FRISCO, Texas – Rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright turned heads with his play in organized team activities and minicamp.
Now the next test awaits: training camp next month.
"I'm looking forward to it, just being able to go out and showcase my talents, just because I know football's not a game of T-shirts and shorts," Wright said. "Being able to go out there and translate what I've been doing here."
What Wright has done -- through two weeks of organized team activities and this week's minicamp, which ended Thursday -- is impress.
He has consistently made plays on the ball, using his 6-foot-4 frame, long arms and ex-receiver instincts to produce a combination of interceptions and pass deflections. Head coach Mike McCarthy has been pleased with how quickly Wright has picked up the playbook.
"He's made some plays," McCarthy said. "There are some technique things, which we all are going through right now at pretty much every position. But yeah, I really like the way that he's jumped in here.
"He's been aggressive, competitive. Definitely what you're looking for in your young guys."
Many draft observers were surprised when the Cowboys drafted Wright with the last of three third-round picks in late April. Many projected him as a Day 3 pick. The Cowboys did not.
New defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has always valued tall, rangy cornerbacks who can use their length to disrupt receivers. (Wright also has 4.4 speed and fluid change-of-direction skills for a player with his size.) Quinn attended Wright's pro day workout at Oregon State but had already seen the potential scheme fit on film.
Wright had tracked Quinn's coaching career, too, and knew that Quinn's scheme would be a perfect landing spot.
"It's great knowing that he believes in my ability to play in the system," Wright said. "It kind of gives you that much more confidence to go out there and be yourself and just let loose. It's definitely great to be playing under DQ."
Cornerback is a loaded position on the Cowboys roster. Three returning veterans – Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis – started at least eight games last year. The club drafted former LSU and Kentucky standout Kelvin Joseph in the second round.
Wright's competition for regular-season snaps is steep. He's watching the veterans closely, looking for ways to adapt his game, while working on new techniques at the position.
"Somewhat different (than Oregon State)," he said. "Actually moving my feet a lot more than I had to in college. So that was really the only difference, but it's a big difference, really."
The Cowboys are wrapping up the offseason program with this week's three-day minicamp. Then it's a month-plus layoff until training camp gets underway.
Wright wants to carry his momentum into the preseason with the same mindset he's had in OTAs and minicamp.
"I definitely have an aggressive approach because that's who I am as a player. That's just kind of like my nature," he said. "So just being physical and aggressive is what I try to do."