Cowboys’ Jabrill Cox makes quick return to training camp after 2021 injury: ‘I’m ready’

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OXNARD, Calif. — If the Dallas Cowboys have any chance of matching or improving on a mostly stellar defensive season they delivered in 2021, they’ll need to add an extra point (or two) to Micah Parsons. What a breakout sensation for the linebacker. When they used a fourth-round pick on Gabriel Cox last season, the assumption was that the former Tiger would be just that, but a torn ACL during his rookie season put a pause on his potential. gave

Now healthy and cleared to return, Cox started the Cowboys’ training camp with the fire to be what the team hopes he’ll be: an NFL starter as early as 2022. To do that, he has to defeat Leighton Vander Esch. As for the reps — LVE re-signed him to a one-year deal last spring — but Cox looks as physically ready as he’s ever been.

Up until this point, it was just about getting over the mental side of coming back from such a devastating injury.

“That’s something I did in June and July to really gain confidence going into training camp,” Cox said. “Now, I don’t even have to think about it. The thought process is just me reading and going. I don’t even think about my leg. … I feel like I’m always better. Can. I never will. Get over me. But I feel great, even better than I did coming into camp last year.”

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When asked if he was already back in top form, Cox was unequivocal.

“I’m ready,” he told CBS Sports.

For his part, head coach Mike McCarthy is already singing Cox’s praises.

“Gabriel is very bright, and smooth,” McCarthy said this week. “He’s faster and faster than you think. … He didn’t have a lot of opportunities. [in 2021] But when he did, he made plays.”

And he will have more opportunities to advance.