Cowboys Scrimmage Preview: Top 10 Things To Look For

We'll Be Inside AT&T Stadium Sunday For The Dallas Cowboys Scrimmage - And Here, Our Preview: Top 10 Things To Look For
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FRISCO - We'll spend Sunday afternoon and evening inside AT&T Stadium for the Dallas Cowboys scrimmage - what used to be called the "Blue-White Scrimmage'' before coach Mike McCarthy rolled into town.

What other changes will we see? Improvements? Concerns? Our Preview: Top 10 Things To Look For At The Scrimmage:

1) ATMOSPHERE: Cowboys officials tell me one of the reasons to stage this event at AT&T Stadium is to use it as a "dry run'' for the logistics of playing a game in the building in a COVID-19 environment. Everything from temperature-taking to bus travel, to sound and the roof, to adjustments to when there are fans in buildings (no fans will be here on Sunday, but the Cowboys would like to have 50-percent capacity going forward and when there are no fans there ... as will be the case in some road games.

2) DAK IN A NEW OFFENSE: QB Prescott had a poor day throwing the ball in Thursday's workout. 

READ MORE: Cowboys Practice Notes: The Good & The Not So Good (Dak)

But otherwise this has been a smooth transition, with an offense that is working on him scrambling more, and rolling left and then squaring up to throw. You'll see all of that Sunday.

3) A PERFECT KICKER: Special-teams coach Bones Fassel predicts that Greg Zuerlein will be the NFL's best kicker in 2020.

He's been that so far in this camp - essential perfection for the former Rams All-Pro.

Oh, and speaking of special-teams: CeeDee Lamb as the punt returner?

4) THE 3-HEADED MONSTER, PART I: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb. You're about to see Lamb demonstrate why, except for the temporary absence of a star on his helmet, he's in a class with the others.

READ MORE: McCarthy: Cowboys Have 'Three No. 1 WRs' In Amari, Gallup and Lamb

And maybe more.

5) THE 3-HEADED MONSTER, PART II: So far in camp, the Dallas O-line has been unable to handle the pass-rush threesome of Demarcus Lawrence, Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen. 

Let's watch for how often the three are used together.

4) SPLIT PERSONALITY: Ezekiel Elliott as the bell cow. And Tony Pollard as ... something more than just Zeke's backup. There is competition for a third job, but the show is those two guys - together.

READ MORE: Split Personality: Ezekiel Elliott On Sharing Cowboys Carries

5) DIGGING IT: Does this coaching staff want to play rookies? That's a challenge, because so much is unknown. 

But second-rounder Trevon Diggs - who will get lots of work with two first-team DBs sidelined - is about to demonstrate that he's too talented to sit.

6) O-LINE COHESION: Because Tyron Smith has missed some practice and because La'el Collins had, until Friday, missed all of the practices, this O-line hasn't been together much.

This scrimmage is a benchmark: They need to get it together now.

7) PLAYCALLING STRUCTURE: This is McCarthy's offense, orchestrated by coordinator Kellen Moore. But who says what when? Which coaches are in the box and which are on the sidelines? Will there be playcalling trickery? Cleverness? Aggression?

Or ... will McCarthy prefer that this thing, which will be televised (Channel 21), stay vanilla, so as to keep opponents from knowing the same answers you want?

8) JAYLON AND LVE: Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have switched spots; LVE is in the middle, Jaylon is the WILL. But in practices, they've often looked interchangeable in what they do.

But LVE has pass-coverage range. And Jaylon has pass-rush talent. Eyeball both here.

9) A 4-3, BUT ...: The Cowboys want to be "multiple'' on defense. Will they switch it up every series, not only disguising coverages but completely changing fronts? That can make it awfully complicated for an opposing offense ... as long as it doesn't confuse the Cowboys themselves.

10) IS THERE REALLY A SECOND SAFETY? Xavier Woods is one of them. 

After you - and owner Jerry Jones - watch this scrimmage, will you be clamoring for a phone call to be made to Earl Thomas?