▪ Dennis Houston: Third-round pick Jalen Tolbert was supposed to be the rookie wide receiver who made the quickest impact. But Houston, undrafted from Western Illinois, is getting first-team run ahead of Tolbert. He has the trust of Dak Prescott. He is where he is supposed to be and he catches the ball.
▪ SS Markquese Bell: The undrafted rookie from Florida A&M has turned heads since he showed up for rookie minicamp. A hybrid safety/linebacker, the Cowboys compare him to starter Jayron Kearse. He is here to stay.
▪ DE Mike Tafua: Tafua, an undrafted free agent from Utah who led the Pac-12 in sacks last year, just keeps showing up in practice. The Cowboys like his size and demeanor. The numbers are tight at defensive end but he impressed top scout Will McClay.
▪ CB DaRon Bland: The fifth-round pick caught the eye of owner Jerry Jones at the start of camp for being around the ball and making plays. He still has a hill to climb because of the players in front of him at cornerback but he has the attention of the people who count.
▪ WR/KR KaVontae Turpin: Turpin was on his couch at the start of training camp and seemingly still persona non grata by the NFL for a domestic violence arrest from his college days at TCU. Now he is a virtual lock for the Cowboys roster as the primary kick returner and getting looks as a slot receiver.