Training Camp News Roundup: 7/31

  • The Cowboys are leaning on Dak Prescott’s running ability to cure their red-zone woes
  • The Redskins are considering trading Trent Williams, which would be detrimental to their inexperienced offense.

We’re another day closer to the start of the regular season and the news just keeps coming. Here are some updates from training camps around the NFL:

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The Dallas Cowboys are adding another dimension to their offense according to new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore:

Dallas struggled in the red zone a year ago, ranking fourth-worst in success rate on plays inside the 20-yard-line. 2018 rushing champ and current hold out Ezekiel Elliott had a hard time especially. He ranked 25th in the NFL with a 47 percent success rate on red zone rushes and dead last in the NFL in touchdown rate on rushes inside the 10-yard-line with just three scores on 22 carries.

However, Dak Prescott was successful on 74 percent of his red zone carries, which was tops among NFL players with 15 attempts. Letting Prescott run more, especially inside the red zone, should make the Cowboys a far more dangerous offensive team.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the news isn’t so good on the Trent Williams front:

The Redskins are the only NFL team to rank in the bottom-10 in pass protection in both of the past two seasons, finishing 7-9 twice. Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has been the anchor for the Redskins’ offensive line for the last decade.

With Jay Gruden’s current quarterback options being a rookie (Dwayne Haskins) and a pair of journeyman veterans (Case Keenum and Colt McCoy), the loss of Williams would be a huge hit to an already shaky offensive line. They still provide one of the best values to finish with the worst record in the league.

Continuing our trip around the NFC East, one rookie that is standing out in training camp is Philadelphia Eagles’ second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside:

The Stanford product measured 6-2, 226 pounds at the draft combine and both his parents played professional basketball in Europe. The Eagles’ red zone numbers dipped dramatically in 2018, running successful plays only 44 percent of the time, despite ranking in the top-three of red zone snaps.

The addition of a big-bodied receiver to a weapons arsenal that already includes Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery should help the Birds’ red zone offense return to their 2017 form when they ranked first in touchdowns per red zone trip.

Michael Thomas and the Saints came to terms today on a massive contract extension:

Thomas was one of the most productive receivers in 2018. He not only led the NFL in receptions but also had a positive play rate on 73 percent of his catches, by far the highest in the league, beating out DeAndre Hopkins by nearly nine percent.

There has been a lot of optimism surrounding the Cleveland Browns this year with the additions they made in the offseason, but there still seems to be one issue Cleveland still can’t fix:

The Browns ranked 28th in field goal percentage in 2018 and went 2-4 in games decided by three points or less. Cleveland drafted Austin Seibert in the fifth round of the 2019 draft to compete with Greg Joseph who was picked up by the Browns in September of last season and made 17 of his 20 field goal attempts.