Cowboys 2016 Mini Camp Observations

posted in: Scouting Report | 10
Share Button

The Cowboys 2016 Mini Camp got underway Tuesday, making us happy campers. Being that we are analysts and not journalists it gives us an opportunity to produce some fresh content.

Kellen Moore: 2016 Cowboys Mini Camp

We would like to apologize to our subscribers for the recent lack of content, but as you all know, we prefer to post original content here and rather than post for the sake of posting, things slow down for us in the off-season following the draft. We are more concerned with posting quality over quantity.The Cowboys 2016 mini camp has given us an opportunity to put our analytical skills to work for you.

Al Beam: The Cowboys 2016 mini camp is the first mandatory portion of the off-season program. In my mind, every player should be in attendance for everything because it shows they are all about TEAM. Since Tony Romo has been under center, for the Cowboys, for the most part, attendance has been outstanding. If memory serves me correctly, Romo had the most in attendance league wide for the player led workouts during the lock-out. It was around that time he acquired the title “Coach Romo”.

You wont find anyone in the entire NFL more about TEAM than Tony Romo and Jason Witten.  Their approach and body of work is always outstanding so I want to take a look at some of the younger guys in this piece. I am mainly concerned with the defense and contend the Jones’ didn’t do enough to address it. I feel the biggest weakness in the Cowboys scouting department is failing to put more emphasis on durability rather than just athletic ability.

The Cowboys made five significant off-season moves for the defense by signing Cedric Thornton and Benson Mayowa in Free Agency, then drafting Jaylon Smith, Charles Tapper and Maleik Collins. Of the five, only two are participating in the Cowboys 2016 mini camp. The disgruntling part is, two of the Cowboys first three draft picks are doing nothing more than eating up salary cap space.

They used the 34th pick in the draft on Jaylon Smith who could very well never play football again and in the very next round drafted Meleik Collins who is also not participating due to an injury he sustained in a no-contact drill. I can see a player sustaining a sprain, a jammed finger, or even a soft tissue injury in that situation, but a broken foot leads me to believe that much like Jaylon Ramsey in Jacksonville, it was a preexisting condition and the medical and scouting staff failed to do their homework. It seems like every damn year high draft picks are injured. These reps are imperative and the players end up way behind the 8 ball. Year after year high draft picks are doing nothing more than taking up a roster spot. I am sorry folks, but that is not how you build a championship team.

To make matters worse, Benson Mayowa is also out injured as the result of no-contact practices. If these guys can’t stay healthy during drills: how in the hell can we expect them to survive in pads? Factor in Lawrence and Gregory facing suspensions and Rolando McClain missing all of the OTA’s, the Cowboys approach to the 2016 season has been unacceptable. Once again, the defense suffers at the hands of piss-poor management. McClain is behind the 8 ball and out of shape so he is not participating in the competition phase of the Cowboys 2016 mini camp. I see no one on the roster who is a legitimate starting caliber Mike LB. If McClain gets injured in camp because he missed the off-season program: who will be the signal caller on defense? I Digress.

The Cowboys failed to add a solid starting quality CB and once again signed a couple of guys who couldn’t make it on numerous other teams. While watching the mini camp practices I couldn’t help but notice how easily Tony Romo and Kellen Moore were able to pick apart the defense. It appeared as though they were moving the ball at will at times. Morris Claiborne has once again sustained an injury which has been a recurring problem ever since the Jones’ sold the farm to trade up and get him. I can’t remember the last time the Cowboys didn’t have injury issues among the top 3 draft picks.

The only positives I saw on defense was solid improvement from Jeff Heath and Charles Tapper adjusting quickly to his new position. Cedric Thornton appears to be out of shape and still struggles with snap anticipation. I am hoping to attend training camp again this year which will allow me to get a look at these guys in pads. It is near impossible for me to properly evaluate them in no-contact drills.  My current opinion is this defense is in trouble depth wise. Especially if one of the starting CB’s goes down.

Cas: I won the toss which allowed me to choose covering the offense. You should be happy to hear that I have a lot better news for you than Al had. This is a solid group of guys. It is obvious to me that the Jones’ continue to invest the majority of their resources in to the offense. It thrills me to hear that they hired a new director of college scouting because obviously the old one didn’t have a clue how to determine the difference between football players and athletes. As Al stated above, numerous high draft picks have been wasted on athletes who lacked the durability to be NFL football players.

The biggest controversy this off-season has been the backup quarterback position. It blows my mind how the majority of the dallascowboys.com staff looks for any way they can find to take shots at Kellen Moore. Maybe they should cover the Redskins or Eagles? It is my belief that they don’t want me to be right about him. Or maybe they don’t want to endure the repercussions from the fans when they are proven wrong?

I had a little debate with Nick Eatmon recently and maybe I came at him a little too hard, But, at least I can see he is looking at things objectively now that he has seen Kellen play more. While the others continue to take shots at him, Nick is understanding what we saw in Moore all along. I respect that. In our business we are all wrong at times, the problem is, too many times writers want to continue to pick out the faults and fail to mention the positives because they don’t want to admit they may have been wrong. Hats off to Nick Eatmon for doing what any objective sports writer should be doing. That being said, I decided to include what the fans are saying.

Always loved this guy. He has the best anticipation that I have seen at any level – maybe Kurt Warner when he was with the Rams compares or Montana. The key for him is extended work with a first team. Most receivers are stunned when the ball is on their nose at the moment they look up. Once they get used to this, it becomes a tremendous advantage for the offense. While he doesn’t have a gun, he has good arm strength, but even better, his understanding and ball placement are exceptional.

  • 1
  • Reply
  • As a life long Detroit Lions fan who could not have been more pissed they cut him last year. I would trade Stafford to you in a heart beat for Kellen. Kellen has no ware nor tear on him so far while all the benefits of being in the NFL . In the years to come early Kellen will lead Dallas back to Super Bowl Championships.

    Accuracy is key to this offense and Kellen has already shown that. He utilizes all his receivers and is very smart.

  • 3
  • Reply
  • People say he has no arm yet Kellen made several 55-60 yard completions at Boise State. There are many times he lobs the ball to the receiver because that is what it calls for and other times he drills it in.

  • 1
  • Reply
  • Thanks again for the facts, Al (and co). Granted, Kellen has to ultimately do his thing given the opportunities… but the drama being created by one week of OTA’s? Incredible. Meanwhile, yeah, from what was available Kellen looked more than fine. He is ripe for success… experience, ongoing study, OTA’s, camp… pre-season. He’s going to be great. Can’t wait. Glad for the opportunity (which he EARNED)… Disappointed (should know better) by the people who say they’ve come around… but haven’t. Watched the tribute video… so many 20 yard TD passes in coverage… and a good number of 40+ yard passes to a moving receiver. Awesome. I look forward to seeing what his 4 years of NFL training/ conditioning have done for him since then. So stoked for the pre-season. Anyone going to LA or Seattle??

    I really enjoy seeing the Grudden and Moore interview. The part that I like from the interview is when Moore explain the offense he is running, the snap count the motion and how he convey all this to his players . It amaze me that he know even what the blocker are doing on every play. He is truly a Head coach in a player body.

    I can easily see Moore having a future in the NFL as a player and as a head coach.

  • 2
  • Reply
    • The ints were extremely out of character of Kellen and we all know possibly why. Without the foundation layout in TC and not much time syncing with the receivers, these things will happen. Out of his 6 ints, 2 of them are debatable imo. The Hail Mary to Dez, if Dez was healthy, he’d have out jumped everyone and gotten that. The one to Bease, Bease just stopped his route while he should have continued, but these are so correctable. I hope Kellen kicks ass and take no prisoners cuz we all are rooting for him here.

  • When Broadus said Showers and people in the know thought he was the second best QB in the OTA, some of the mediots wasted no time declaring him as the backup LMAO. Listen, didn’t they learn anything about 7 on 7 practice? 7 on 7 with no pressure, Weeden looked like God! JG said this before about Kellen that doing drills, he didn’t show up as anything special, then 7 on 7 he gotten a little better, then full onslaught, he just turned it on. I understand the frustration Cas, you, or people who had actually watched a full game of Kellen or sat down and tried to study him. The kid is flat out special. You are NEVER out of the game when Kellen is your QB. This folks, was the reason i became a Roger Staubach fan. He just gave me the feeling that we can come back and win every game i’d watched. Kellen did that for me and Tony also. Let the haters talk, they are just going to look that much more foolish years from now when Kellen takes over.

  • 2
  • Reply
  • Interesting that QBs n that article were givin stamp of approval jus BECAUSE of their measurables howd that work out?

    That Kid is a “gamer” …… he won’t fail. Just the kind of player to put the naysayers on mute.

    It does seem as though some don’t want to be proven wrong eh?

    First Coach Linehan, now Rob Phillips talking about K Moore’s # of 20+ yard completions. 11 qtrs = 13 compare w 53 qtrs = 27

    OTA observation: Unbelievable how much Kellen Moore has been able to change his cadence to sound just like Tony Romo under center

    love ur articles ..on the k Moore train its gonna b a tough but good season

    Are the media guys trying to “create drama?” Seems like. Disappointed. Moore’s best is comin

    From own 31 to the Nevada 10… and accurate/ catchable. So damn tired of “can’t make the throws.”

    KM is the smartest dude on the field and he wins. I agree people will recognize once he is given time. Much like romo. UFA

    I cannot wait until KM makes everyone eat crow! Linehan and are the only guys that gave KM a chance.

    I can post hundreds more but I wont. I am going to say this much: Kellen Moore has shown why he is getting the reps and despite what my buddy Bryan Broaddus says, this coaching staff has no need to protect Moore from competition in camp. He is getting the reps because he is the best qualified for the job. All this talk about Prescott’s measurables and he is yet to throw a pass further than nine yards. That’s what you get when you draft a QB who came from a spread offense. It’s exactly what they got from Cassel and Weeden as well. Dak just doesn’t have the mental capacity to make all the reads fast enough. He isn’t seeing the guys down field. he is going off his 1st or second read.

    Darius Jackson has looked explosive so far in the Dallas Cowboys 2016 mini camp. He not only has good vision, his speed to get to the edge has been on full display. I believe the Cowboys are entering the 2016 season with the best depth at WR I have seen in years. Keep an eye on Andy Jones: he has immediately developed some chemistry with both Romo and Moore. Cole Beasley is set for a breakout season and looks impressive as always. Terrance Williams is looking more comfortable and appears to play with more confidence when Romo and Moore are under center. He had a career day in Moore’s second start last year as well. Brice Butler provides some excellent competition for Williams and it will be interesting to see who wins the #2 WR spot in training camp. Don’t sleep on Vince Mayle either.

    The offensive line has had another off-season together as a group and you can see that they are the most cohesive group on the offense. Geoff Swaim has been getting extra reps in the absence of Gavin Escobar. I believe he has shown that he can continue developing in to a solid TE. Ezekiel Elliott has been outstanding as a receiver out of the backfield and I believe the biggest obstacle he faces is learning a pro-style offense and understanding NFL blocking assignments, but his natural talent has been on full display.

    My final impressions from the Cowboys 2016 mini camp prior to seeing the team in pads is that they will easily have a top 5 offense in 2016, but we have seen that many times with Romo under center. Let’s just hope some no-names step up on defense because 3 of the 5 acquisitions are not participating in the Cowboys  2016  mini camp and may not be available for training camp either. .

  • Share Button

    • frank

      nice article Cowgirl now we just have to hope we get by with smoke and mirrors on defense. (def28)

    • johnathan

      If you’d won the toss and don’t talk about Kellen, I’d be highly disappointed lol. If we roll back time to 2008, we would find identical conversations among writers and experts about Kellen. This will not change as Kellen will mute doubters as he had all of his career. Thanks for the article guys.

    • Lionone1

      I’m excited about the offense. It’s unfortunate what happened last year. I wonder if the run a wishbone offense with Zeke and Mac. You put in a fb or take out the fb and put in Witten. Who are you going to cover? Lol On defense I’m not worried about the secondary or LB’s. Just curious how the defensive line rotation is going to work out. Who’s going to win a job? Tapper is already making some noise. Still very early though. Np Cas it’s still a slow time and the team has a way to go.

      • Al

        If Moore ends up having to play they need to work out of a pistol and a spread. Moore is at his best when a team runs boots and waggles. He not only sees the field better when he is out of the pocket, but extremely accurate on the move. I love the way he took advantage of Martin out of the backfield when the protection broke down. Zeke would be that same type of outlet for him. Moore destroys teams underneath then when they adjust the coverage to stop the underneath stuff, he burns them down field. He is brilliant in the way he calls the plays at the line and attacks the protection accordingly.

      • Al

        If Moore ends up having to play they need to work out of a pistol and a spread. Moore is at his best when a team runs boots and waggles. He not only sees the field better when he is out of the pocket, but extremely accurate on the move. I love the way he took advantage of Martin out of the backfield when the protection broke down. Zeke would be that same type of outlet for him. Moore destroys teams underneath then when they adjust the coverage to stop the underneath stuff, he burns them down field. He is brilliant in the way he calls the plays at the line and attacks the protection accordingly.

      • Al

        It blows my mind how the folks over at Blogging The Boys continue to discount Kellen. A lot of folks are going to look like fools when it’s all said and done. I am sure many will jump on the train and act as if they supported him all along though.

      • Al

        It blows my mind how the folks over at Blogging The Boys continue to discount Kellen. A lot of folks are going to look like fools when it’s all said and done. I am sure many will jump on the train and act as if they supported him all along though.

    HTML Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com