OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys open 2021 NFL coaching camp Wednesday at River Ridge Residence Inn. This is a more in-depth take a look at a couple of storylines:
What bears watching relating to quarterback Dak Prescott’s return from a fractured and dislocated proper ankle?
Prescott helped erase any questions in regards to the stability of his ankle through the Cowboys’ organized group actions and minicamp this offseason. He was saved out of 11-on-11 drills solely as a precaution; not as a result of he was not absolutely able to go.
Heading into coaching camp, the plan is for Prescott to observe day by day, however coach Mike McCarthy stated the membership might be good and provides Prescott time without work if he wants it. The Cowboys don’t plan to observe greater than three straight days whereas in California as they settle in with the Corridor of Fame Sport on Aug. 5 and a one-day observe in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams. Prescott stated any residual physique soreness subsided because the spring exercises went on, however he’ll proceed to do a extra concerned pre-practice warm-up to ensure every thing is ok.
The subsequent query to reply might be how a lot work will the Cowboys give Prescott within the preseason video games.
How will coordinator Dan Quinn get the protection again to respectability after a disastrous 2020 beneath Mike Nolan?
There actually is not any different method to describe final yr’s protection. The chances that each defender regressed in 2020 appear distant. The match between the talent stage and Nolan’s scheme was made worse by the dearth of an offseason program and preseason video games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cowboys will not have that fear this yr. Quinn is returning the Cowboys to a well-known scheme with refined tweaks. The gamers have raved about his instructing fashion, willingness to work and skill to regulate. In the event that they weren’t saying these kinds of issues, then it might be unhealthy. The proof might be when the video games begin.
The Cowboys do not must turn into an impenetrable unit. They only should be respectable, particularly contemplating the offense’s skill to place up factors. Quinn is a very powerful addition the Cowboys have made this offseason.
Can the Cowboys’ offensive line return to being among the best within the NFL once more?
For the Cowboys to succeed, it should. Will they ever be pretty much as good as they have been when Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin have been thought-about the most effective at their positions? In all probability not, however that speaks to how good that line was.
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However, can they be “among the best,” because the query asks? Sure. It’s going to primarily come all the way down to the well being of the linemen, and the smile on Smith’s face this offseason was telling. He performed in two video games final season due to a recurring neck challenge that has bothered him for portion of the previous 5 years. Offensive sort out La’el Collins didn’t play in any respect due to hip surgical procedure, however he has dropped weight and impressed McCarthy together with his motion. Martin stays both the most effective or second greatest guard within the NFL.
Tyler Biadasz will head to camp because the beginning middle and was trying snug in that function final season earlier than a hamstring damage sidelined him for 4 video games. Connor Williams stays the incumbent at left guard however might be pushed by Connor McGovern.
Will working again Ezekiel Elliott rebound from a subpar season?
There isn’t any method to sugarcoat Elliott’s 2020 season. It was removed from what was anticipated and made worse by a high-priced contract. He had a career-low 979 yards and misplaced a career-high 5 fumbles. He had two 100-yard video games and three carries of 20 yards extra.
It is too straightforward to rely him out and the 5 video games he performed with Prescott final season is likely to be proof, though the fumbles have been troubling. He was on tempo for a 1,165-yard season with Prescott on the sector. Whereas not fairly the dynamic statistics of his first 4 years, it was nonetheless adequate when realizing simply how unhealthy the protection was at the beginning of the 2020 season and the deficits the offense confronted.
Within the spring, Elliott transferring nicely. Teammates stated he’s in nice form and keen to indicate he has lots of high-level play left in his profession.