FRISCO, Texas — Thursday's OTA practice at The Star certainly had its "oooh" and "ahh" moments, but for Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, getting out of OTAs without major injury is the mission. As offseason training concludes, the Cowboys have a few players primed and ready for a productive season.
- Dalton Schultz isn't just keeping Blake Jarwin's seat warm while he rehabs from an ACL injury. In fact, at Thursday's minicamp Schultz played like a guy ready to shine in 2021. During team session Schultz ran excellent routes. In man coverage against Jaylon Smith, Schultz came close to making a one-handed catch that would have turned a lot of heads. Schultz will be a security blanket for Dak Prescott and proving his reliability may benefit the fourth-year veteran in a contract year.
- Trevon Diggs looks like a reason to be optimistic about the Cowboys defense. It doesn't matter if he's nose-to-nose with Michael Gallup or matched up with CeeDee Lamb, Diggs competes for every ball. He's comfortable defending any route from any coverage. Diggs is supremely confident, but his greatest attribute may be his short-term memory. In 7-on-7 he was beat by Gallup on a curl, but on a comeback route with Lamb he was able wrestle away the ball for an interception.
Views of the Dallas Cowboys during the fifth day of organized team activity practice at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
- Nashon Wright shouldn't have been taken at pick No. 99, he should have been taken sooner! I'm just preparing you for what football analysts will say this fall. The 6'4 rookie cornerback has made plays during minicamp. He has caught my attention in every practice I've witnessed, good or bad. Here's the bad: during his first rookie minicamp in individual drills Wright seemed uncomfortable with basic DB drills. I'm positive it was just his nerves because since rookie camp Wright has shined. Here's the good: Wright has an excellent jam at the line of scrimmage in press coverage (Isaiah Stanback from our show, Talkin' Cowboys, gave him the nickname E. Honda). He uses his long frame well to blanket receivers in man coverage and sit on routes in zone coverage.
- Ezekiel Elliott came into minicamp in great shape. Is he "halter top" draft night Zeke from 2016? That might be an exaggeration, but what isn't is his short area explosiveness. In one-on-one drills with linebackers, Elliot put a B button spin move on Jaylon Smith that left Smith in his wake. In all fairness to Smith there probably aren't 20 other linebackers that would have put a finger on him, either. Elliott has caught a lot of criticism in recent years for failing to make defenders miss. Maybe he can change that this coming fall.
- Anthony Brown has made plays in team session, 7-on-7, and half line drills. The only play Brown didn't make during Thursday's practice was a pass to Lamb from Dak near the sideline that ended up being the talk of the practice. Brown was unbothered by the catch because a few snaps later, he was lined up ready to compete again. Brown must feel the pressure from the new additions to the roster, but his workmanlike manner suggests he welcomes the challenge.