FRISCO - It's a "quarterback sport.'' It's a "quarterback league.'' And given the rehab of, the investment in and the talent of Dak Prescott?
Yes, today inside The Star during Thursday’s OTAs figures to be a "quarterback day.''
Inside Cowboys OTA Today: Dak & Top 10 Storylines ...
1 DAK DAY The last time we saw Prescott on the field, in a May 25 OTA, he announced of his day: “I wouldn’t say necessarily limited. I would say, 'cautious' ... (but) “I’m pretty much full-go.”
Added tight end Dalton Schultz: “Seeing him right back where he left off is awesome.”
Prescott is of course rehabbing from ankle surgery, and part of the ramp-up to actually performing at a "full-go'' level at camp is the occasional day off. We will know soon how Dak's work week is planned. But even on a day of "mental reps,'' this team's practices, and our eyeballs, remain fairly Dak-centric.
2 STARTING SAFETIES New Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee, the free agent from Atlanta, seems to have taken charge at free safety. We sense there is competition Donovan Wilson is most likely to get a push for the strong safety job from Jayron Kearse.
We will watch for first-team snaps and rotations there today.
3 O-LINE BACK? While Zack Martin (calf) isn’t quite ready, tackles La’el Collins and Tyron Smith are progressing quickly.
How "in-the-picture'' is the duo? They're even scheduled to meet with the media today ... not the favorite part of the job for either of them, but important to Cowboys Nation - and that matters, too.
4 LB GOSSIP? Dallas fans would be wise to skip the bogus trade gossip about Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, to instead stay plugged in here for how many snaps they get with the first team, which spots they play, and how top rookie Micah Parsons mixes in.
Those are the linebacker storylines at this time. The other stuff is made-up junk.
5 SIMI PUSH He's the receiver who got drafted and his 6-4, 225-pound frame is noticeable. But before anybody thinks Stanford product Simi Fehoko is pushing the premium receivers on this roster, he needs to absorb the shoves from the guys behind him. There is no indication quite yet that Fehoko has separated himself from the other kids.
In fact, we're told that maybe the most productive receiver in OTAs so far has been Cedrick Wilson, the vet who is behind the Big 3 ... but ahead of Simi.
6 BACKUP QBs If Dak goes down ... Garrett Gilbert goes in.
That's how it's looked so far: Gilbert as the No. 2. That's Gilbert's goal, of course. Does Gilbert demonstrate on the field today any reason to have faith? We will watch.
7 EDGE It's time for Randy Gregory to become "dominant'' as a pass-rusher, agree?
Numbers aside, might he be even better while in competition with new vet Tarell Basham?
8 SLEEK ZEKE Tight We sense that Cowboys Nation is hungry to hear more about Ezekiel Elliott and his work to be more elusive. Does that show up in his frame? Does it show up in his work? Is Zeke building toward contention for a third NFL rushing title?
9 ‘MULTIPLICITY’ It's an overplayed question, but the Cowboys kind of bring this on themselves? "Are you a 4-3 team or a 3-4 team?'' We still think the answer is about "being multiple.'' Of course, that was the coaching staff's explanation of its defensive plan a year ago, too ...
And you might recall how that worked out.
10 THE FINAL WORD Co We don't think we're being unfair to suggest that at times last season, Cowboys practices under new head coach Mike McCarthy lacked a certain energy. Is it all about yelling and screaming and whooping and hollering? Maybe the creates a false impression of activity.
But ... the presence of new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has made its mark in that department - and that's not just our observation; players are telling us the same.
This is a long grind, and it's only just beginning. "Pep in your step'' helps a team get through it all, and again ... we'll be watching.