By The Sports Xchange
The Cowboys hit the field today (Thursday) in Oxnard, California. Here are three key storylines we'll be following through the preseason.
1) Get Dak Prescott on the same page with his receivers. Prescott was criticized the past couple of years for not developing any chemistry with the departed Dez Bryant. He has worked hard in the offseason to get on the same page with his new receivers on the Cowboys, especially free-agent additions Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson and rookie third-round pick Michael Gallup. They spent time in Orlando working out before camp. But the real work will take place in training camp.
2) Trade for Earl Thomas. The Pro Bowl safety plans to hold out from training camp with the Seattle Seahawks if he doesn't get a new contract or get traded. He is interested in joining the Cowboys and the interest is mutual. This could happen during camp or before the start of the season. Secondary coach Kris Richard came to Dallas in the offseason after serving as the defensive coordinator in Seattle. He envisions Thomas becoming the quarterback of the Cowboys defense. Per a source, Thomas would already be with the Cowboys if a contract extension was the only obstacle. It's a matter of finding an agreeable trade with the Seahawks, whose demands so far have been too high.
3) Find a defensive tackle. Maliek Collins is expected to be slowed at the start of camp because of offseason foot surgery. David Irving is not in camp as he deals with off-the-field issues and he's out for the first four games of the season due to an NFL suspension. So the defensive tackle position is a focal point of training camp. The Cowboys must find some capable bodies to hold down the fort until Collins and Irving are ready. Jihad Ward, Brian Price and Richard Ash are the primary contenders. The Cowboys are excited about the potential of Ward who came over in a trade from the Oakland Raiders where he played out of position in their 3-4 defense. The Cowboys believe Ward has the chance to develop quickly in the Cowboys' 4-3 scheme.