T.J. McCAULEYNEW MARKET, MD
What are you personally most excited to see in training camp this year? Battle for the starting cornerback spots? Who stands out at defensive end? Elliott? Battle for the fifth receiver? The list goes on!
David:At some point in the next three weeks, Ezekiel Elliott is going to break through the first level and meet Sean Lee head-on. Lee might be the most competitive guy on this roster, and I want to see how the flashy new running back measures up to that level of competition. If Zeke is going to be everything the Cowboys hope he can be, he needs to put his best foot forward in these practices. It should be exciting to see how he handles it.
Rob: I want to see how Dez looks. He's the most exciting player in camp every year, and including last year before he tweaked his hamstring and missed preseason. He has made steady progress all offseason coming off the January foot and ankle surgery. He has been patient – probably reluctantly so, given the competitor he is – and he brings an energy level to this team like no one else. But his reps with Tony Romo will be key. It's been a long time since they've gotten to work together in team drills.
DAN RITCHRAMSTEIN, GERMANY
Maybe I am a little over-sensitive about Cowboy's predictions. But, why does it seem to me, every article written about Dallas has to have the caveat about Romo being injury prone and staying healthy? Some of his injuries were just part of football. Yes, he had has poor luck on that front. But, really couldn't you say that about every single team? I have said for years that every team in the NFL is just one or two injuries away from being average. Especially when you are talking starting QBs.
David:I get your point, but you can't just gloss over that. In 2013, the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers for half the season, and they managed two wins and a tie – just enough to hold the fort until Rodgers came back and got them into the playoffs. The Cowboys' incompetency without Romo was staggering. They won't be competitive without him, but they could possibly win the division if he's healthy. It's simply too big of a variable not to mention.
Rob: I think that point must be made, though, based on what happened last year. One win out of 12 games he missed. Wow. Just shows you how much he means to the offense, having run the huddle since 2006. Whenever he's been sidelined for an extended stretch of time throughout his career, the Cowboys have fought an uphill battle in the division. They need him healthy for 16 games, especially with the question marks they have regarding the pass rush on defense.