Dallas Cowboys: 2014 Training camp preview

It’s about that time again you can feel it in the air. Training camp is right around the corner it starts in about two weeks. Training camp is the official return of real football. Actual practices in pads with real hitting drills. This is the time chemistry is built within in the team. This is the time when you determine who your starters should be and which under the radar players should get more attention. The Cowboys  will move to Oxnard, California on July 24th to start training camp. There are a few things to keep out for in Cowboys camp.

What to watch for

The Kyle Orton situation will probably be the most intriguing story on the first day of Cowboys camp. Orton didn’t show up for OTAs and after much speculation that he wanted to retire the Cowboys back-up quarterback situation was in flux. However the Cowboys are confident that Orton will return for training camp because the fine for missing a day of training camp is 30,000 dollars. Orton will also lose 3 million dollars if he chooses to retire based on his contract. The Cowboys have added depth to the quarterback position in the offseason by signing Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie.

Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo

Another major thing to watch out for is the health of three big players for the Cowboys. Tony Romo, Henry Melton, and Anthony Spencer. Tony Romo is coming off major back surgery after getting a herniated disk in his back after a week 16 victory of the Redskins last season. Romo is saying he’s right on schedule with his recovery and that he could even play today if needed. In the NFL actions are louder than words and time will only tell how healthy Romo is.

 

Defensive tackle Henry Melton is coming a surgery himself after he torn his ACL in week 3 while playing for the Bears. It’s unknown if he’ll be ready for the first couple of days of training camp but he is expected to eventually be practicing. He’s a much needed component to the Cowboys defensive that was the worst in franchise history in 2013. Defensive end Anthony Spencer is another player who had season ending surgery in 2013. It’s unknown if he will be able to practice at all during training camp but Spencer is making progress. If he can somehow get healthy and practice during training camp it would be a huge boost for this defense as he was a Pro Bowler in 2012.

Another key thing to look for his the competition for the starting middle linebacker spot. Sean Lee went down as the best player and captain of this defense with a season ending ACL injury on the first day of OTAs. Now the starting mike linebacker spot is wide open. Veteran Justin Durant was running with the starters during OTAs but DeVonte Holloman, rookie Anthony Hitchens, and newly signed Rolando McClain will give him much competition. It’s very much needed because when Sean Lee went down last year the Cowboys had to plug in many familiar players to the position. Now these players will have more experience and reps to be ready for the upcoming season.

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