Just a few weeks ago we were begging for Dallas Cowboys football to return. Now, we are less than a month away from the regular season and camp time in Oxnard is in the books. Some players stood out and others were disappointing — a tale as old as time.
Aside from the obvious standouts like Micah Parsons and Noah Brown and the blatant disappointments like UDFA kicker Jonathan Garibay, who were surprising risers and fallers from Cowboys camp?
Pro Football Focus took a shot at answering this question for all 32 NFL teams. For each franchise, they picked a player whose stock is surprisingly growing and a player whose roster spot is in jeopardy.
The riser for the Cowboys was WR Dennis Houston and the faller was OL Connor McGovern. I think it’s hard to argue with either of these choices.
Pro Football Focus names Dennis Houston the ‘riser’ and Connor McGovern the ‘faller’ of Cowboys training camp
Let’s talk about Houston first. The undrafted free agent receiver has taken advantage of the dwindling wide receiver room in Dallas. After losing Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson in the offseason and coping with the injuries to both James Washington and Michael Gallup, it’s safe to say the wide receiver room is depleted.
Jerry Jones ensured fans not to worry because he had faith in his young players. While it’s probably not smart to only count on players who have little to no NFL playing time, it is likely that players like Houston are the reason for Jones’s confidence.
Houston caught the eyes of many in Oxnard and it became clear that he turned into a favorite target. Reporters said quarterback Dak Prescott lit up when talking about the “tough, resilient” receiver and Mike McCarthy said “everybody was impressed” with Houston’s performance.
The 23-year-old will continue to compete with guys like Brown, Simi Fehoko, Jalen Tolbert, and T.J. Vasher (who are also performing well in camp) for a spot on the depth chart. Preseason game performance will also be very telling of Houston’s future with the team.
As far as McGovern goes, he represents some of the fears Cowboys fans have about this struggling offensive line. While rookie Tyler Smith is displaying strength and capability, the 24-year-old has not been showing his best stuff in offseason work.
The third-year player got pushed around a lot and even started some tussles in camp. If McGovern doesn’t pull it together during preseason games, there’s a good chance Tyler Smith takes his spot at left guard for Week 1.
It’s nice to see the rookie shine, but it’s never comforting to see a veteran struggle to get back to his game. Even last season when Connor Williams got benched, fans quickly learned that McGovern was really not that worthy of a replacement.
Keep an eye on these two as preseason programming continues to see where they end up.