FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys technically got back on the field Monday for the start of OTA, but the first day of practice open to the media occurred on Tuesday and there were plenty of things to notice, from the top of the roster to the bottom.
Here are some things that stood out:
- Dak Prescott was back on the field again. That's not a surprise but it's not something we saw since he broke his ankle against the Giants last October. While he didn't seem to be completely turned loose to do everything, Prescott competed in both individual and team drills. Although he wasn't moving around the pocket at full speed, the arm strength and accuracy was there on his throws. Still, having him back certainly had to be a welcomed sight to his teammates and coaches.
- More than just Dak, the offensive tackles were back as well. Tyron Smith and La'el Collins didn't show up until midway through the practice after they completed their conditioning work. But they were there in time to take the first-team reps during the team drills.
- While the focus was on the offensive tackles, the interior line was something of note. Zack Martin did not participate in this voluntary practice and was replaced by Brandon Knight, who appears to have made a full switch to guard. Rookie center Matt Farniok took the first rep at center although Tyler Biadasz got some work as well.
- Speaking of voluntary, Tuesday's practice did not include Ezekiel Elliott, but he was at Monday's workout, which was closed to the media.
- Wide receiver Amari Cooper did not practice, however he was in uniform and standing with his fellow receivers during team and individual drills.
- Tight end Blake Jarwin, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 last year, seems to be making good progress. He was able to do a few drills with the team before returning to his rehab work.
- Number changes are a thing this year. Jaylon Smith was sporting No. 9 as the most significant change. However, Smith wasn't participating in all of the drills as he still rehabs a wrist injury. Other number changes of note were safety Donovan Wilson wearing No. 6 and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson in No. 1.
- Where the linebackers line up has been a hot topic lately. With Jaylon Smith not fully practicing, it's hard to gauge where Dan Quinn will play everyone. But Leighton Vander Esch and Micah Parsons were both heavily involved in the 7-on-7 and team drills. Also, Keanu Neal got plenty of reps as a nickel linebacker.
- Neal's teammate from the Falcons, Damonte Kazee, was on the field with the first-team defense. Sporting No. 35, Kazee looks to have made a full recovery from a torn Achilles last year. Kazee made a nice cut up the field to stop running back Rico Dowdle in the flat, drawing plenty of praise from his teammates, especially the ones that are fully aware of his injury from last season.
- One player that seemed to stand out over and over on Tuesday was second-year tight end Sean McKeon. Looking a bit leaner and quicker, McKeon caught several passes down the field and fared well in some 1-on-1 type drills in the open field. He likely got more reps with Jarwin being held out.