IRVING, Texas – The third week of Cowboys OTAs has dawned, as we inch closer and closer to training camp.
By this point, we've covered most of the important talking points surrounding this team's spring practices. With the final set of OTAs set to start on Tuesday, here's a few more points I'm looking for.
- I think we're starting to see the combination and rotation of the cornerbacks that the coaching staff is likely to go with once we get to training camp. Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr have been the starters with Byron Jones filling in on both sides, while Tyler Patmon, Corey White and Robert Steeples have backed them up. Steeples is a player I haven't written much about while he has been filling in for Morris Claiborne. The scouting report on Steeples is that he is a quiet kid that is very serious about his job. I like what I have seen from the standpoint of his physical makeup. He is over 6-foot and 193 pounds with a rangy, long build. His timed speed in college was in the low 4.5's and his movement skills appear to have some merit, but there are some snaps where you see him struggle with his change of direction and overall quickness. With his cover skills, knowledge and physical build might be a guy that you would consider working as a safety if he does struggle on the outstanding with his quickness. He hasn't played there in these first two weeks of camp but keep an eye on that possibility as we go forward.
- The last couple of opportunities that we in the media have had to observe practice, DeMarcus Lawrence has been on and off the field. That might be a concern, but I was told that on the days that we have not been watching (Tuesday and Thursday), he has been working well. The competition on that left side to backup Lawrence should be good with Ben Gardner and Jack Crawford. If you asked me which player has the upper hand here early – Gardner would be my guy. He looks more natural for the position, while Crawford is playing like a guy that might be better inside at one of the tackle spots.
- This week, look for more snaps from Anthony Hitchens after missing some of the earlier practices with hamstring soreness. I was hearing that he worked on Thursday and all the signs were positive. Hitchens will most likely get the opportunity to win the job as the Sam linebacker, even though there are those that believe that he would be better at Mike or Will. The fact of the matter is that he is such a productive player in any role he takes that not having him on the field would be a mistake. His football intelligence and ability to get to the ball makes him one of the best linebackers on the squad.
- The Cowboys have signed former Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk and released undrafted free agent Synjyn Days. Here were my draft notes on Seastrunk from last year:
"Shifty runner. Does a nice job of avoiding tacklers. Will get low to protect the ball. Really good start-stop quickness. There is some pick and slide to his game. Really nice balance to stay on his feet and grab extra yards. Showed some nice toughness on a goal line run when nothing was there. Will float as a pass protector, not pick up anyone. Would call him a 50-50 catcher at best of the ball."
I believe that we will continue to see this front office hunt for running backs up to and through training camp.