OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys held their second practice of training camp on Saturday.
Here are some takeaways from Saturday's slate of action:
1. Take it on the Lamb
The Cowboys' first-rounder from a year ago had two impressive catches during practice. The first was on a go-route in individual drills, with Prescott delivering a beautiful ball down the right sideline to Lamb. The second grab was a reception that foreshadows the breakout Lamb could have in the regular season.
Lamb was being shadowed by cornerback Trevon Diggs in man coverage, but the sophomore Lamb was able to peel away and make contact with the ball. Lamb used one hand to grab the ball and pull it into his chest for a reception as he went to the ground.
The former Oklahoma Sooner is demonstrating his ability to play more than the slot, which is where he will have most of his opportunities when Amari Cooper is back in the lineup.
2. Diggin' it
During the first day of camp, Diggs showed his ability to break on the ball; to try to create takeaway opportunities. On day two, Diggs displayed the skills to shadow his man and knock the ball away, which he was able to accomplish in a battle with Lamb.
The former 2020 second-rounder had a team-high 14 pass breakups last season, tied for the eighth-most in the NFL. The Cowboys defense will take a huge leap in 2021 if Diggs can provide them with a defender who can shut down his assignment while also coming up with interceptions.
3. Ezekiel Elliott still has wheels for the passing game
One of the reasons that Elliott was dynamic in his earlier years was due to his ability to turn a screen into a huge gainer or sneak out of the backfield on a wheel route. While this was only the second day of practice at training camp, Elliott showed that he still has the ability to catch the ball in stride and take off.
Elliott had a down year in 2020 with 52 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns. His most productive year out of the backfield was in 2018 when he grabbed 77 passes for 564 yards and three touchdowns.
With Tony Pollard getting a larger role in the offense, Elliott may not approach that production, but he will still be looked to in order to achieve that efficiency as the top man on the depth chart.
4. Tight end will be a battle
Blake Jarwin was the Week 1 starter last season, but tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams the first game. Enter Dalton Schultz, who took advantage of the new role with 63 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns in Jarwin's absence. Jarwin is back, and he looks to be on track to contend for the starting job.
Schultz may not give up the starting tight end job so easily as he is in the last year of his rookie contract and has developed as a player.
If the Cowboys have two starting-quality tight ends, head coach Mike McCarthy may need to go back to his old Green Bay Packers days when he had two viable tight ends in Jermichael Finley and Donald Lee, who combined for 92 catches for 936 yards and six touchdowns during the 2009 season.
5. Practicing for the Super Bowl
The Cowboys held their opening ceremonies at River Ridge Playing Fields, with the team presenting a check to mayor John Zaragoza, who also gave owner Jerry Jones a trophy. The 78-year-old owner, who has had possession of the franchise since 1989, joked when he was hoisting the trophy that he was practicing for when he next hoists the Lombardi Trophy.
The association the Cowboys have with the city of Oxnard is part of the team's Southern California tradition, going back to when they had training camp at nearby Thousand Oaks, which lasted from 1961 to 1989.
The Cowboys have held training camp in Oxnard in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and then 2012 through 2019. The only "Hard Knocks" training camp that was not in Oxnard was in 2002 when the club trained at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Do you think CeeDee Lamb is in for a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2021? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.