The final days of the Dallas Cowboys mini-camp have concluded. Here are a few observations I made during the course of the last practices before we head into training camp in July. Kyle Orton is still a no show. This is not a real big deal. He has never been a superstar and if he feels confusion at this crossroad in his life, he should be allowed to find his self. At this point of his career, IMO, he should be given his walking papers. Brandon Weeden will fill in just fine and save the team big dollars.
It was good to see Tyrone Crawford and Ben Bass back on the field, after missing all of last season.
Terrance Mitchell was playing with the second team starting at right corner, after missing Organized Team Activities because of his college’s rules. I was impressed with his coverage in the scheme he was playing in. I had questioned Mitchell’s speed after we drafted him, but that sure did not show in these practices. Mitchell was impressive .
I was surprised to see Justin Durant taking the first team snaps at the Mike linebacker position. I had fully expected Bruce Carter to move over and fill this position. Instead, Carter will remain at the Sam position and will shadow who ever is playing the three technique. Carter looked better adjusted to the role and played strong against Jason Witten when in coverage. As much as Carter was ridiculed for some bad plays last season, especially by me, he still tallied over 100 tackles. I expect a much-improved season for Carter.
This group of defensive linemen is better than the group that took the field on Sundays last season. Crawford will have a huge impact and it will be hard to take him off the field due to his flexibility on the line. Ken Bishop will make the team. When we get Henry Melton and Ben Gardner back, this will be a good front group. Jeremy Mincey looks like a real steal in the free agent market. DeMarcus Lawrence will be worked into the mix until he is ready to take over at the right defensive end position. Rod Marinelli should be able to keep players fresh with the wave rotation he plans to use. I cannot wait to see the players in full pads
. On the other side of the ball, it was really good to see Lance Dunbar back. Dunbar will benefit from a much-improved offensive line that will open some huge holes this season for the running backs. Dunbar is a little guy with a huge heart where the game is concerned. He surprises me on special teams because he plays much larger that his small frame should allow. If he can stay on the field for 16 games, he will have a huge impact for the offense. Joseph Randle looks like the odd man out with the addition of Ryan Williams.
Scott Linehan has Cole Beasley working in both the slot and on the outside. Beasley has earned this shot. He is crafty from the slot position and has excellent hands. Like Dunbar, Beasley’s role will increase this season.
After last season’s defensive let down, fans should see a more competitive group taking the field this season. Management and scouts have done a good job in bringing in some quality players.
“The Right Kind of Players,” says Jason Garrett.
With that said, nothing will replace seeing this team when they finally get to put on the pads and compete for those valuable 53 roster spots. Keep your fingers crossed that the injury bug does not bite too often this year and the Cowboys will be better than expected.
360Cowboys.com writer Whitebear560 – Sports-Kings/Down and Distance contributor – @whitebear560 Twitter