Off-field drama continues to find the Dallas Cowboys.
Receiver Lucky Whitehead found his way into the headlines for a shoplifting citation and the team gave him his walking papers minutes before they opened training camp.
On the field, there were plenty of takeaways. Here are five:
1. It’s only Day 1 and pads weren’t on, but linebacker Jaylon Smith impressed. He went through drills and looked good throughout the day. The Cowboys are taking a cautious approach with him early, but there’s no question he stands out on a football field.
As Dez Bryant said, “The dude is a freak of nature. He looks like a damn action figure out there.”
2. The left guard position is an open competition with Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper the two leading candidates. Green and Cooper switched reps with the first team, and that appears to be among the most important battles on the offensive side.
La’el Collins took all of the first-team reps at right tackle.
3. Damien Wilson worked as the first-team strongside linebacker in the base defense. Wilson finds himself in a precarious situation after being charged with two second-degree felonies earlier this month from a Fourth of July incident.
Wilson declined multiple interview requests after practice. Time will tell whether the NFL issues punishment, and how his legal proceedings go.
4. The first-team defensive line featured DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford on the ends, and Maliek Collins and Cedric Thornton on the inside. First-round pick Taco Charlton worked with the second team, although defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli likes to rotate his defensive linemen throughout a game.
The Cowboys have been trying to build a pass rush in recent years, and the difference-maker could be Lawrence. The Cowboys are hopeful he is more of his 2015 self, when he had a team-leading eight sacks, than his 2016 self, when he had one.
5. The Cowboys continue to be a popular draw in Southern California. There were 5,072 fans on opening day and they were loud and excited about merica’s Team. Owner Jerry Jones and Oxnard city officials held the annual ceremony to kick off another training camp.
“I do want you to look with interest because I’m about as excited about what this team can accomplish this year as I’ve ever been in the 29 years I’ve been with the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones told the crowd. “This has the makings of the right stuff out here.”
“Motivated? I’m always motivated. I’m excited. You see that Green Bay game last year we lost? [Shoot], it’s on. Straight up.” — Dez Bryant
LB Justin Durant (NFI): Day to day.
DT Richard Ash (PUP): Day to day.
CB Jourdan Lewis (personal): Expected to join team Wednesday.
Aug. 3 vs. Arizona (NBC)*, 7 p.m.
Aug. 12 at Los Angeles Rams (NFL Network), 8 p.m.
Aug. 19 vs. Indianapolis (NFL Network), 6 p.m.
Aug. 26 vs. Oakland, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31 at Houston, 7 p.m.
* Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio