by David Hellman
Fox Sports Dallas Cowboys Writer
OXNARD, Calif. – The ramp up is mercifully over.
The next time the Cowboys hit the practice area, the full brunt of it will be on padded training camp practice. For the time being, he eased into his first day with one final outing in shorts and a shirt.
With the team sitting empty on Sunday, here are some observations for Saturday to carry over the weekend:
Technology is such a beautiful thing. How can we indulge in some brotherly nonsense from opposite sides of the country?
Trayvon Diggs appeared on the NFL Network on Saturday afternoon during the tail end of practice in California. While he was there, he said that if the Cowboys managed to play the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl, he would catch his brother, Bills receiver Stephen Diggs, on zero catch.
Bills Camp in Pittsford, NY is taking place all the way, but the amazing NFL Network crew stationed there managed to ask the big digs for their thoughts. Before he could answer, Bills quarterback Josh Allen did it for him.
“Ten for 160, two [touchdowns]Alan said.
The Cowboys and Bills clearly have Super Bowl history, with Dallas capturing their last two championships at Buffalo’s expense. I will happily watch a third go-around for this matchup.
The Cowboys do not currently have a settled kicker position, but the competition does not seem necessary yet. Veteran kicker Lirim Hazrullahu and rookie Jonathan Garibe both scored field goals during Saturday’s special teams period, but this is the most work we’ve seen them do so far.
Perhaps the bulk of kicking will come with pads, when offensive and defensive lines can better simulate the real environment. Because Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he intends to feature both kickers this month.
“It’s a high number of delegates, just make sure both people have real opportunities,” McCarthy said. “I think the biggest change you’ll see is probably in the quantity.”
Both guys got some solid amounts on Saturday. Hazrullah had the better day, on seven of eight kicks, with the lone miss coming from 47 yards. Garibe was less consistent, hitting only four out of eight kicks, most of which came from long distance. It may not be connected, but one of his recollections was at least amusing, as it bounced off the set lights being used for live filming of NFL Network’s rehearsals.
Cowboys are off to a great start to secondary training camp. Anthony Brown has easily been one of the stars of the show so far, and Trayvon Diggs and Jourdan Lewis have both had their share of plays.
Saturday was a chance for some young DBs to get in on the action. The Cowboys worked very close to the red zone, moving the offense from the 25-yard line to the goal line. In a few dozen reps, two young draft picks, Daron Bland and Nahshon Wright, managed to make several plays on the ball, with a three pass breakup between them.
,[Bland] “He’s not great, but he’s always on his stuff and always on point,” Brown said. Nahshon almost made an interception today. I wish he’d come down with it.”
It’s been years at Cowboys training camp when it felt like the Cowboys didn’t have a perfect playmate in the middle of their middle class. Behind a group of proven starters playing young people, it’s strange to think that this group could be the roster’s real strength.
ready to run
The linebacker is one of the most difficult positions to evaluate during unpadded practice, considering the level of physicality required. It’s not hard to judge Jabreel Cox’s speed and instincts, as he’s been able to run across the field this week.
for someone else? So what, this is life in the NFL. But it’s a big step forward for Cox, who tore his ACL last Halloween and missed the entire offseason schedule during his rehab. It’s not uncommon to see a man returning from ACL surgery ease into the first week of training camp, but that’s not the story for a second-year draft pick out from LSU.
“I took it personally to get fit and get ready for training camp,” Cox said. “I knew during the off-season I needed to work harder to get ahead of schedule.”
There’s still a long way to go, but Cox certainly looks like a man who attacked his rehab. If he attacks his chances in the same way, it could mean a lot to this linebacker unit.
David Hellman covers the Dallas Cowboys for Fox Sports, providing daily insight and analysis on the NFL’s most visible franchises. Before joining Fox, David spent nine seasons covering the Cowboys for the team’s official website, DallasCowboys.com. In 2018, he won a regional Emmy for his role in the production of “Dac Prescott: A Family Reunion,” about a quarterback’s time at Mississippi State.
Get More From Dallas Cowboys Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more.