he has moved into No. 59 ahead of the new season.