Skip to Content

Inside Dallas Cowboys’ training camp: Key takeaways as it opens this weekend

DALLAS COWBOYS (11-7 last season), OPEN CAMP: Saturday in Oxnard, California. (Watch the official training camp news conference in its entirety in the video player at the end of this article.)

ELLIOTT LATE: RB Ezekiel Elliott was not on the Cowboys’ charter plane to training camp in California, and on Friday team owner Jerry Jones confirmed that his star back was “late.” How late Elliott might wind up being is mere projection, but he has proved to be an irreplaceable part in Dallas. He is due to make $3.9 million in the fourth year of his rookie contract and $9.1 million in the final year, which is a team option. The fourth overall pick from the 2016 draft has won two rushing titles in his three seasons.

LAST YEAR: Made playoffs for second time in three seasons with QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. Dynamic young pair got big boost from mid-season trade for WR Amari Cooper. Dallas went 7-1 in second half to surge to NFC East title, won wild-card game against Seattle, lost to LA Rams in divisional round. Defense found two emerging star LBs in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to go with pass-rushing standout DeMarcus Lawrence, who just signed big contract.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: TE Jason Witten, WR Randall Cobb, DT Trysten Hill, S George Iloka, OL Connor McGovern, RB Tony Pollard.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: WR Cole Beasley, TE Geoff Swaim, DL David Irving, LB Damien Wilson.

CAMP NEEDS: Pecking order behind two-time NFL rushing champ Elliott will be priority. Most intriguing option is speedy fourth-round pick Pollard. Travis Frederick returns after missing last season with nerve disorder, so tracking four-time Pro Bowl center’s progress during camp will be important. Cowboys didn’t do much in offseason to change outlook at safety, so perceived weak link in defense will be under scrutiny.

EXPECTATIONS: Super Bowl or bust? Proud franchise hasn’t been since winning fifth championship nearly 25 years ago, and owner Jerry Jones badly wants to get back. Coach Jason Garrett enters final year of contract signed after 2014 season, when Dallas won just second playoff game since Super Bowl title following 1995 season. Garrett might need to lead Cowboys to first NFC championship game since then to survive, and even that might not be enough.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content