FRISCO, Texas – It’s early and it is only an organized team activity in June, but there was one play during Wednesday’s practice that showed there just might be some tread to the Dak Prescott-to-Allen Hurns connection for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018.
Facing third-and-long in 11-on-11 situational work after a holding penalty on an Ezekiel Elliott run, Hurns lined up in the slot with a receiver outside of him. Under some duress, Prescott found Hurns between cornerback Byron Jones, who was responsible for the outside receiver, and safety Xavier Woods for a long gain and a first down to keep a drive alive.
Hurns was signed before the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, and they will ask him to be a major part of a wide receiver group that has changed over. Hurns has shown the ability to play all three receiver spots, and with more plays like Wednesday’s, the Cowboys’ passing game might be better than folks think.
On to more OTA observations:
Prescott was particularly sharp in situational work in which the offense was trailing 23-20. He found tight end Geoff Swaim down the seam for a big gain with linebackers Jaylon Smith and Justin March-Lillard and safety Kavon Frazier in close proximity. In team drills, Prescott was unofficially 12-of-15.
The aforementioned drive would have ended with March-Lillard scooping up a fumble on a low shotgun snap from Travis Frederick to Prescott, but coach Jason Garrett allowed the offense the recovery since he did not want players diving on the ground. Dan Bailey made a short field goal that tied the game.
It was a good day for March-Lillard, who will be in the fight for the reserve linebacker spots. In tight red zone work, he broke up a pass from Prescott to Blake Jarwin in the end zone. He is somebody to keep an eye on once the pads come on in training camp.
Prescott got on right guard Chaz Green for a false start with the offense driving. Prescott went with the hard count to try to draw the defense offside to get a free play, but Green flinched and the quarterback let him hear about it.
Cole Beasley had an uncharacteristic drop, but earlier he had a nifty one-handed grab of a Prescott throw on a crossing route near the sideline.
The second-team offense was not able to move the ball well in its situational work after Bailey’s field goal. Jarwin had a drop. Cooper Rush was sacked, forcing a timeout, and on fourth down his slant was incomplete in part because of pressure from undrafted defensive end Austin Larkin.
In the tight goal line work, Jarwin and Rush hooked up for a touchdown in the middle of the field with a nice throw down the seam over linebacker Damien Wilson and between Wilson and safety Kavon Frazier. The third-team offense also was able to get a score in the compete period with rookie QB Mike White finding rookie tight end Dalton Schultz.
The Cowboys went through clock-management drills before practice. For all the folks who get on Garrett about clock management, he puts his players through a lot of scenarios during the offseason and minicamp to be prepared for any type of situation.