OXNARD, Calif. – Observations and standouts from Monday's padded training camp practice:
- A top camp storyline is CeeDee Lamb moving into the No. 1 receiver role this season. Well, Lamb and quarterback Dak Prescott arguably had their best practice together so far. They connected for touchdowns in three separate drills Monday: the "Mojo Moment" on fourth-and-goal inside the 10-yard line; a deep ball from Prescott in one-on-one work; and a TD down the seam in a two-minute situation.
- Safety Jayron Kearse (back) and linebacker Luke Gifford (groin) did not practice. Tight end Jeremy Sprinkle (sore Achilles) also is not yet ready to return to practice. Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson (hamstring) did return and did a nice job on a blitz protection play that gave Prescott enough time to get the throw off.
- Cornerback Trevon Diggs missed a few series during the team drills but returned to end practice. Perhaps he had a limp but nothing that seemed too serious. Not only did he finish practice, but went to the podium for an interview with the media.
- In his morning press conference ahead of Monday's practice, head coach Mike McCarthy sounded positive when describing the progress of linebacker Jabril Cox, but remained noncommittal on if the former fourth-round pick would participate in practice. Cox went on to take the field in both individual drills and team drills, and showed a bit of quickness in doing so.
- This is a solid stride forward for Cox in his recovery from a torn ACL, and provides evidence to McCarthy's claim that there have been no setbacks as he is eased into the practice mix. The team is expecting Cox to be an impact player in 2022, in conjunction with Micah Parsons and newly-signed free agent Anthony Barr.
- A better day for kickers Jonathan Garibay (5 of 7) and Lirim Hajrullahu (7 of 7) in the early-practice field goal period. Garibay and Hajrullahu also made last-second attempts just inside 40 yards in the final two-minute drill of practice.
- Left guard will continue to rotate and it appears Connor McGovern will remain as the starter, probably even heading into the first preseason game this Saturday against Denver. Rookie Tyler Smith rotated as well, taking a few snaps next to Tyron Smith but for the most part, McGovern is remaining with the first team.
- The offensive line is easily one of the areas of biggest concern for the Cowboys, be it the durability of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith and/or the battle at left guard and center. But with rookie fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko potentially facing surgery that could devolve to him becoming a redshirt in Year 1, the battle at swing tackle is in full force and, interestingly enough, Isaac Alarcon might have entered the conversation for that role. Alarcon, having joined the Cowboys in 2020 by way of the league's International Pathway Program that moved him to Dallas from Monterrey, Mexico, has been quietly developing into a potentially viable option at both guard and tackle. On Monday, he stonewalled veteran pass rusher Dante Fowler from the left tackle position, and then received several more reps in that role as practice rolled along. The Cowboys are truly testing his versatility in training camp.
- Rookie running back Aaron Shampklin returned from COVID-19 list a few days ago and doesn't show any signs of a setback. The undrafted player from Harvard, Shampklin caught the ball out of the backfield a few times and made defenders miss, showing his shiftiness in the open field.