Cowboys News: Gregory says Nolan played favorites, 2021 camp battles, who isn’t ready to practice yet

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There will be plenty of competition at the Dallas Cowboys 2021 training camp, and The Mothership ranks the 10 most intriguing position battles that will kick off in Oxnard, California this week. Will everyone be available? Not likely as there are a few lingering injuries the club will have to watch as things kick off. Randy Gregory’s opportunities came sparingly in 2020, and he believes favoritism towards Aldon Smith was the cause.

Where does the DL stack up against others in the league? On the other side of the ball, receiving threats took a nose dive with the Cowboys QB situation in 2020, but Amari Cooper still stood among the league’s best in receiving plus-minus. Second-year man CeeDee Lamb gets the in-depth profile treatment and he may only have scratched the surface as a rookie.

Micah Parsons brings a loaded toolbox of skills to the Cowboy’s defense.Top 20 training camp storylines, keeping eyes on rookie cornerback Nahshon Wright, and more dominated the news and notes on Tuesday.

Dallas Cowboys 'pumped up' as training camp begins with 'Hard Knocks' :: ESPN

Link The most interesting tidbit in this piece by Todd Archer might be about the health of some players as training camp gets underway.

There are some questions about how much wide receiver Amari Cooper (ankle), defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (back) and defensive tackle Trysten Hill (knee) will do early on during training camp, but Stephen Jones does not expect extended absences for any of them or any other players who are coming off injury.

Randy Gregory on 2020: “I Got Robbed Of A Year” :: Inside The Star

Link Randy Gregory returned to the field last season after missing the year before with an indefinite suspension and showed flashes of what he put on film in 2018. However, his opportunities were limited, and he feels it was due to favoritism towards Aldon Smith.

Ranking all 32 NFL defensive line units ahead of the 2021 season :: Pro Football Focus

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27. DALLAS COWBOYS

Randy Gregory will have an opportunity to finally put it all together as the starting left edge defender in Dan Quinn’s new defense in Dallas. The first six years of his NFL career have featured up-and-down play and extended suspensions, but he was playing the best football of his career down the stretch of 2020, earning an 80.5 overall grade on his 270 defensive snaps. He still needs to show he can play up to that level as a starter over the course of an entire season. While Dallas' edge group features some promise, the team needs several interior players to take big steps forward. The Cowboys allowed 2.3 rushing yards before contact per attempt in 2020 — a half yard more than any other defense in the NFL.

2020 Receiving Plus-Minus: The Return of Stefon Diggs and the Deep Threat :: Football Outsiders

Link The Cowboys' Amari Cooper ranks in the top 15 for a second-consecutive year and comes in No. 12, but Michael Gallup was near the bottom of the NFL, ranking No. 80. Also of note, Tony Pollard shows up in the bottom-10 of qualifying running backs at No. 39.

Receiving plus-minus is a stat we annually track to help provide context to catch rate. Given the location of a receiver's targets, it compares his catch rate in each area to historical baselines. This stat does not consider passes listed as "Thrown Away," "Tipped at Line," "Miscommunication," or "Quarterback Hit in Motion" by Sports Info Solutions charting. The odds of a pass being completed are based on the pass distance, the distance required for a first down, and whether the ball was thrown to the left, middle, or right side of the field. This is a counting stat, so more targets are obviously a great thing for the purposes of what we're talking about here.

Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb may be much better than his 2020 season hinted at :: Cowboys Wire

Link An in-depth look at the first year (and a look back at college years) of the Cowboys new No. 88 as the player profile countdown towards the regular season continues.

Rank'Em: 10 Position Battles To Watch During Camp :: Dallas Cowboys

Link The Cowboys have plenty of players who will be looking to bounce back from disappointing 2020 seasons or to make a name for themselves as rookies on both sides of the ball. Kyle Youmans of DallaCowboys.com ranks the top 10 position battles to watch at training camp.

Cowboys training camp: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and the 20 biggest storylines to watch beginning this week :: The Athletic

Link The Cowboys are set to begin training camp this week. Jon Machota of The Athletic dives into the top 20 storylines to look for in Oxnard which include the return of Dak Prescott, Mike McCarthy, the plan for the Cowboys defensively, and more.

One move the Dallas Cowboys should have made this offseason :: Fansided

Link The Cowboys did a lot to bolster their defense in the offseason from the disaster it was in 2020. One thing they didn't do is part ways with linebacker Jaylon Smith although many were calling for the Cowboys to do so after such a terrible showing last season.

Keep your eyes on Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright as camp draws nearer :: Blogging The Boys

Link When the Cowboys drafted Nahshon Wright 99th overall in the third round, the pick was much-maligned by fans and evaluators. However, Wright has hit the ground running during OTAs and minicamp and is in a position to compete for significant playing time in training camp.

1) Realistic Expectations For The Cowboys? :: Dallas Cowboys

Link Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips, and David Helman give their expectations for the 2021 Cowboys which include the organization winning the NFC East.

Nick Eatman: A realistic goal for the Cowboys is to compete for a Super Bowl this year. Yeah, I said it. But it's not that crazy when you break down the actual term. It's a realistic goal. The goal for all teams is to win the Super Bowl. Rob Phillips: Let's just start with the NFC East. Anything else is far over our skis. If we really look at this objectively, the Cowboys and Washington have the most impressive rosters (on paper) in the division. David Helman: The Cowboys play in a division that makes this question easy to answer. The NFC East is one of the worst divisions in the league by any objective measure. Washington and New York made improvements during the offseason, to be sure, but these are still teams with serious flaws. Even more important than that: neither of them has a quarterback as good as Dak Prescott.

Michael Gallup could be on verge of playing his way out of Dallas :: Cowboys Wire

Link Having three dynamic wide receivers like Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup is a luxury the Cowboys are grateful for. However, at some point, you have to pay all three. Gallup is entering a contract year, and another big season could take the Cowboy's talented trio down to a duo.

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