What issues are the Cowboys facing as camp approaches? – Dallas Cowboys Blog

FRISCO, Texas — Next week, the Dallas Cowboys begin training camp in Oxnard, Calif. with optimism that 2022 won’t end like 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016… you get the picture.

It’s been over a month since the Cowboys had off-season work from their mandatory mini-camp that turned out to be just practice. The good news is that the Cowboys haven’t had a player since then with problems off the field that could threaten their start to training camp.

But there were some stories that need addressing when the Cowboys travel to California.

What’s next for Dalton Schultz? The tight end will play the season on the $10.9 million franchise tag after failing to reach an agreement on a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline. There was little hope that an agreement would be reached before the Cleveland Browns signed David Njoku to a $13.7 million-a-year deal in May, and even less after that.

Schultz skipped the final week of volunteer-organized team activities and had limited participation in the mini-camp exercise in hopes of starting talks. It didn’t really work. Because he signed the takeover bid, he has to go to the training camp or he will be fined.

The best thing for Schultz is to have another productive season, which could happen given the status of the Cowboys’ wide receiver group, and see what happens in 2023. The Cowboys could always give him the franchise tag again, which would cost more than $13 million. If they don’t, he has a chance to go to the open market and get the long-term deal he wants.

Dak’s health issues behind him: A year ago, the Cowboys knew they had to oversee quarterback Dak Prescott’s work at training camp when he was returning from a dislocation and fracture of his right ankle. Little did they know that a proper lat load would sideline him for most of training camp and four preseason games.

The ankle is not a problem. Neither does his non-throwing shoulder after having surgery in February. And the right calf load didn’t limit him in the past season either.

“After a few weeks, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been,” Prescott told reporters at his youth soccer camp. “So, it’s time to boot it up and get going.”

The Cowboys will lean on Prescott like they’ve never leaned on him before. No, not to run it a ton. They need him to raise the level of play for those around him, especially at receiver and especially during Michael Gallup’s absence from knee surgery.

What else does the team need? Cap space is not a problem. The Cowboys currently have more than $22 million in salary cap play, but a portion of that is set aside for the practice team, injury billing, and incentives/escalators earned during the season.

Most of it will carry over to 2023.

But back to the staff. Wide receiver is a position to watch, but a trade for a big name like Deebo Samuel or DK Metcalf is unlikely. How about signing a veteran like Julio Jones? He’s a bit old (33) and injured lately. pass rusher? Join with every other team in the league. linebacker? They’ve added depth pieces, but won’t be on the market for starters. backup center? Matt Farniok enters camp as a replacement for Tyler Biadasz. Guard Connor McGovern might get a look and sophomore Braylon Jones has some fans in the building.

Injury Updates: Gallup was thought to be slightly ahead of schedule by the end of the minicamp, but will likely miss at least a few games in September. That was always the thought, even before he signed a five-year deal in March. He’ll likely start training camp on the unfit list, which isn’t too worrying. If he is on this list at the start of the season, that would be a problem as he would miss at least the first four games.

Linebacker Jabril Cox is also returning from a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee. He’s been moving well in June and the belief is he’ll be able to train by the start of camp. Rookie linebacker Damone Clark will open camp on the non-football injury list after undergoing neck surgery in the spring. If he plays this season at all, it won’t be until November.

Kicker Battle: Nothing is as exciting as a kick competition at training camp. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but at Oxnard, Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu will have many eyes.

Last year’s kicker Greg Zuerlein didn’t kick once at the 2021 training camp because he just came back from back surgery.

Hajrullahu appeared in a game for the Cowboys last year and got all five of his extra points from seven touchbacks. In two games with the Carolina Panthers, he walked 4-of-5 on field goal attempts, 8-of-8 on extra points, and had 12 touchbacks on 17 kickoffs.

Garibay, who was not drafted by Texas Tech, showed a strong leg in the offseason program and enters camp as a leader in the clubhouse.

https://www.espn.com/blog/dallas-cowboys/post/_/id/4775228/what-issues-are-the-cowboys-facing-as-camp-approaches What issues are the Cowboys facing as camp approaches? – Dallas Cowboys Blog

Emma Bowman

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