The Dallas Cowboys started padded practices on Monday, and it didn’t come without fireworks. It was the first time America’s Team had been in pads since the early playoff exit last season. It was time to get back to work.
Many storylines are starting to develop as camp continues, so here are a few things I noticed when monitoring camp this week.
4 observations from Week 2 of Dallas Cowboys training camp
4. The injury bug bites early
It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to suffer a significant injury during training camp. It comes at a position where depth is not substantial, either.
Wide receiver James Washington suffered a fracture in his foot after cornerback Trevon Diggs fell on top of him. Further testing and investigation revealed that the injury will keep Washington off the field for six to ten weeks.
Washington is not a CeeDee Lamb or a No. 1 wide receiver, but the offense was looking to lean on him a lot to start the season while receiver Jalen Tolbert gets comfortable in his first NFL season and Michael Gallup is out due to his ACL tear. Now, Dallas will have to count on other players in his absence.
Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones spoke to the media and said there is “no urgency” to add another wide receiver to the roster. He wants to give young players like Tolbert, T.J Vasher, and vets like Noah Brown a shot to compete.
Those comments indicate that 2022 is similar to 2018 when the Cowboys released Dez Bryant and went into the season with Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson, and Cole Beasley. The front office wanted quarterback Dak Prescott to elevate the offense’s play without a true No. 1 option.
The Cowboys might not sign free agents like Odell Beckham Jr. or Will Fuller to replace Washington. Fans should expect them to be active when roster cuts start happening or trade low draft capital for a player. That is the way this works until proven otherwise.
Plus, the major Washington injury wasn’t the only issue. Fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko suffered a shoulder injury. Fullback Ryan Nall suffered a shoulder injury. Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson is dealing with a hamstring issue. Veteran tight end Jeremy Sprinkle has an Achilles issue. Injuries in training camp are the last thing the Cowboys need.