YDCFF Coverage Of 2013 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

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Before I get in to the meat and potatoes of the 2013 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard and our exclusive interviews with Cole Beasley and Brandon Carr, I want to elaborate on some of the intricacies of the process I observed while in Oxnard.

AlAndBeasleyPrior to attending training camp in Oxnard Ca. I have to admit, I was a little concerned about many aspects of the 2013 Dallas Cowboys. I was pondering over issues like: is there enough discipline? Is Jason Garrett qualified to coach the team I have loved for 40 years? Are all of the players getting a fair chance to earn a roster spot? How well will the players adjust to attempting to learn a new defense for the 2nd season in a row? Is there going to be any continuity along the offensive line? Will young players like Cole Beasley get more opportunities this year? Will JJ Wilcox be worthy of a draft pick with only one year of experience at the position? Did Travis Frederick merit a 1st round draft pick? Is there enough depth along the defensive line? Was drafting Gavin Escobar a smart move? How well will Lance Dunbar develop? Will Alex Tanney pan out? These are just some of the questions I had  on my mind.

As you can see in the days  leading up to the Dallas Cowboys training camp visit, I had a lot of unanswered questions floating around in this vacuum known as my brain. I am no Mike Mayock, but I am not a neophyte either when it comes to the game of football. My goal was to try and get as many of  the questions answered as possible so that I may present a sound analysis to the readers here at Your Daily Cowboys Football Fix.

DSCF4377It didn’t take long for this old bird to get caught up in the fervor and excitement of the Dallas Cowboys training camp. Much to my surprise, Jason Garrett exhibited an energy and a level of enthusiasm that was contagious. The players responded to him well and it was obvious that they were buying in to what he was selling. When Garrett spoke, the players were ‘all ears’.

I found it interesting that he took the time to run laps around the field before practice and actually took part in some of the warm-up activities. (He still has a pretty good arm with some zip on the ball) C.J. and I had an opportunity to not only have him address some of our questions during the press conference, but we were afforded the opportunity to spend a few minutes with him after practice. I have to admit, I left  the Dallas Cowboys training camp with an entirely different opinion of the teams commander and chief, Jason Garrett. I am willing to give him a couple more years to complete his process. My only concern is the discipline factor: I feel as though he could be a little bit more of a hard-ass at times.

I was impressed with how equally distributed the reps were among the young players. Each one was given opportunities to get noticed by the coaches. They rotated players in and out on both sides of the line. One of the players that caught my eye immediately was #92 Landon Cohen. This kid played with power: on one occasion, he bull-rushed the Dallas Cowboys 1st round pick Travis Frederick and planted Frederick right on his back-side. His technique is a little raw, but he moves well and exhibits flashes of  being a future star. Cohen’s non-stop motor is his most impressive trait.

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The other young Cowboys who impressed me was #98 George Selvie. He also played with power. His technique was a little better than Cohen’s, but Cohen plays with more power at the point. Jason Hatcher was all over the field. Cas previously wrote that he would be one of 5 players to break out in 2013, and I am inclined to agree. Hatcher has gotten better every year and this 4-3 defense was a God-send for him. I was thoroughly impressed with how quick he is for a big man. He has a good motor and his technique has come a long way. Expect Jason Hatcher to have his best season as a Dallas Cowboy.

A large portion of the Cowboy Nation is more than a little skeptical about the Dallas Cowboys 1st round draft pick, Travis Frederick. After speaking with him for less than a minute, I realized that this kid is a genius. He is articulate, well spoken, and he gave me a very intelligent answer to my question. Even in the short time we were at camp, Frederick showed visible improvement each day. He is getting a better understanding of his duties making the line calls. (Jason Garrett confirmed that when I asked him about it in the press conference.) Frederick has a lot of potential, but he still needs to improve in two areas: his quickness moving side to side, and his power at the point. If the conditioning coaches can make Frederick stronger, and Callahan can improve his footwork and technique, he will be a dominant offensive lineman for years to come.

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Lance Dunbar, in my mind, will be a Dallas Cowboy for a long time. This kid had shown that he can not only be a threat on offense, but effective on special teams as well. As my colleague (C. Joseph Wright)  already mentioned, he was a large contributor on special teams and has shown that he will not only be effective as a running back, but is very effective  as a receiver out of the backfield. Bill Callahan has the Cowboys running more short passes and screens this year; Cowboy fans should am anxious to see how it translates in to the games. Dunbar could make a huge impact for this team.

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The most disheartening part of the Dallas Cowboys training camp for me was Gavin Escobar. He has good hands and runs his routes fairly well for a rookie, but it looked like he has problems following instructions. During drills, the coach had to tell Escobar the same thing over and over about keeping his elbow tight. The coach made it clear that he doesn’t want to see any air in there.

NFL players are relentless when it comes to trying to knock the ball loose. It didn’t matter how often he was corrected, Escobar continued to carry the football like a loaf of bread. The other major concern with Escobar is how weak he looks for a big kid. When they were doing the blocking drills, he got man-handled.

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Alex Tanney has a lot of poise in the pocket. He has a rocket for an arm and good vision. Coach Garrett had nothing but good things to say about him when C.J. asked about him in the press conference. He is doing a good job of learning the offense and seems to be getting better every day. Stephens had a bit of an advantage on him because he took part in mini-camp and OTA’s, but Tanney has much more arm strength and better accuracy.

The Dallas Cowboys should keep three quarterbacks; Alex Tanney has too much potential to risk losing. His over-all mechanics are better, and he has the necessary smarts and instincts to develop in to a starter at the NFL Level.

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Click here to follow Al on Twitter.

Click here to follow YDCFF on Twitter; click here to see more exclusive photos from Training Camp.

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  • Californy

    Nce insight, this happen to be one of the best writing I have seen on this site for a while.  I like your honesty and how you transform your opinion on what you saw in camp.  I seen some of Cohen numbers he is strong but is a little raw in his football skills.  Your assessment on Escobar are what they been saying about him all along, he just doesn’t have the body yet for a NFL TE.  Yup on Frederick, he a  Engineer student and his quickness and his power at the point are the only concern I have about him.  Now About Jason Hatcher, Im not sure were he is at in his contract but he does deserve to be a Cowboy the rest of his career, he has over achieved in his career with the Cowboys.  It too bad Cole Beasley was out, I see him in the same ability as Dunbar and how he has been developing in the passing game but it has yet to transform on to the football field.  I dont see Beasley making this team, he will come back to bite us on some other NFL team, by then it will be to late to see how he has not been used right in this team offense

  • cjwright

    Great job, Al. I thought the stuff about Garrett was really interesting; I didn’t realize that you were as impressed with him as I was.
    The only thing we really disagree on is Escobar. I will touch on him in my next post, but I didn’t see the drills you are talking about. My take on Escobar is based on the interview, the 1-on-1 drills, and the 11-on-11 scrimmage.

  • cjwright Thank You for a nice article Al. It’s the small technical stuff that most people don’t notice when a player is in 11on11. To get a good idea of where a player is lacking is to watch the drills and listen to what the coaches say to them.

  • cjwright I am shocked at his sudden change of attitude toward Garrett myself. What am I missing?

  • Californy I told you he knows his football

  • Thank you for the kind words Californy.

  • I have been trying to get him to write about football for a while now

  • Californy

    CowgirlCas22 Californy I like his honesty of not trying to get caught up in the moment of camp and the crowd.  I hope he didnt drink The JJ Koolaide, lol

  • Californy

    I saw the Giant week one game, Demonte Moore DE is going to be a beast, we could of had him instead of Williams. In one half he had a sack, QB hit, Stop a screen play, and a block kick in less than half a game against Pittsburg.

  • Californy CowgirlCas22 I doubt that he doesn’t like JJ much at all never has cuz he fired Landry

  • Californy he sounds like a good player I have the game on now: I will look for him

  • cjwright

    CowgirlCas22 cjwright Garrett has a charisma that you don’t get on film.

  • cjwright

    Californy CowgirlCas22 I can assure you that I hogged all the kool-aid for myself; Al stayed clear of it.

  • Californy

    Nice Article http://yourdailycowboysfootballfix.com/author/albeam17/ , I will make sure to read your other post when they become available.  I to have the up most respect for Tom Landry.  I am glad many people like yourself have not forgotten the man

  • cjwright CowgirlCas22 whatever it is, it’s not showing up on the field. there are still way to many mental mistakes, penalties and turnovers: this shows a discipline problem. i am still not sold on Garrett. When I stop seeing the same problems over and over, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s been how many years since he took over as the OC and the running game still stinks. I am not seeing this process working.

  • cjwright Californy CowgirlCas22  I am sure you did. However, you must have slipped some in his beer, cuz I am not seeing anything in the games to justify what he said about Garrett. Like last year I see the defense improving, but Garretts offense is still struggling.

  • Californy Neither Al or I can do much until CJ gets us our video. Somehow it got deleted from Al’s memory card when they put it on CJ’s lap top. Al has all of the interviews on his voice recorder though. I am not sure what or when he is doing with them.

  • Californy

    CowgirlCas22 Californy No Worry hopefully something happen news wise with the boys. NFL have some cuts coming up hopefully we pick up some more better players.

  • Californy CowgirlCas22 we need to do something that’s for sure

  • cowboys_24_7_365

    Al… good job calling it like you see it. I thoroughly enjoyed the article!