5 Players Turning Heads at Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
It's just a week into Dallas Cowboys training camp, and there is already so much to talk about. Football is officially back in full swing, with the 2014 season right around the corner.
There are plenty of storylines to discuss at Cowboys camp, per usual. Today, we’ll examine the players who have stood out from their teammates thus far.
Training camp is an important time in just about every player's season. Some need to play well just to make the squad, while others are trying to get themselves into Pro Bowl shape by Week 1.
Let’s discuss who has made the biggest impact and has everyone talking so far at training camp.
Although he won’t realistically test Murray for the No. 1 spot on the depth chart, the 24-year-old speedster still has to fend off Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams to remain the No. 2. Last year, the back showed a lot of positive signs, and a breakthrough season is in his near future.
So far this summer, Dunbar’s continued to impress.
According to Rowan Kavner of DallasCowboys.com, DeMarco Murray said, “Dunbar’s a special guy. I definitely want to be in there as much as I can. But I definitely know and feel he needs to get some touches, get on the field and make some things happen, because he’s definitely a spark for our team.”
Together, Dunbar and Murray should be a great combination and one the Cowboys use to their advantage.
Terrance Mitchell is another young player trying to enhance his stock early in camp. Dallas selected the cornerback in the seventh round in this year’s draft.
Like many of the secondary players, Mitchell has been making a lot of noise at practice. So far, he’s shown a combination of both speed and physicality, which is causing problems for many of the wide receivers.
Football analyst Bryan Broaddus wrote that he "played with a great deal of comfort both mentally and physically.”
Although there might not be really high expectations around the rookie, there’s no telling how far his talent can take him. Dallas is set at cornerback near the top. However, if he continues to turn heads, Mitchell can potentially win the No. 4 spot ahead of people like B.W. Webb and Sterling Moore.
Morris Claiborne is the next player who’s been doing a lot of good things. After another disappointing campaign in 2013, the former top-10 selection seems to have a different mindset this summer.
The first sign of this took place when Claiborne and second-year receiver Terrance Williams got into a few scuffles at one of the first practices. While going against each other in one-on-one drills, the two had a few choice words and shoves for one another, although nothing serious occurred.
The good news out of all this is that Claiborne seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder. He has something to prove and has done that so far.
“Claiborne seems like a different player. Judging by his play through two padded-practices, it appears Rod Marinelli is going to allow his corners to be more aggressive this season. That's good news for Claiborne,” Fox Sports Southwest’s Jon Machota wrote.
Dallas really hopes its young corner can continue this sort of play. Expectations are still high around Claiborne, and it's not too late for him to start fulfilling them.
Cole Beasley is another offensive weapon who has the coaches raving about his performance. The undersized receiver proved to be a useful target last year and continues to push the envelope in camp.
Even though he was more than effective in the slot last year, the Cowboys have hopes of expanding Beasley’s role, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. By being able to move him around, coach Scott Linehan can be more creative with players like Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
Thus far in camp, Beasley is doing everything the coaching staff can ask of him.
According to ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon, Orlando Scandrick said, “He’s like that little fly that you can’t catch in a box. He catches the ball really well. He changes directions really well and he’s really smart. He knows how to set up leverages. Cole’s got a really bright future.”
If the receiver can keep it up, he’ll lock down the No. 3 receiver position for years to come.
The final player who has stood out is recently acquired Rolando McClain. The former top-10 pick has come out of retirement again in hopes of solidifying a long NFL career.
Despite not being around the game in some time, the linebacker was thrown right into drills during his first practice. In his first rep during team drills, McClain shed a block and took Dunbar down in the backfield.
Per ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon, owner Jerry Jones said, “I was glad to see him. I was impressed that they put him right in.”
Although he’s had a difficult time in the NFL thus far, this might be the perfect situation for both McClain and the Cowboys. The linebacker has been working with the second-team defense, but if he continues to make plays, then there’s no reason he can’t start.