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Dallas Cowboys training camp preview: Start date, when rookies, veterans report, position battles to watch

The Dallas Cowboys report to training camp in July. We break down key report dates and training camp battles to watch.

KaVontae Turpin of the Dallas Cowboys practices punt returns during training camp at River Ridge Fields on August 09, 2022 in Oxnard, California. Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are hoping for a stronger finish in 2023. They fell to the San Francisco 49ers for the second-straight year in the postseason, so Dak Prescott and Co. are prepared to set the bar even higher when training begins this summer. The team has experienced a few key departures on offense, headlined by veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott and tight end Dalton Schultz. It’ll be interesting to see how different the Cowboys will look without them in camp.

Dallas Cowboys training camp start date

Rookies reporting: July 25
Veterans reporting: July 25

First preseason game: Cowboys vs. Jaguars (August 12)

Key position battles to watch

Running back

Tony Pollard will take over the starting role, but an interesting aspect of this position group comes behind him. The Cowboys need to replace the workload of Ezekiel Elliott, who carried the ball 231 times in 2022. Pollard obviously can’t handle that himself, and potential candidates include Malik Davis, Ronald Jones, Deuce Vaughn and Rico Dowdle. Carries will be available for whoever wins the backup spot, so this is a camp battle to keep an eye on. Vaughn and Davis are the two most likely options.

Tight end

The Cowboys are in need of a new starting tight end in a position that previously had been held by Dalton Schultz. Plenty of young players are in the mix with second-year pro Jake Ferguson as the likely favorite. Luke Schoonmaker was a second-round selection in this spring’s NFL Draft along with Peyton Hendershot, who was an undrafted rookie last season.

Offensive line

It’s tough to project where the camp battle will exist along the offensive line because if all are healthy, it’s not an issue. From left to right, starters are expected to be Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin and Terence Steele. However, Tyron Smith was injured for much of last season, and Steele tore his ACL and MCL in December and is unlikely for training camp. If he’s out much longer, there could be shifts along the line, likely leaving the left guard spot open after the adjustments are made.

Cowboys training camp news updates

July 19 — Martin may not report to camp due to a contract dispute, per Adam Schefter.