Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Practice Points: Quick Observations From Mini-Camp

Dallas Cowboys
07 Jun 2023, 20:24 GMT+10

by Nick Harris, Patrik Walker & Nick Eatman

FRISCO, Texas - After two weeks of voluntary OTA practices, the Cowboys had their first and only mandatory sessions on Tuesday, the start of a three-day mini-camp.

The players were on the field both inside and outside of Ford Center at The Star, with a combination of individual and team drills. Head coach Mike McCarthy has always stressed the importance of the installation periods during the offseason and also using the time to mix players in different spots.

Here are some of the interesting points that stood out to the staff writers from Tuesday:

While there is an ongoing kicker debate going on, Tristan Vizcaino did what he could today to quiet that scuttle by going 8-for-8 on field goals from 33, 35, 38, 40, 43, 46, 47 and 55 yards. Range hasn't been the question around Vizcaino's early career, and he's proven that early on in his time in Dallas. The question remains if he can stay consistent, and he did just that on Tuesday. - (Nick Harris)The removal of Tony Pollard from minicamp as he recovers from a leg injury suffered in the final game of the season has created a window of opportunity for just about any ball-carrier on the roster with the first-team. Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis and Ronald Jones were featured the most, and while Deuce Vaughn was mainly featured with the second-team, he did get some first-team reps out of the backfield and lined up out wide. - (Nick Harris)Wondering what the Cowboys front five will look like in 2023? Well, after experimenting in OTAs, they started minicamp with Tyron Smith at left tackle with Tyler Smith taking left guard duties, and Matt Waletzko playing the role of RT1 in the absence of a recovering Terence Steele. - (Patrik Walker)Mazi Smith does look good to start his first summer with the Cowboys, but with Johnathan Hankins on the field for minicamp (he was not in OTAs), Smith will earn his Star - taking reps with the second team on Tuesday as Hankins rotated with Quinton Bohanna as NT1 and NT2, respectively to open up mandatory minicamp. - (Patrik Walker)When you're an All-Pro and Pro Bowler the season before, there's usually not a lot of talk about the backup spots. That seemed evident with KaVontae Turpin, who took all of the punt return reps on Tuesday when the team worked on both punt and punt return drills. In previous OTAs, we've seen Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis back deep, but Turpin took them all and is expected to be the primary returner in 2023. - (Nick Eatman)With all eyes on him this off-season, Kelvin Joseph needs to stand out among a deep defensive back group. Part of his efforts include finding reps by working with the safety group. Mixing in with the likes of Jayron Kearse, Markquese Bell, and Israel Mukuamu during position drills and briefly in the team period. It's unsure if this is a full-time move, but something worth noting early on. - (Kyle Youmans)The Cowboys had a noticeable visitor at practice on Tuesday in boxer Errol Spence Jr., the current welterweight champion. Spence, a native of Dallas who has fought at both AT&T Stadium and The Star, is also a big Cowboys fan. He met with owner/GM Jerry Jones during practice and spoke to the media about his upcoming mega-fight in Las Vegas on July 29 with Terrance Crawford - a long-awaited title bout that will unify four different belts. - (Nick Eatman)

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