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The Blueprint

The Blueprint: 2023 Cowboys Training Camp Hub


(Editor's note: The content provided is based on opinions and/or perspective of the editorial staff and not the Cowboys football staff or organization.)

The Latest:

  • Trey Lance will get a fresh NFL start as a part of the Cowboys organization, after Dallas traded for the former top-5 pick just ahead of their final preseason game. It marked the likely end of Will Grier's stay and ... [Read more here]
  • The offensive line depth took a hit in the preseason finale against the Raiders, when Josh Ball exited the contest with what's described as a hip injury. The timetable for his return to the field remains in question ahead of roster cuts.
  • DeMarvion Overshown and John Stephens Jr. are both lost for the season due to injury, with both impressive rookies having suffered a torn ACL in their second preseason outing. This creates ... [Read more here]

[Final update of camp: August 28]

Scroll for more detailed updates and camp analysis!!


FRISCO, Texas — It all begins anew for the Dallas Cowboys as 2023 training camp with the hopes of launching their journey to exorcize their playoff demons. To do so, they first needed to lock in early in Southern California, especially considering the major changes having been made this offseason — including the split from offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Now, they'll head to North Texas to finish their preseason and camp prep.

Dak Prescott is looking to build that much more chemistry not only with Brian Schottenheimer on the sideline but also Brandin Cooks in-between the lines, along with sorting through the talented group of tight ends and running backs, with Tony Pollard being his lead horse in the backfield.

The defensive side of the ball features more explosive matchups than you can shake a stick at, and potential Year 2 jumps from players like Sam Williams and Damone Clark, and rookie first-round pick Mazi Smith finally gets his wish to put the pads on and get hands-on; and then there's Stephon Gilmore making his camp debut for Dallas opposite Trevon Diggs.

And oh by the way, Diggs is already enjoying his fourth camp, and with a new deal in hand, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Welcome to the 2023 training camp hub, the tracker for every official bit of Cowboys news and analysis that will help you stay up to speed on how things are going before the regular season gets underway in September.

Do yourself a favor and bookmark this to avoid missing any of the action.

Injury News

Josh Ball, OL (hip) - Ball has taken a ton of reps this summer as the Cowboys attempted to get him work at both tackle and guard, but he won't be returning to the field anytime soon. The former fourth-round pick suffered a hip injury against the Raiders, in the preseason finale, that will likely sideline him for some time to come.

Ronald Jones, RB (Groin) - The veteran running back is "disappointed" at the test result and failed appeal that resulted in a two-game suspension, but he looked strong during the Blue-White Practice before leaving to be evaluated with an apparent groin issue. His status going forward is still to-be-determined, but he will not take the field against the Seahawks after having also missed the Jaguars preseason matchup.

Chuma Edoga, OL (knee) - Having suffered a hyperextended knee in practice last week, Edoga was held out of the contest against the Jaguars and continues to rehab. The return of Zack Martin provides a sigh of relief across the offensive line, but the presence of Edoga, or lack thereof, goes to the depth behind Martin.

Malik Jefferson, LB (foot) - Jefferson was one of the biggest standouts against the Jaguars in the preseason opener, but he'd leave the contest with a foot injury that's kept him out of practice to close out camp in Oxnard. The expectation is he will be held out against the Seahawks.

Mazi Smith, DL (Knee) - The rookie first-round pick was absent from practice with knee tendinitis, leaving to undergo a precautionary MRI that showed no additional issues. Smith was back on the practice field the next day and eventually went on to play a hefty chunk of snaps against the Jaguars.

Tyler Biadasz, C (Ankle) - The team's starting center left practice last week after rolling his ankle and returned to the sideline before being removed completely out of precaution. He's since returned to a full workload at practice and no further concerns are present at this time.

David Durden, WR (Head) - The rookie wide receiver exited practice earlier this week with a head injury suffered on a highlight catch for a touchdown in one-on-one drills, and remains out of practice for now. He did not take the field in the preseason opener against the Jaguars, but has returned to practice with a shot at the Seahawks.

Sam Williams, EDGE (shoulder) - Williams left padded practice last week with what is described as a shoulder strain. He participated in individual drills the next but not team drills, as the Cowboys exercise caution in what could be a breakout season for Williams, though he did return on ... [Full story here]

Dorance Armstrong, EDGE (hamstring) - Armstrong had a career season for the Cowboys in 2022. Armstrong but did not participate in padded practice at the outset of camp, as he dealt with hamstring tightness, instead working with the rehab group, but he's since returned to the fold.

Simi Fehoko, WR (quad) - Fehoko was seen on the sideline to finish padded practice on Tuesday after a collision with a linebacker left him with a quad contusion to deal with. He was present in the team's walkthrough one day later, and has since returned to practice and is making plays after doing so.

Trevon Diggs, CB (toe) - After missing the first padded practice with a sore toe, and a couple of non-padded practices the week prior, the First-Team All-Pro cornerback is back and with a bang, making impact plays in practice on Tuesday (August 1) and getting into his usual jawing match with Dak Prescott in an exchange that shows ... [Full story here]

Donovan Wilson, S (calf) - Wilson, who recently signed a multi-year extension to remain with the Cowboys, left practice early on Day 1 with injury that is expected to sideline him a few weeks. The good news is he is out of his ... [Full story here]

Israel Mukuamu, S (hamstring) - Mukuamu also exited practice early on Day 1, but with a hamstring issue that was set to keep him sidelined alongside Wilson for several weeks. He has now returned to practice and after stepping in and playing well against Tom Brady in the playoffs, the stage is set for Mukuamu to ... [Full story here]

Tony Pollard, RB (ankle) - This season will serve as the most pivotal of Pollard's young career in the wake of the Cowboys parting ways with Ezekiel Elliott,but the good news is it appears the former is back to full health after fracturing his lower leg in January — dodging the PUP list. The plan for Pollard in camp is … [Full story here]

Terence Steele, OL (knee) - Progress is being made in Steele's recovery from his torn ACL suffered late last season, but he's ahead of schedule and the Cowboys have made a decision on his status to start training camp that will impact … [Full story here]

Jourdan Lewis, CB (foot) - Not unlike Steele, Lewis is working to return from a devastating injury of his own. The veteran cornerback suffered a Lisfranc injury that deleted his 2022 season and, as camp fires up in Oxnard, the decision has been made to … [Full story here]

Luke Schoonmaker (foot) - The rookie second-round pick was seen in a walking boot in minicamp as he managed inflammation in his foot, and though the boot was absent on the final day of minicamp, Schoonmaker made his preseason debut against the Jaguars and … [Full story here]

Preseason Preview

If you're viewing preseason games through the scope of wins and losses, you're doing it wrong.

The point of these matchups is for the Cowboys (and their opponent) to put their youth and fringe players through the ringer to determine who'll rise to the top and make a name for themselves to avoid being a roster casualty ahead of the NFL deadline on August 29.

And that means every battle happening in camp will be thrust onto center stage in the Cowboys three preseason games of 2023.

Week 1 - Cowboys vs. Jaguars

  • Date: Saturday, Aug 12
  • Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
  • Time: 5 pm ET
  • Jaguars 2022 record: 9-8

I'm willing to bet there's still a pinch of salt in this matchup, considering the Jaguars engineered a comeback victory against the Cowboys in overtime last season to send the latter out of Jacksonville with a serious black eye. You won't see Trevor Lawrence or Dak Prescott suit up for this rematch in Dallas, but you can bet there's still added motivation for the Cowboys defense to try and make it a long day for C.J Beathard and Nathan Rourke.

And the fact they'll potentially get to match up against Calvin Ridley in his return to football (he'll probably play to knock off rust ahead of September) makes for an intriguing matchup against a young group of cornerbacks vying for footing behind Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore, DaRon Bland and Jourdan Lewis.

I'd keep my eye on Eric Scott here, as one example of who to watch.

Offensively, you'll see Cooper Rush and Will Grier battle for positive headlines with Jalen Tolbert and Simi Fehoko taking center stage in August in the war for WR4, and taking the also-young Jaguars defense to task would go a long way in helping both — the same being the case for every running back in Dallas not named Tony Pollard (e.g., will Deuce Vaughn take an early lead over the veterans?). - Patrik Walker

Week 2 - Cowboys at Seahawks

  • Date: Saturday, August. 19
  • Location: Lumen Field (Seattle, WA)
  • Time: 10 pm ET
  • Seahawks 2022 record: 9-8

Whenever the Seahawks and the Cowboys meet, be it preseason or in the regular season, there always seems to be some type of fireworks that pushes the vitriol to another level.

There was Golden Tate's controversial blindside block on Sean Lee in 2012. There was Tony Romo's spin and pinpoint toss to Terence Williams for an incredible twinkletoes catch on third-and-20 that led the Cowboys to victory in the 2014 regular season. There was Ezekiel Elliott turning Kam Chancellor's preseason welcome card in 2016 into an afternoon filled with regret. And, of course, there was the preseason hit by Cliff Avril — in the aforementioned 2016 preseason game — that ended Romo's career with the Cowboys and ushered in the era of Dak Prescott.

I think you get the point: these two teams do not like each other. On that note, tee up another round, as a primer to the bigger matchup to come in Week 13, which will mark the first time they've faced off in the regular season since 2020. - Patrik Walker

Week 3 - Cowboys vs. Raiders

  • Date: Saturday, August 26
  • Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
  • Time: 7 pm ET
  • Raiders 2022 record: 6-11

This one could get very intriguing, because it's unknown if the Raiders will risk getting any snaps to Jimmy Garoppolo with the hopes of this matchup serving as his dress rehearsal in his new outfit — having signed him to a three-year deal this offseason following his departure from the 49ers.

There's clearly the issue of his health, or lack thereof, over the past few seasons so in the event he's not allowed to take the field until September, it'll be one of the currently three other quarterbacks on the roster, though it's less likely you'll see Brian Hoyer taking a chunk of snaps with the Raiders needing to evaluate both Chase Garbers and rookie fourth-round pick Aidan O'Connell.

Either way, it's a great chance for the Cowboys to put the finishing touches on their training camp and preseason evaluation process because there's nothing left to do after this game except hack the roster down to a final 53-man headcount. - Patrik Walker

Remaining Training Camp Schedule

August -

  • August 29: Deadline to reduce roster size to max of 53 players
  • August 30: Claiming period for waived players ends (Noon ET)
  • August 30: Practice squad can be established to max of 16 players

Key 2023 Contract Talks

Zack Martin, RG - He's back. The perennial All-Pro wanted to revisit his contract situation with the Cowboys, and though owner and general manager Jerry Jones opted to not comment on the contract situation itself, initially, he did make it clear that Martin is “in the plans” for the Cowboys going forward. That held true as Martin returns on a new deal that includes a pay raise and more guaranteed money.

Jayron Kearse, S - Showing their belief in the value of Kearse, as talks of a longterm deal await, the Cowboys opted to fully guarantee the entirety of the veteran safety's base salary of $4 million.

Malik Hooker, S - Not unlike Diggs, Hooker's deal landed out of the blue, and it keeps him in Dallas for another four seasons when factoring in the remaining year on his previous contract in 2023. He's been an impact player from the moment he stepped onto the field, and his comments about the deal were telling of his mindset.

Tony Pollard, RB - No deal was struck before the July 17 deadline and, as such, Pollard is locked into his $10.1 million franchise tag for the 2023 season. The Cowboys confirmed they made a long-term offer to Pollard, but the two sides were still apart on terms, and that means he'll start training camp with a[nother] prove-it year in front of him.

Trevon Diggs, CB - Any praise that's heaped upon Lamb also applies to Diggs, if not arguably more so, considering the latter was a second-round pick (not a first) who has already gone on to make history in only three short seasons as the premier CB in Dallas. But because of his second-round status, he's not betrothed to a fifth-year option, and that meant he was set to be a free agent in 2024, but no longer, having inked a massive five-year extension to stay put.

CeeDee Lamb, WR - It's anyone's guess as to who'll be the recipient of the next major contract extension from the Cowboys, and Lamb is in that conversation. He's proven himself worthy of the 2020 first-round pick status, and then some, and though the Cowboys have exercised his fifth-year option through 2024, the sooner they get his deal done, the better.

Terence Steele, OL - As Steele works to return from a torn ACL and the Cowboys sift through their OL combinations in his absence, there's also the matter of a new deal that needs to be discussed. Steele entered this offseason as a restricted free agent and signed his tender, but that means he's unrestricted after 2023, if an extension isn't signed before this season ends.

Free Agency Signings

(This section will be updated as notable signings are made.)

Brandon Aubrey, K - Aubrey, a former soccer player turned placekicker, was added to the roster on July 6 — by way of the USFL — not far ahead of training camp to compete with Tristan Vizcaino, who himself was signed this offseason to replace Brett Maher. This sets the stage for an all-out competition at kicker in Oxnard, one the Cowboys hope will lead to either Aubrey or Vizcaino proving themselves capable of being the guy in 2023.

Josh Butler, CB - The Cowboys dipped back into the USFL talent pool for a third time in two offseasons, this time signing former Michigan Panthers cornerback Josh Butler, who is hoping to make his NFL debut. Butler spent his collegiate career with at Michigan State and should have some fun on that accord with rookie first-round pick Mazi Smith (Michigan), but the Cowboys plan for Butler is to test him out as depth with Jourdan Lewis on the PUP list to begin camp.


Tristan Vizcaino, K - Having tried once again to find a home with the Cowboys, the young kicker struggled in training camp and it led to his release ahead of the preseason matchup with the Jaguars, leaving Brandon Aubrey as the lone kicker until further notice.

Notable Positional Matchups/Battles

  • Things got off to a dynamic start with both Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore matching up against each other, and both are showing they are still one of the best at their respective position in a battle the two label as "iron sharpens iron". Each is logging victories in the competition, and it'll only make the Cowboys better in the process for the two heavyweights to go toe-to-toe in camp. - Patrik Walker
  • In the battle for the right to be named WR4, Jalen Tolbert is off to a hot start that arguably gives him a slight edge in the race after Fehoko's drop/tip drill INT to Eric Scott Jr. owned the day, but Fehoko bounced back on Day 2 with no drops and some impressive catches in traffic. Not to be outdone, Tolbert followed up a lost INT battle to Nahshon Wright with a toe drag sideline catch. This battle is going to be a fun one. - Patrik Walker
  • Jabril Cox is having a great first week in Oxnard that carries over from his dominance in minicamp, and he looks resurgent and, right now, very much like the player that became a star at LSU. He's reading plays well, reacting with speed and violence and is currently a/the frontrunner for the LB3 role. - Patrik Walker
  • Don't take your eyes off of the RB room for one second longer than you need to, as things start to shake out behind Tony Pollard. Ronald Jones had a strong day on Day 2 but so did Deuce Vaughn, who looked as slippery as ever both in taking handoffs and on screen plays. Add in some strong runs by Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle and, well, grab your popcorn, folks. - Patrik Walker
  • In the absence of an injured Donovan Wilson and Israel Mukuamu, second-year talent Markquese Bell has not only stepped in, he's stepped up, and he's carrying himself like a seasoned veteran. Bell moved around between all three safety spots and is applying pressure to the other young safeties to match serve. - Patrik Walker
  • KaVontae Turpin returned from the birth of his child to put on a show early and often, but on the offensive side of the ball, and that's going to make it difficult for Deuce Vaughn to run away in what view as a head-to-head matchup for reps. Vaughn isn't going away quietly, though, showing his prowess as both a RB and as a receiver out of the backfield. - Patrik Walker
  • The kicker competition got underway on Monday, the team's first padded practice of 2023 training camp, and it's off to a roaring start. Both Tristan Vizcaino and Brandon Aubrey went a perfect 3-for-3 from 38, 44 and 48 yards, respectively, as all eyes descend upon them. - Patrik Walker
  • Jalen Tolbert continues to impress, but he's joined by Simi Fehoko, who had a very strong day in the first padded team practice. Fehoko was crisp in his routes and reeled in a deep ball that required him to morph into a centerfielder looking for a screamer off of the bat — beating the coverage and making the over-the-shoulder grab. - Patrik Walker
  • Eric Scott, Jr. walked away with the first interception of 2023 training camp last week, quickly showing his value and why the Cowboys traded up in the sixth round to acquire him. On a timely pass from Dak Prescott to Simi Fehoko, the latter inadvertently forced a tip drill that was snagged by Scott, who is off to a hot start already and has continued to stack great days through Week 2 of camp to push things in the CB4/5 battles. - Patrik Walker
  • Don't look now, but it's not only Markquese Bell making waves in the absence of Donovan Wilson and Israel Mukuamu, but fellow second-year talent Juanyeh Thomas has drawn a lot of praise from Joe Whitt Jr., the right-hand man to Dan Quinn, who praised Thomas for the number of PBUs he's racking up in camp. Young safeties are coming on strong. - Patrik Walker
  • Tyron Smith is "back to comfortable" in being returned to the role of left tackle, where he's build a Hall of Fame-worthy career, with Tyler Smith to his right at left guard. The two are looking to build chemistry to become what the Cowboys were looking for in 2022, prior to injury being suffered by the eight-time Pro Bowler. The battle for swing interior lineman is still wildly up for grabs, however, with Matt Farniok leading the charge. - Patrik Walker
  • In the battle for backup QB, both Cooper Rush and Will Grier have taken their shots but in different fashion from each other. Rush has been on-brand in avoiding taking any more risks than necessary, but his completion percentage is strong and he's even unleashed some mobility to escape pressure at times. Grier has of course done the latter, as is his skill set, but also keeping his eyes downfield for the riskier, big play. - Patrik Walker
  • The WR room is on fire right now, and not just because Brandin Cooks, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup are throwing flames. It's also because of Tolbert and Fehoko, yes, and Turpin as well, absolutely, but Jalen Brooks and Jalen Moreno-Cropper are going toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow every single day, it seems. May the best Jalen win. - Patrik Walker

Camp Library

This section will house every content link relevant to 2023 training camp!!

August -

July -