With camps winding up and something resembling real football happening on our screens, we can get a good idea of what to adjust from expectations going into training camp and what to continue to track to fill in variables in draft value equations the best we can. It’s time to take a breath before the second and third preseason games give us even more to (over) react to.
There’s no end to the Ezekiel Elliott holdout in sight, but many reports have been positive about the likelihood of something getting done before the season begins. Fourth-round pick Tony Pollard appears to have separated him as the biggest winner if Elliott doesn’t report before Week 1, and Pollard could have a “weapon” WR/RB role even after Elliott does report...Amari Cooper is dealing with a heel issue that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but one report said it is a ligament issue as opposed to a bruise, which is the type of injury that could linger all year...Michael Gallup has gotten universal praise and appears to be ready for the second-year leap. He could be a big hit if Cooper is up and down like he was in Oakland...Center Travis Frederick says feels back to normal after missing last year with an immune system disorder. Guard Zack Martin had a precautionary MRI on his back that showed no structural damage… Jason Witten has reportedly picked up where he left off in 2017 and will play a big role in the offense, although his snap count might be lower than it was two years ago...Demarcus Lawrence hasn’t returned yet from offseason shoulder surgery and the team’s other starting defensive end, Robert Quinn, has a broken hand and will be suspended for the first two games (Giants, at Washington).
Daniel Jones was perfect in the preseason opener, although the team continues to insist that there is no quarterback controversy. That could change if Jones performs well in the second and third preseason games… Wayne Gallman is banged up with a foot strain and Paul Perkins is back, muddying the backup running back battle. Rod Smith was added in the offseason and his special team prowess could give him an edge… Golden Tate has had a solid camp but will serve his four-game suspension as his appeal was denied… Sterling Shepard has been practicing and catching passes despite having a broken thumb… Evan Engram has generated buzz from multiple observers heading into his third year and could have increased targets early in the season while Tate is sitting.