Today is the Cowboys final full practice in Oxnard, Calif. On Friday the team returns to DFW as training camp ends.
After 31 days, 16 practices in full pads, two pre-season losses, one major significant injury to Orlando Scandrick and a gaggle of fights amongst themselves and versus the Rams, the Cowboys are coming home.
So … did they have a good camp?
Before they departed in late July I pinpointed six position battles that needed to be won. Let’s review shall we?
Cornerback – The season-ending injury to Scandrick gives a starting spot to Morris Claiborne, who entered camp merely trying to hang onto a roster spot. First-round pick Byron Jones has been solid, but he’s behind Tyler Patmon on the depth chart as camp concludes. Scary thought: Brandon Carr is the best corner on this team.
Defensive End – With Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey, DeMarcus Lawrence and rookie Randy Gregory, they return from the West Coast with a plethora of pass-rushers. Gregory had the best camp with two sacks in two games, and he’ll likely push for a starting spot opposite Hardy before the season is over.
Defensive Tackle – Appears that Tyrone Crawford is going to win a starting job over Terrell McClain and alongside Nick Hayden.
Linebacker – We’ve yet to see Sean Lee in a game and Rolando McClain will miss the first games while suspended. On the strong side, Kyle Wilber has to this point held off Anthony Hitchens for the job. In McClain’s absence looks like more playing time for free-agent pick-up Jasper Brinkley.
Left Guard – Though La’el Collins has shown glimpses of first-round talent, veteran Ron Leary clearly kept his starting job.
Running Back – The most anticipated battle of camp really provided little fireworks, or substance to make a decision. All three of the top backs – Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar – spent time off the field with injuries and played sparingly last week against the 49ers. Headed back to DFW, it remains Randle’s job to lose.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.