Offseason | 2022

Mick Shots: Start Of Camp Around The Corner

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FRISCO, Texas – Here is your Dallas Cowboys 2022 training camp primer so you will be in the know.

The Cowboys leave for Oxnard, Calif., on Monday, July 25.

The annual training camp-opening press conference with owner Jerry Jones, COO Stephen Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy will take place on Tuesday, July 26 from their River Ridge Sports Complex training camp site.

The first camp practice is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, and note this practice and the following three on successive days are basically mandatory minicamp-like practices, helmets, jerseys and shorts, per the current CBA rules.

The camp opening ceremony will be held before the fourth of those practices on Saturday, July 30.

Then Sunday, July 31, after four days of workouts, comes the mandatory off day.

And finally, after following all that protocol, the pads come on for the first time Monday, Aug. 1, and teams are limited to just one padded practice a day. The Cowboys are scheduled for only six padded practices in Oxnard and then a combined total of three more taking place before the preseason games at Denver (1) and then the next week prior to meeting the Chargers (2), then immediately flying back home after the game for the final week of camp at The Star.

Oh, how Daryl Johnston wishes he was playing in this era, knowing during his days with the Cowboys (1989-99) the Cowboys were in pads twice a day in Austin (1990-97) and Wichita Falls (1998-2001), and no matter if the temperatures during those practices at Midwestern State University basically reaching like 1-10 every day, with the wind generally blowing like 10 mph.

DJ has repeatedly said and heard him say so again this past Sunday on CBS-11 in an interview with Bill Jones about training camp back in those days, how beaten down the guys would get practicing that hard in that heat.

"You know, we spend our entire offseason you know getting our bodies into the best shape they possibly can be, so the day you walk into training camp is the best shape you're going to be in an offseason," Johnston said. "The day you walk out a training camp is going to be the worst shape you're going to be in a whole season, and it was just very counterintuitive for me, so I always struggled with the old system."

Ah, Oxnard. At 4:05 p.m. today in North Texas the thermometer read 105. In Oxnard, it was 70, with the overnight low 58.

Guess that's a low parting shot.

  • Time To Compete: The is the directive for Cowboys 2021 second-round draft choice Kelvin Joseph heading into his second NFL training camp this this: Compete for playing time at the cornerback position. Compete to possibly start at some point during this 2022 season. There has been a lot of speculation over his availability after being a passenger in a car from where a fatal drive-by shooting took place late March in Dallas. But from I've learned, Joseph, who was not involved in the shooting, has been cleared by Dallas County officials, being truthful and forthcoming during the investigation, and remember he never was arrested or charged with anything. Now as for the NFL, that is a different matter, and its movement is at glacier speeds when coming to incidents such as this. The Cowboys have stood firm on the issue that the 22-year-old is good to go from a legal standpoint. Now Joseph, must play, try to live up to his draft status. And if you're counting cornerback numbers, we're talking Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Joseph, Nahshon Wright, fifth-round pick DaRon Bland and Kyron Brown at the top of the pecking order. To me, that's pretty deep in talent, but not everyone is going to make the 53-man roster. Time for Joseph to make an impression. A good one.
  • Contract Stalemate: Here is likely the reason the Cowboys didn't sign franchised tight end Dalton Schultz to a long-term deal, both sides deciding instead to settle for the guaranteed one-year, $10.93 million franchise tag he previously had signed. If you can believe this, the possibility now of two years of franchise tags placed on Schultz would likely average less than his projected market value. The salary-tracking website Spotrac projected Schultz' market value to be at four years, $58 million, which would average $14.55 million a year. If the Cowboys were to franchise Schultz again in 2023, meaning he receives a 20 percent raise on his 2022 salary, that two-year average would be right at $12 million a year. Here was the other problem the Cowboys were not in a rush to sign him to a long-term deal. While Schultz had a career year, 78 catches, 808 yards and eight touchdowns, third highest among tight ends in 2021, not sure the Cowboys measure his value comparable with a couple of the top guys, San Fran's George Kittle ($15 million/year), Kansas City's Travis Kelce ($14.3 million/year) or Baltimore's Mark Andrew's ($14 million/year). And they weren't willing to set market value for a tight end.
  • Not So Easy: While keep hearing about the Cowboys relatively easy 2022 schedule, the strength ranked T-31 with the Giants at .462 for the bottom spot, consider this: The Cowboys will play five of the seven other division champs (Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Tennessee and LA Rams), missing just Buffalo and Kansas City. Furthermore, they will play the only two teams with a better record than their 12-5 from last year, Tampa Bay and Green Bay both finishing 13-4, along with facing two of the other three teams having matched their 12-5 record (Rams and Titans). And throw in three more games against teams with winning records, Philadelphia (9-8) twice and Indianapolis (9-8), and that makes eight games vs. teams with winning records from last season. Not their fault they happened to be scheduled to play two games against the teams with the absolute worst records from last year, 3-14 Jacksonville and 3-13-1 Detroit, along with two more games against the 4-13 Giants and another against 4-13 Houston.
  • Rest Of Story: Kept hearing on Sunday that Washington Nationals fifth pick in the first round of the MLB Draft Elijah Green is the son of former Pittsburgh TE Eric Green, a first-round pick himself but in the NFL Draft. Know that Green in the 1990 draft was the product of the Cowboys using a third-round pick to switch shots in the first round with the Steelers, moving from 21 to 17, so they could draft Emmitt Smith. The Cowboys knew they needed to jump ahead of Green Bay and Atlanta, both hunting running backs, to grab their guy. And they were right, since Green Bay with picks 18 and 19 took linebacker Tony Bennett at 18 and running back Darrell Thompson at 19 while Atlanta grabbed running back Steve Broussard at 20. And the Steelers, who were going to take Green at 17 anyway, still got their guy after the Cowboys convinced them Green would still be there at 21. Now way back when once wondering who the Cowboys would have taken had they stayed at 21 and Emmitt already was off the board, Cowboys Hall of Fame head coach Jimmy Johnson told me they would have drafted running back Rodney Hampton, who went to the Giants at 24. Green ended up playing 10 years in the NFL, a two-time Pro Bowler and twice producing 60-catch seasons. So, there you go, just in case you were curious about the elder Green.
  • Switzer Retires: No, not Barry Switzer. He's long been retired, ever since the Cowboys parted ways with him following the atrocious 6-10 season of 1997, the 6-6 Cowboys losing the final five games of the season, starting with a 45-17 demolishing at Green Bay. Nope, that's wide receiver Ryan Switzer, the Cowboys 2017 fourth-round draft choice out of North Carolina. After a six-catch, 41-yard rookie season, and performing decently on kick returns, it's a shame that other than a 61-yard kickoff return, what I remember most from his one-year stay with is Switzer's fumbled punt with the Cowboys leading the Rams, who hadn't yet stopped the Cowboys, 17-6 ,in the second quarter. The Rams recovered on the Cowboys 18, went in for a touchdown to cut the margin to 17-1_3,_ breathing life into their eventual 35-30 victory, dropping the Cowboys to 2-2.
  • Long Gone: ESPN put together a montage of the 25 longest pass completions by in-air distance from 2016 through 2021, measuring from the point the QB threw the ball to that of the catch. The Cowboys didn't have one offensively. But they had two against, first in 2020 the 62.9-yard throw by Seattle's Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf, heaving from his own 29 to the Cowboys eight that beat rookie corner Trevon Diggs who ended up knocking the ball out from behind at the two for a touchback. The other, well, a 63.3-yard Hail Mary completion from San Francisco QB C.J. Beathard to Kendrick Bourne later that year on the final play of a Cowboys 41-33 runaway victory.

And finally, this caught my eye after Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game. MLB starting in 2023 is going to allow teams to place marketing-partner logo patches on uniforms to generate revenue. Made me think back to the early days of Jerry Jones' ownership when he was making signage deals with several different companies left and right. Remembering cracking the joke that one day soon the expansive backside of Nate Newton's game pants would become a billboard for then marketing partner K-R-O-G-E-R.

And now, 32 years later . . . times do change.

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