Through David Helman
FOX Sports Dallas Cowboys Author
OXNARD, California — Trevon Diggs has had enough of the Vogel app.
There’s no training camp playground like Twitter, that particular social media platform with the deceptively cute bird as its logo.
As any savvy veteran knows, 10-second video clips of training become training camp narratives on Twitter. Such was the case with Diggs last week when clips of him were shown losing reps to CeeDee Lamb and Simi Fehoko went viral.
The response from the world of chair trainers and footwork experts was enough to prompt Diggs to deactivate his Twitter account – a decision he succinctly justified.
“It’s poisonous,” he said. “I’m not usually on Twitter much, but I’m at camp. I’m trying to focus, trying to hold on and getting better every day.”
This is the epicenter of a unique debate about Diggs. He led the NFL with 11 interceptions last season, which was good enough to make him a first-team All-Pro. Still, there are many in the NFL community who see his aggressive playing style and say he gives up too many yards to be considered one of the game’s best corners.
It’s a debate that hasn’t stopped since last season, and it’s likely to intensify this fall as it will be Diggs’ last season before he’s eligible to negotiate an extension.
When asked about Monday’s exam, Diggs said he understands it’s part of the job.
“I feel like that comes with it. Hatred comes with success,” he said. “I don’t trust anyone. Everyone has to have their own opinion. I can only control what I can control on the pitch and let my game speak for me.”
All this does not mean that he wants to look at these opinions in his spare time.
“I can’t answer everyone, I can’t answer everyone, so I’d rather not say anything and just show up on the field,” Diggs said.
Dak Prescott expects Cowboys to ‘take on bigger roles’ for WRs.
The Dallas Cowboys conduct their annual training camp in Oxnard, CA.
The Cowboys worked through a padded workout Monday afternoon. Here are some highlights from the area.
competition is coming
The Cowboys’ kickers had a solid afternoon on Monday – but is it a little late?
Lirim Hajrullahu and Jonathan Garibay both had strong exercises. Hajrullahu was perfect on eight kicks and Garibay hit a respectable 6-of-8, a significant improvement over previous games. Both boys capitalized on their chance in a moment of pressure as they both connected at 40 yards at the end of the team’s two-minute practice.
Nevertheless, the team leaders confirmed on Monday evening that they will train four kickers on Tuesday. The names to know are Brett Maher, Cole Murphy, Matt Ammendola and JJ Molson. Maher is obviously a household name, having served as the Cowboys’ kicker in 2018 and 2019 with mixed results.
“We just want to see what’s out there and take a look at the best kickers available out there,” said Will McClay, Cowboys vice president of player staff.
It’s just training, so no changes need to be made to the roster just yet. But it will be interesting to see how eager the Cowboys are to make a move with either of the two kickers on the list now.
Beginners in the spotlight
If you’re unfamiliar with the Markquese Bell name, it’s probably time you learned it.
We know that unconscripted Florida security has been keeping an eye on A&M since spring, when the front office guaranteed him $200,000 to sign in Dallas. That’s an astronomical number for a man who didn’t hear his name during the 2022 NFL Draft.
The thing is, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound rookie continues to show why the Cowboys were so intrigued. For starters, that framework gives him the flexibility to play multiple roles in this defense, much like reigning starter Jayron Kearse.
And if you think that sounds like an exaggeration, hear it from Defense Coordinator Dan Quinn himself.
“What I’ve seen so far is someone who can take on multiple roles and I feel like he has the speed and length to play two spots in our defense, both at the back end at safety and closer up the line of scrimmage as a linebacker,” Quinn said.
On Monday, Quinn gave Bell the opportunity to show off his skills with the starters. The rookie even managed to make an outstanding play, knocking down a pass Dak Prescott intended for Sean McKeon. Bell admitted he could take the opportunity to chat with the franchise quarterback for a bit, but said he’s just trying to make the most of every chance he’s given.
“It means a lot to me that I can just be out here, even if I’m going with the twos or the threes,” he said. “I’m in the NFL and I train against NFL players – regardless of what position they play or where they are on the depth chart.”
To look good
The irony is that the coaching staff was looking for an excuse to let their kickers attempt a game-winning field goal, but that had to wait until the second string took the field.
Dak Prescott enjoyed arguably his best session of training camp on Monday during the two-minute practice session that concluded the session. The coaches fielded the starters around their own 25-yard line and were 14-12 in a game scenario with 1:36 to play and an offensive timeout.
Again, a field goal would have done the job, but Prescott wasn’t keen on letting the kickers do it. He led the offense down the field into the opposition red zone, completing 6 of 7 passes and finding a variety of targets from CeeDee Lamb to Dalton Schultz to Tony Pollard.
The lone incompletion came on a throwaway inside the 10-yard line when Prescott lifted the ball out of bounds, seeing his favorite read well covered. From there, with 16 seconds to play in the scenario, he floated a ball down the seam to a wide-open CeeDee Lamb for a go-ahead touchdown.
Starting defense gave Prescott plenty of trouble at this camp, but he made Monday’s two-minute work look one-sided.
David Helman reports on the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports, providing insight and analysis on the NFL’s most visible franchise. Before joining FOX, David spent nine seasons covering the Cowboys for the team’s official website, DallasCowboys.com. In 2018, he won a regional Emmy for his role in the production of “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion,” about the Mississippi state quarterback’s time.
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