The Dallas Cowboys returned for a second full day of work at The Star in Frisco and while the rave reviews for the facility continued (see CHQ's Video Tour here), the centerpiece, necessarily, was football. To wit, our
ITEM: Ezekiel Elliott was seen working with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant and the rest of the first-team offense during the media-view portion of the 8 a.m. practice on the outdoor fields. The plan is for him to participate in Thursday's preseason Game 3 at Seattle, the "dress-rehearsal'' game to prep for the regular season.
Additionally, Lance Dunbar was also part of the workout, having apparently fully rehabbed from the serious knee injury that has sidelined him for most of last year.
By the way, while we talk a lot about trading Darren McFadden, he'd have to be pronounced healthy and activated to do that. Why not just keep him and his elbow stashed on NFI for six weeks as an insurance policy?
ITEM: Sidelined, however, was Tyrone Crawford, who the Cowboys say sustained a blow to the head in a previous practice and now is undergoing supervision due to concussion-like symptoms. Also not working on Monday were fellow defensive linemen David Irving and Shaneil Jenkins and linebackers Andrew Gachkar and Mark Nzoecha. It did appear, however, that edge-rusher Benson Mayowa is gearing up for participation against Seattle.
ITEM: Orlando Scandrick took a "vet's day off'' but not due to any injury concerns, the team says.
Meanwhile, the Dallas defense continued its focus on takeaways.
"For us, taking the ball away is huge, not just for us, the defense, but for the whole team,'' Byron Jones said. "We work on strips, taking the ball away, interceptions ... trying to get one and taking it to the end zone.''
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ITEM: Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are still feeling good about their work in the preseason win over the Dolphins (see my Video Report above, and see our game coverage from inside AT&T Stadium here) but are also moving on with some realistic and fun takes on where they're at.
The rookie QB told the media on Monday, "I want to be a starter for this organization one day, and a starter in this league for a long time."
At the same time, he recognizes he's a rookie with so much to learn.
And then later, in a visit with Fish for 105.3 The Fan, Dak also has some fun with his apparel and with some reflection on his mention of "ice cream'' to the media at-large.
Preseason phenom Dak Prescott on Monday exhibited exactly the right amount of casual cool - cool as rocky road ice cream, in fact - in our one-on-one conversation on the subject of locker-room fashion and exhibition-game defense.
"Naw, not really," the Cowboys rookie QB told me when I asked if his "You're Killing Me, Smalls!" T-shirt represented a fashion statement or any statement of another kind. "I just haven't had a chance to do my laundry yet. It's all I had in the closet and it matched what else I had on"
The Cowboys have been scrambling, travel-wise, in recent days, with the move from training camp in Oxnard to their second preseason game against the Dolphins on Thursday, and now their move into the new facility The Star at Frisco.
And Prescott has been scrambling as well. And staying in the pocket. I'm throwing for touchdowns in two preseason games. And running for touchdowns, too. The rookie fourth-round pick from Mississippi State has called Cowboys concerns about needing to give up assets in order to acquire a veteran QB to back up Tony Romo.
And yes, that takes into consideration the fact that his wild success in the preseason so far this summer has come against opponents that played so-called "vanilla defenses."
Prescott noted to the media at-large on Monday that he didn't even care if defenses threw "rocky-road ice cream" at him. (A "vanilla" joke, get it?)
I asked him about the quote later, noting that it is not a fair criticism because all defenses are playing vanilla in the preseason and not all quarterbacks are 22 of 27 for four passing TDs and two rushing TDs, as Prescott is.
"Right, as you say, it is what it is, a criticism ... People are going to find something to criticize all day," Dak said. "I just focus on how I can help my team."
And what was that "ice cream" thing again?
"I don't care if it's vanilla or rocky road," he repeated. "If it's what they're giving me then I gotta take it."
Prescott respectfully reiterated on Monday his goal to be Romo's someday-heir, and smart Cowboys recognize that such a baton-passing represents a long-term project.
But for now ... Can Dak Prescott continue to throw completions with the same ease he exhibits throwing on his "Sandlot" T-shirt? That's where the Cowboys are moving toward, even when the ice cream flavors become more varied.
ITEM: Ronald Leary (groin), it's been suggested to us, probably won't play at Seattle. Fellow O-lineman Tyron Smith (stinger) does want to play alongside his first-team mates.