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Observations from week two of OTA availability


FRISCO, Texas — The media was back out on Thursday to observe the Dallas Cowboys participating in their second week of voluntary OTA workouts, as the defense continues to install a new system under Mike Zimmer and the offense heads into year two with Mike McCarthy as the play caller.

Absences from Thursday's practice included DeMarcus Lawrence (undisclosed), Osa Odighizuwa (hip), Mazi Smith (shoulder), Trevon Diggs (ACL recovery), CeeDee Lamb (holdout) and Micah Parsons. While Parsons was present for Wednesday's media day with the team, he has continued to work outside of the building during the voluntary portion of the offseason.

Here are other observations from Thursday's availability.

  • Trey Lance continued to take valuable reps on Thursday, as the team has installed some packages for the former No. 3 overall pick to use his legs and athleticism outside of the pocket more naturally than they would for Dak Prescott or Cooper Rush.
  • The rookies continued working with the second-team on Thursday as they continue to get acclimated at The Star. The second-team unit from left-to-right saw Tyler Guyton, Nathan Thomas, Cooper Beebe, Asim Richards and Matt Waletzko take the field. The first-team offensive line from left-to-right saw Chuma Edoga, Tyler Smith, Brock Hoffman, TJ Bass and Terence Steele on the field. Zack Martin stayed on the sideline for team work, just as he did last year during OTAs.
  • Speaking of the first-team offensive line work, Brock Hoffman was handling the bulk of the communication up front and talking significantly more with Dak Prescott than he did last year. As he looks to stake his claim on the center battle, his communication with QB1 will be of huge importance. Other centers that got work were TJ Bass, Cooper Beebe and Dakoda Shepley.
  • Deuce Vaughn played in a lot of different roles on Thursday, as he got a significant amount of work out in the slot as a receiving option in addition to his running back reps. In the return game, he continues to be the second option behind KaVontae Turpin with Jalen Cropper and Juanyeh Thomas also getting work with returns.
  • The "Here We Go" cadence that Dak Prescott seemed to perfect in 2023 is back in 2024, and it's also back for the backups. As a potential injury would lead to a backup needing as much consistency from a cadence standpoint as possible, Trey Lance could be heard verbalizing the "Here We Go" cadence throughout The Star on Thursday as he gears up for a QB2 battle in training camp.
  • The running back by committee approach continues to draw eyeballs, and while it is expected to be a hodgepodge of contributions from various guys in 2024, the team did divide between the first and second-team units at a point in practice. That allowed the media to see who could be at the front of that room with Ezekiel Elliott, Rico Dowdle and Hunter Luepke residing with the first-team and Deuce Vaughn, Royce Freeman, Snoop Conner, Malik Davis and Nathaniel Peat working with the second-team.

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