Dallas Cowboys

JUST CHILL: Don’t Sleep on Jameill Showers, other scrimmage standouts

1. Quarterback Jameill Showers should be getting more serious attention from fans and the Dallas Cowboys regarding the backup quarterback position. Most of the focus is on rookie fourth-round pick Dak Prescott and understandably so. He is the one the team is grooming for the future. But right now, Showers is ahead of Prescott and playing the better football. Showers is throwing it better and making quicker decisions. That was most evident in the Blue/White scrimmage even though he got all of his reps at the end with third stringers. Showers will have a chance to make a big jump in the preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday night.

2. Receiver Andy Jones has gone from long shot to seemingly a lock to make the roster. It just depends on how many receivers the Cowboys keep. But outside of Dez Bryant, Cole Beasely and Terrance Williams, no receiver has been more impressive in training camp so far than Andy Jones. That includes Devin Street, Bruce Butler and Lucky Whitehead. Keep an eye on Jones. If he continues to show up and standout in the preseason as he has so far in practices, the Cowboys will have to make room for him or watch him get picked by another team. He will not get to the practice squad.

3. Linebacker Derek Akunne is another longshot who is making a name for himself early in camp. The former North Texas product got time with the first team defense in the Blue/White scrimmage on Sunday. It had a lot do with numbers because the Cowboys have so many injuries at linebacker. But coach Jason Garrett said Akunne earned his opportunities. He is undersized, but he plays with great instincts and has a knack for finding the ball. He had a sack in the scrimmage on Sunday. Again, he must continue to show up when the lights come on in the preseason.

4. Tight end Geoff Swaim didn’t get many opportunities last year as a rookie seventh-round pick from Texas. But he has grown and matured and is now seemingly ready to make the most of his opportunities. With Gavin Escobar limited and James Hanna out with a knee injury, Swaim is getting a run behind starter Jason Witten. He also has become a favorite target of the young quarterbacks, particularly Dak Prescott. Swaim was drafted by the Cowboys because of his abilities as a blocker, but he showing that he has good hands and is athletic enough to get up field. Prescott found him on a bootleg and a short touchdown in the Blue/White Scrimmage.

5. Receiver Lucky Whitehead will get his opportunities in the regular offense on reverses and fly sweeps. But his mark will be made on special teams. He had a dynamic punt return for a touchdown in the Blue/White scrimmage. It’s a testament to his development and maturity in his second year. He makes better decisions and gets up field faster. No more dancing. With his speed and quickness, it doesn’t take much for him to hit it big. Whitehead should put the big play back in the Cowboys return game.

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