IRVING, Texas -- Here's a quick review of what we learned after three days of Cowboys rookie minicamp practices.
Rookie running back Joseph Randle didn't participate fully during the three-day minicamp because of his recovery from thumb surgery. He said he'll be playing with a chip on his shoulder as there were nine running backs taken before Randle, who ran for 38 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Oklahoma State. Randle didn't flinch when asked if he could take over the starting running back role should something happen to DeMarco Murray.
The Cowboys signed sixth-round draft pick DeVonte Holloman late last week. As for the rest of the draft picks, don't expect many to sign right now. The new CBA makes it easier to sign players because of a sliding scale with draft picks. The only hangups are signing bonuses. The Cowboys expect to sign the rest of the draft picks in June.
If the Cowboys keep three quarterbacks this fall, take a hard look at Nick Stephens, a 6-foot-3, 226-pounder from Tarleton State. He threw a nice deep ball during minicamp. And while he's not as mobile as Tony Romo, he has the smarts to get rid of passes either by checkdowns or throwing passes away.
Toward the end of Saturday's practice session, safety J.J. Wilcox intercepted one pass in 11-on-11 drills and almost had another. Wilcox made the plays while lining up near the line of scrimmage. He's projected as a solid tackler with the ability to make plays on the ball. That's something Cowboys safeties haven't done with consistency the last few seasons.
At first glance, center/guard Travis Frederick looked pretty good during the minicamp. He's not fast, but who wants an offensive lineman who runs a 4.3 40-yard dash? Frederick is very quick in smalls spaces and uses angles with his arms nicely when creating holes on run plays. We're not sure if Frederick is going to get pushed off the line come September, but he wants to weigh 320 pounds. He's currently at 317. Frederick seems to be the perfect pick for the Cowboys because of the system he played in at Wisconsin. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan likes to use a zone blocking scheme where linemen play with power. That's what Frederick did for four seasons in college.
Notes: Randle got 21 scholarship offers when he came out of high school. Texas didn't offer him one, and Oklahoma wanted him to switch to defensive back. Randle stayed true to Oklahoma State. ... Holloman, who is getting looks at the strong side linebacker spot, said of the minicamp: "It was shocking for everybody. Nothing can prepare you for this tempo." ... WR coach Derek Dooley on what he enjoys about being a position coach: "The intimacy you develop with players and watching them progress."