We take a look at what you can expect from the Dallas Cowboys first on-field activity of the new year, their Rookie Minicamp.
The Dallas Cowboys Rookie Minicamp is set to begin on May 12th, and so the action-oriented portion of the 2017 season begins. What can we expect to see and learn from the first minicamp of the year?
The minicamps do not allow for the contact or the “offense vs. defense” action that we all long to see. It does, however, allow the coaches a chance to gauge the conditioning, knowledge, and skill sets of their new toys with their own eyes.
The camp will include non-contact position drills, walkthroughs and meetings. 2016 practice squad players are eligible to participate, as are players that sat out last season on the non-football injury list. Most notably, tight end Rico Gathers will practice with the rookies. While the much anticipated debut of linebacker Jaylon Smith will have to wait for a future camp.
Expectations are high for both second year players. That the Cowboys did not address tight end in the draft suggests a high level of confidence in Gathers emergence as a contributing back up to the immortal Jason Witten. Smith is a story for another day, but the team is optimistic that he will be a strength in this defense.
The defense in question ranked 14th overall in 2016, and looks to rebound this year despite an exodus of starters and key role-players. Evaluations begin in earnest this weekend with the influx of rookie talent, particularly in the defensive backfield. We may begin to get a clearer picture of Dallas’ plans for the young versatile defensive backs Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis.
While one rookie camp is not a substantial indicator of how the 2017 Dallas Cowboys will look, it is our first taste of things to come. You can expect articles, storylines, and tweets to energetically flow from The Star this weekend. Fasten your seat belts; the fun is just beginning.