FRISCO, Texas – Minicamp is winding to a close, but you wouldn’t know it from the action on the field.
Wednesday marked the second day of minicamp, giving the Cowboys just one more practice day before they break for the summer. Before they do that, though, they seemed pretty determined to fit in as much as possible into these final two days.
Here are some notes from around the practice field and the locker room:
It’s amazing the things that can change in a year.
Jason Witten should be plenty familiar with Dak Prescott’s skill set by now, having played two full seasons with him. But returning from a yearlong retirement, Witten said it’s obvious that Prescott has grown by leaps and bounds since he left.
“He’s always been a great leader and how he’s gone about it, but he sets the tone for this football team and you can see the improvement,” Witten said. “I know I can, from being away for a year, with how much he’s improved with his game as a quarterback.”
Witten said Prescott has been fantastic during the offseason program, leading the first-team offense through 10 crisp practices to this point. When he was pressed for details about that improvement, he cited the various ways Prescott has improved as a passer.
“I just think, from my perspective, the accuracy has been unbelievable with throwing to us,” he said. “The velocity on the ball, the anticipation of the throws. We run certain routes and nobody notices it, but that ball is coming out – when you’re coming out of the cut, the ball is already on you.”
That lines up pretty well with what’s been on display during the open practices. Prescott has looked efficient and accurate throughout the spring, and having the added time to work with Witten and Amari Cooper can only help.
There might be no pads on and no tackling allowed, but Wednesday’s minicamp practice evoked the players’ competitive spirit.
Quarterback Dak Prescott and safety Jeff Heath exchanged words in team drills after Heath stopped Prescott on a quarterback keeper in the flat. The jawing didn’t last long and was quickly forgotten.
“Dak’s one of my best friends on the team,” Heath said. “That probably happens once a practice — not between me and Dak, between guys.
“As a competitor, he’s got the same mentality that defenders have. I like that. I like that he reacted that way.”
Frederick Making Progress
Until last season, guard Zack Martin couldn’t recall many snaps, if any, where he lined up next to a center besides Travis Frederick.
Now Frederick is on the road back to full practice participation after recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome in 2018.
“Feels great to have him back,” Martin said. “He’s getting some work in individual (drills) which is nice. Obviously he’ll wait until training camp to get into team drills, but it’s nice kind of working through some drills and working through some fits.”
Training camp promises to offer a fantastic battle on the left side of the line, if these offseason practices are any indicator. The pads haven’t even gone on yet, but the battles between Tyron Smith and Robert Quinn have already caught attention.
“To go against that type of player each and every day only elevates my game,” Quinn said. “I give it my all, and you can’t take any plays off. I think both of us are making each other better, day in and day out.”
Ironically, Smith took a veteran day on Wednesday, as the Cowboys try to manage his workload. But the training camp reps between a six-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Pro Bowler should make for a fun watch.
“We’re just going to practice what we do, and if you enjoy the show, I guess – you’re welcome,” Quinn said.