Football is a sport of intense competition. With each snap, eleven players engage in battle with the other eleven men who line up in front of them. This doesn’t change when your opponents are your own allies. At Oxnard also the competition arises during the fourth exercise of the training camp.
Saturday was no different. Pads were absent but a fight broke out. There was no dearth of competition from secondary to kickers. Here are some of the most popular fights from the first week’s final exercise.
Cowboy’s Secondary vs. Natural Regression
All this season, Cowboys fans have been imagining what a defense might look like without turnovers. After all, with a league-leading 34 takeaways in 2021, that number has to drop, right?
Well, it almost certainly will, but no one has told Dallas secondary yet. Because the ball-hawking cornerback and Safari appeared once again in Saturday’s practice.
A strong start continues for Dallas secondary camp. Trayvon Diggs got his first pick during the Move the Ball period. AB gets another two passes. Jayron Kearse picks up a deep pass in an attempt at a Hail Mary.
— David Hellman (@davidhelman_) 29 July 2022
Trayvon Diggs seems to be picking up right where he left off. With an early interception in practice, he set the tone for the rest of the secondary to pass his hands on during the rest of the day. Even Nashon Wright got in on the action.
Turnover will certainly be more difficult to come by next season, but the Cowboys are up for the secondary challenge.
CD Lamb Vs A True Disaster
During training camp, the words “non-participant” are as scary as they sound. Speculation about the severity of the injury quickly swirls and it becomes a story out of nowhere. Well, the latest victim of the injury bug was Cowboy’s WR1, CeeDee Lamb.
After an impressive outing on Friday, Dallas announced on Saturday that the third-year receiver would not participate in full team practice. Any injury to the lamb so soon is as bad news as you can get.
But there is no cause for concern. Stephen Jones told the media that he was excluded from team practice for the “Day of the Giants”. While a slight tightness kept him out for a while, he still took part in the walkthrough. Lamb also made a twisting catch in the end zone in the early part of the day.
His absence allowed receivers like James Washington to get more reps and compete for that WR2 spot while Gallup rehabs. Lamb is fine and this is a nonfiction story, but it was relatable for a short time.
cowboys fans vs nostalgia
After 26 seasons of gloom, the 2022 season was one of the more pessimistic in recent history. Most are expected to return from their 12-5 finish last season. But you wouldn’t know it based on fan polling.
Because Saturday’s practice was not only full of potential, but it was also a struggle to make it to the camp today.
Practice doesn’t start until 11:15 a.m. PT, but Cowboys fans are queuing up for four hours in advance to get to the River Ridge complex. And there was probably a quarter mile more before turning off the camera. pic.twitter.com/tMcYq0PWCu
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) 30 July 2022
It’s too late for anyone who comes to today’s cowboy training camp exercise. Oxnard city officials and the team closed the gates to the capacity of the place. There are over 4,000 fans here. First was Patrick Milan, who arrived at around 3:30. pic.twitter.com/pNowTL8nv3
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) 30 July 2022
Fans came to watch their team practicing at 3.30 am. Perhaps this is a sign of football returning for the first time in nearly six months. But whatever the reason, Cowboys Nation put on a big show today to see their team lose for the final time this week.
Lirim Hazrullahu vs Jonathan Garibe – Camp Battle of the Day
Greg Zuerlein leaves a lot to be desired in 2021. His missed kicks in games put the Cowboys in the hole too often, and his 88% PAT percentage was near the bottom of the league. they now have the opportunity to resurface with New York Jets,
But the departure of Zurlein opened the door to a new face in Kicker. The Cowboys have opted for a camp-war approach to decide who will succeed Greg the Legion in 2022. And on Saturday’s practice, the kicking competition began.
The first candidate is Jonathan Garribe, a free agent kicker of Texas Tech He made every kick within 50 yards during his senior season. Another is a familiar face: Lirim Hazrullahu, who appeared in Atlanta Falcons Game 2021 after Zürlein was placed on the COVID-19 list. Hazrullah is a veteran kicker, not in the NFL, as he earned two All-Star appearances and won the Gray Cup kicking in the CFL.
Two different avenues for the starting kicker job are now joined in a fierce competition. And in his first fight, Hazrullah gains.
So the FG fight started today at Cowboy Camp. Lirim Hazrullahu went 7-8, going wide left for 47 yards. Texas Tech product Jonathan Garibe went missing 4-8 out of 44, 47, 45 and 50.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) 30 July 2022
Hazrullah finished that day at 87.5%, with his only miss coming from a distance of 47 yards. Garibe was not as successful, missing 50% of his kicks and hitting the NFL Network set lights on his last rep.
There’s still a month and a half left for the regular season to begin, so this camp fight isn’t over. In fact, one would expect a less experienced kicker to struggle under the pressure of his first kicking competition. But that worry will have to be allayed if he wants to capture the opening gig as Hazrullah is off to a hot start. Today’s fight may be over, but the war continues.
And with that the first week of the 2022 training camp is officially in the books. Football is back, fans are showing up, the secondary is placing his hand on the pass, and there’s a big question mark over the position of the kicking. Has anything changed?