Today is the first day of the Cowboys’ rookie mini-camps. The newest Dallas Cowboys will start their first day, today, as members of an elite organization.
The rookies will be reporting and for the first time, ever, to workout with their new teammates. Zack Martin is expected to participate and this should be his introduction to becoming the starting right guard.
Demarcus Lawrence will not attend this first weekend camp, as he will be awaiting the arrival of his new child.
Anthony Hitchens will try to make the team as the back up for Sean Lee. If he can make the 53-man roster, he could see significant playing time. Will Smith, Keith Smith and Dontavis Sapp will also be competing for one of the prized linebacker positions.
There will be a group of large receivers competing for what will probably be only one job. UDFAs L’Damian Washington and (perhaps) Chris Boyd will challenge Devin Street at the wide receiver position. Washington is another 6’4” speedster who could really stretch the field. Washington is a talent, but he is very raw. Chris Boyd has had some serious off the field character issues and he will really have to impress the coaches even to be a consideration for the practice squad. This is a surprising UDFA signing because he does not seem like Jason Garret kind of guy.
New safeties Ahmad Dixon and Ryan Smith could really push J.J. Wilcox, Matt Johnson and Jeff Heath into serious competition for that almost vacant spot next to Barry Church. Special teams play will be a huge factor for these new guys trying to make this team.
Look for some stiff competition at the guard position as Dallas brings in Ronald Patrick, Andre Cureton, Brian Clarke, and Jarrod Pughsley. Although none of these players has a real chance to start, there will be a spot or two available as backups for the best performer.
Ken Bishop, Ben Gardner and Davon Coleman will have their shots to make the team at the defensive wave group Dallas is trying to perfect.
At cornerback, there will be an interesting competition between Terrance Mitchell and Dashaun Phillips. Mitchell is a smart player who can jam his man at the line. Phillips is a speedster with interesting attributes. He was the fastest man at the combine in the three-cone and has a 39” vertical leap.
J.C. Copeland is a 5’11’ 271 pound-wrecking ball. Copeland was originally signed by LSU as a defensive tackle but converted to the other side of the ball. Do not expect him to get many carries, unless on the goal line, but he is a punishing lead blocker who should challenge Tyler Clutts for the fullback position.
Until they “stand-out” from the rest of the group and have a successful mini camp, these new names and faces will be just that, names and faces. Then, they will have to survive training camp. In addition, if all goes well, some will earn a chance to wear that famous Star on their helmets and fulfill their life long dreams of being a player in the NFL.
Sports-Kings/Down and Distance contributor whitebear560 @whitebear560 Twitter – 360Cowboys.com – 360Cowboys Facebook