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Camp Sights: Backup QB, Zeke's Reps Among First Week Surprises

(Editor's Note: At the end of each day here at training camp in Oxnard, the staff writers will each provide their own personal observation, ranging anywhere from a particular player who is standing out, a position that needs an upgrade, or even their own personal experiences regarding the daily rigors of camp.)

Rob Phillips: Maybe this shouldn't be considered a big surprise, because we've highlighted this position's depth before, but it's looking like final cut time might as difficult at receiver as running back. It's well documented how much deeper they got at running back this year with Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris joining Lance Dunbar, Darius Jackson and Rod Smith, but this isn't an easy question to answer: how many receivers will they keep? Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley are a given. Then you move to reserves who had roles last year: Lucky Whitehead, Brice Butler, and Devin Street, who's been out with a back injury. Undrafted rookie Andy Jones is off to a nice start. If the team only plans to keep five, there could be tough decisions for Jason Garrett.

David Helman:I don't know if "surprised" is the right word, but I'm definitely intrigued by how the Cowboys are approaching the backup quarterback conundrum. All apologies to Jerry Jones, but I have a hard time believing him when he says the front office is getting more and more comfortable with Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers as the primary backups. I realize there aren't a lot of attractive options right now, but I still think this team needs to find a way to acquire a veteran replacement for Kellen Moore. Maybe that won't happen until much later in the preseason, but I'm not ready to believe that Prescott or Showers can keep this team competitive if Tony Romo goes down. Maybe the rapidly-approaching preseason opener will prove me wrong – or right.

Nick Eatman:Overall, I think the biggest surprise of camp is how well the defense has competed with the offense. Not only did we expect the offense to be a much better group overall, especially with the return of Dez and Romo, but throw in the injuries the defense has dealt with so far in camp, and it shouldn't be close to competitive. But it certainly has been with the defense winning specific drills on a regular basis. The play of Claiborne, Carr and Sean Lee have made up for the defensive line injuries. It doesn't matter what the drill, or the team period, the defense is making plays, picking off passes and preventing a lot of big highlights for the offense. Sure, it's early, but if this is a sign of what is to come this year, the defense has a chance to be much improved.[embeddedad0]

Bryan Broaddus: I know this question is probably geared more toward a player that is doing well but I am surprised that Ezeikel Elliott is not practicing. I had these visions of a battering ram who was blessed with speed and quickness, that would deliver punishing runs play after play. I had visions of a guy that would take the defenders best shot, walk back to the huddle and be ready to do it once again. I never thought that anything physically bad could happen to Ezeikel Elliott. Maybe this is unfair to him but he just didn't look like that type of player that would be sidelined with a sore hamstring.

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