Training Camp Notes: August 25th
August 26, 2016 | Justin Edwards
In a scene that has become all too familiar, Tony Romo hit the ground awkwardly last night and started writhing in pain. Both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett said that the injury wasn’t serious, claiming that he was pushing to get back on the field soon afterwards. Luckily they left him on the sidelines, as they’ll hopefully do for their fourth and final preseason game; whatever lowers the possibility that their franchise QB will suffer an injury that will force him out for an extended period of time. The Dallas Cowboys are 1-13 over the last 5 years when Romo doesn’t play and even though Dak Prescott has looked great so far, I very much doubt they want to hang the reins over quite yet.
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On the other end of the spectrum for “America’s Team” would be the play of super-hyped rookie Ezekiel Elliot. All of us fantasy nerds were watching with bated breath to see what sort of usage he would have in his first NFL action and it was nothing but great news. The rookie was in on 14 of 15 snaps for the Cowboys before the first team left the field, ceding the field only once for a 4 WR, 1 TE set. He ran the ball quite well, absorbing hits and punishing defenders for 48 yards on seven carries. We probably already knew he could do that, what we are looking for at this point is pass protection and/or blitz pickups, things that are going to keep him in on 3rd down and hopefully translate into some receiving production. We saw exactly that as he picked up a defender with ease on two separate plays, even seeing a target in the passing game. The first (almost) real game action against a team’s first string defense went nearly perfect for the former Buckeye.
Dress Rehearsal Adds Confusion to Miami’s WR Rotation
With Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills playing exclusively as the Dolphins’ wideouts in 2 WR sets, Stills ended up out-snapping DeVante Parker 45-to-38. There’s a possibility the second year wide receiver is still feeling the effects of his hamstring tweak from earlier this month; he has been quite injury prone since missing extensive time due to a foot injury in his rookie year. Or, hell, maybe Kenny Stills is just ready to see an early career resurgence after a disappointing first year with Miami (27-440-3), his last two games have added up to 7-117-2 on 10 targets. While this shouldn’t affect Jarvis Landry’s usage in the slightest, it does put a damper on the thought of Parker playing as the eventual no. 1 for the Dolphins. It would do well for Stills to improve on his deep ball-reception-or-bust with Tannehill’s less-than-stellar deep pass. Per their current ADPs Landry is going as a low-end WR2 and Parker is going as a low-end WR3. That seems about right, though I like Jarvis a little more than that.
Gore or Less Touches?
Just a few weeks after Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski said there will be no “pitch count” for Frank Gore coach Chuck Pagano says “We have to be very, very smart to make sure that we have him available for 16 games…We have a number in mind and we’ll try to do our very best to stick with that number.” Sooo…you know, a pitch count. The question isn’t ‘do the Colts want to limit the wear and tear on a 33 year old running back?’ The question is ‘who the hell is going to take snaps back there on this roster?’. It looks like the best option at the moment is Robert Turbin who has 281 carries and 50 catches through 58 career games, someone who is adept at giving a no.1 running back a breather every once in a while. Special teamer Jordan Todman has even less usage in his 3 years of NFL play; 115 rushes and 40 receptions in 45 games. Rookie Josh Ferguson looked wonderful since being drafted. Of course up until he had to take the field and do the job. The UDFA has been called a “third down matchup nightmare” by Pagano but that’s not going to do anybody any good if he can’t protect Andrew Luck in the passing game. For now the running game is all Frank Gore and a hodge podge of unusables behind him. Literally none of them are worth drafting outside of Dynasty Leagues.