It’s the doldrums. The middle of the offseason. Time to be catching up with the Cowboys.
As a player you’re not going to make the final 53 this week. Relax. Unless of course you’re a bottom tier player of the Dallas Cowboys. If that’s the case you better be bringing your “A-Game” every day unless you want to be on the street looking for work.
Actually, you may have brought your A-Game and it may not matter. The Cowboys personnel department doesn’t just watch the bushes for talent. They rattle, prod, poke and assess 24/7 – 365 trying to find the best 53 they can for opening day.
Veteran CB’s Terrance Mitchell and Brandon McGee were both waived. In the past weeks OTA’s the team gave draft selections Anthony Brown and Arjen Colquhoun extensive work. The cuts of the two veterans makes one believe the team likes what it sees at this juncture from the two rookies.
The first year players didn’t totally sell the team as the front office did bring veteran CB Brandon Boykin in for a look but the visit hasn’t produced a contract as of this time. Still it’s good news for the team they are pleased with their draft choices in the defensive backfield … so far.
The club doesn’t make moves without reason. After the CB’s were released the team signed some veterans kicking the tires on OT Bryan Witzmann, ILB Brandon Hepburn and DE Lawrence Okoye.
The team learned a long time ago in order to properly assess players in preseason games they need veterans of a certain caliber around them. Otherwise the game falls apart and what you get on film isn’t that useful. Witzmann is probably a player along those lines. A “camp body” however he could surprise. ILB Brandon Hepburn and DE Lawrence Okoye fall into the next category, “kicking the tires on players with measurables.”
ILB Brandon Hepburn – 6’2″, 240 lbs, 32 1/2″ arms, 9″ hands, 4’68 second 40 yard dash, 21 reps bench press, 124″ broad jump. Another SPARQ score candidate Hepburn is a member of the National Honor Society and the Science Honor Society. The dude has offensive lineman smarts. A walk on starter at Florida A&M Hepburn carried a full load to get a degree in biochemistry while those around him dabbled in basket weaving. RKOG. Ya think?
Rolondo McClain still hasn’t shown his grill around Valley Ranch. I don’t believe Hepburn is in town for show.
Originally drafted in the seventh round by the Lions Hepburn could be getting his post football life in gear with his resume. Instead he’s out on the field grinding for the last two years trying to make it in the sport he loves. He’s a football player. Keep your eye on this kid.
DE Lawrence Okoye – 6’6″, 304 lbs, 34 1/2″ arms, 4.78 second 40 yard dash, 35″ vertical, 10’5″ broad jump. Another SPARQ eye candy athlete the British Olympian finished 12th in the 2012 London Olympic games in the discus. At 6’6″ you’re not supposed to be able to move like that. Okoye can and coaches eyes bugged.
49ers, Cardinals and the Jet’s all took a close look at Okoye. Now it’s the Cowboys turn. He lined up at DE during recent OTA’s and reportedly didn’t disappoint. A sure thing? Not even close. Intriguing with huge upside? Now you’re talking. Still only 23 years old the talent is there. Looking at what Rod Marinelli has been able to do with guys off the street it’s more than a little bit interesting to posit what he can do with a bona fide Olympian. Bring it on.
Sean Lee is “on track” in his recovery from a knee “clean up.” Brandon Carr is seeing time at both right and left CB setting the stage for Scandrick to matchup with the other teams number one WR. Ezekiel Elliott is looking good. Randy Gregory has been kicking it into high gear. Ronald Leary is pressing for a trade and Dallas has been playing OT’s Chaz Green and newly signed Witzmann at OG to see what options they have inside.
Mid-offseason and if you don’t keep checking you may not recognize a lot of the players in the span of a week. It’s the 2016 offseason and Dallas has it’s eye on the prize. The latest cuts and signings won’t be the last ones you see before game one of the season.
Sleeper Alert – ILB Brandon Hepburn – A serious audition will be given.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over