From Micah Parsons to KaVontae Turpin, 8 Cowboys who have impressed in training camp

OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys have been in California for 10 days. In that time, they’ve had five practices with two being in full pads.

It’s probably too early for a complete stock report including players who have been disappointing. Finding out that reserve running back Ronald Jones will be suspended the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances is certainly one disappointment. All-Pro right guard Zack Martin still not being at camp would be another.

We will likely do a stock report in the coming weeks, but for now, we’re focusing on just the players who have been the most impressive to start training camp.

Here are eight who have stood out so far.

1. Micah Parsons. He might top the list if we were compiling one for the entire league. Parsons has been making things difficult for whoever he lines up against, from reserve offensive tackles to starters like Tyron Smith and Terence Steele. Pass rushers aren’t allowed to hit the quarterback, but Parsons accidentally did so Tuesday, knocking Dak Prescott to the ground on a play that probably had many in the organization holding their breath. There’s no question that Parsons is not only ready for the season, he’s ready to again make a run at NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

2. CeeDee Lamb. This is Year 4 for the Cowboys’ No. 1 wide receiver. Each season, his statistics and overall play have improved. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue. Lamb has a way of making the difficult look routine, which has already been on display during individual and team drills. The offensive changes haven’t seemed to have any negative impact on the team’s top offensive playmaker.

3. Brandin Cooks. The rapport between Cooks and Prescott has been impressive since minicamp. Cooks has unique speed and quickness that has led to multiple big-play throws from Prescott. The plan is to often line up Cooks next to Lamb, forcing opposing safeties to pick which they are going to double. It’ll often be Lamb, which should lead to many big plays by Cooks, who appears to be in excellent shape entering his 10th NFL season.

4. Stephon Gilmore. The other veteran the Cowboys traded for in the offseason hasn’t intercepted a pass, but he has consistently been blanketing wide receivers. The only catch that stands out from a play where Gilmore was defending was a Michael Gallup highlight one-handed grab during individual drills Tuesday. Gilmore looks more than ready to team up with Trevon Diggs to make one of the league’s top cornerback tandems.

“His preparation, he’s on it every single day,” Cowboys defensive backs coach Al Harris said of Gilmore on Wednesday. “He eats right, studies, takes notes. And the thing about it is usually when you get guys that have the accolades that he has and the amount of years that he’s played, you kind of as a coach, you don’t know if you can disrupt that. And he’s still willing to learn. Just little things that you tweak him on, you only got to tell him once. He’s been great. To hear him talk to the younger guys, I think it’s awesome. I think that was a really, really good addition for the team and the entire defense.”

5. Jalen Tolbert. His start to camp has been a positive sign in his development from his rookie season. After not making much of an impact last year, Tolbert needed to show that he’s capable of being a No. 4-type wide receiver this season. And so far, he’s done just that, making contested catches and appearing to be more comfortable in the offense.

6. DeMarcus Lawrence. Entering Year 10, Lawrence looks like a player with some gas left in the tank. He has recorded multiple sacks in team drills in full pads and has looked fresh in individual work. The Cowboys’ defensive end rotation is loaded with Parsons, Dante Fowler, Sam Williams and Dorance Armstrong, but Lawrence will continue being one of the biggest defensive contributors as long as he’s able to stay healthy.

7. Jalen Brooks. If the roster was being cut today, Brooks would likely make the final 53. The seventh-round pick has looked very athletic and confident. The Cowboys have been impressed with the way he has picked up the offense and consistently made plays. It’s still very early, but Brooks appears to be doing all of the right things. Several wide receivers made this list, meaning it should be one of the more interesting position groups to sort out over the next few weeks.

8. KaVontae Turpin. After missing the first few days of camp to witness the birth of his daughter, Turpin returned to Oxnard and hit the ground running. He showed his outstanding kick and punt return ability last season, but during the start of camp, Turpin has been consistently making plays as a wide receiver.

(Photo of Brandin Cooks: Jason Parkhurst / USA Today)

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