Dallas Cowboys Are About To Bounce Back To The Future


Organized training activities (OTAs) have begun at Valley Ranch and the Dallas Cowboys are in full swing. The gang’s almost all here and things are about to heat up. Even though we’re getting situated from the draft, there are some players we have to remember.

Defensive end Ben Gardner isn’t yet a household name. Many people may have read his name and let out a collective “who?” And that’s expected. Gardner didn’t see a single snap last season due to injury.

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He was picked in the seventh round of the 2014 draft from Stanford University. In late August, Gardner was sent to the injured reserve list after having surgery to repair torn ligaments in his shoulder. It was almost an out of sight, out of mind situation.

Fast forward to 2015 and guess who’s fully recovered and ready to go? In April, the forgotten Cowboy tweeted a picture of his new number, 93. There’s no coincidence as he was surely given the number of now New Orleans Saints linebacker Anthony Spencer.

In that same position, we take a look at linebacker Sean Lee. I’ve personally missed seeing “The General” on the field. It’s about that time for him to add to the damage our defense is going to bring.

"“You’ve got to have movement and speed and all those things. But it’s awareness, and I think he’s got really good instincts to play. He’s covered up [by the under tackle], so there’s somebody always in front of him. I think he can really use his speed.” – Rod Marinelli to Star Telegram"

On the first day of OTAs last season, Lee suffered a torn ACL and he was out for the season. Even though he wasn’t playing, you could look on the sidelines at any given game and see Lee’s face. If that’s not a sign of dedication, I’m not sure what is.

Slowly but consistently, Lee was in the weight room and in meetings getting mentally and physically prepared for 2015. Number 50 is doing a lot of individual drills for now in OTAs but he will move to team activities as time goes on. The Cowboys staff is taking the proper precautions as Lee recovers from the injury.

Cornerback Morris Claiborne bears a similar yet distinctive story. He only played 10 games in 2013. Due to subpar performance, he was benched the following year. The hits just kept on coming.

He allowed five receptions against the St. Louis Rams last season. After Claiborne got word of his demotion, he left Valley Ranch and skipped practice. The following week, suffered a ruptured patellar tendon against the Saints. Even though we walked away from that game as victors, losing a player always hurts.

In early May, the Dallas Cowboys decided against offering Claiborne the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. The ‘Boys drafted cornerback Byron Jones this year and that added icing to the cake. At this point, Claiborne is preceded by corners Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr, and Jones on the depth chart.

It’s a waiting game to see which returning Cowboys stays healthy long enough to play in the regular season. Has anyone else noticed a theme here? All of these gentlemen play on defense. Kudos to the Cowboys staff for adding extra bodies in the offseason.

Seeing everyone be active (in some capacity) on the roster is a dream of mine but it’s not so far-fetched. Coupled with the fresh meat the Boys are bringing in, it’ll be nothing less than interesting to see the veterans in the mix. A very hungry defense plus a treacherous offense sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Go Cowboys.