SCOTT SLANT: Cinderella of Cowboys camp

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

This might not be the Cinderella you’re expecting out of Dallas. (With that said, more on Cedrick Wilson in a moment). Darian Thompson wasn’t a late-bloomer at Boise State. He started making an impact just over a month into his first season as a Bronco in 2012, nabbing his first interception in a 40-16 win at Southern Miss. By the time he left in 2015, Thompson had the Mountain West career record with 19 picks. It’s taken time for Thompson in the NFL, though. He was a starter in his second year with the Giants in 2017, but foot injuries ultimately derailed him in New York. Thompson was designated as waived/injured and was released two years ago Tuesday.

Thompson was signed as a reserve by the Cowboys in 2018. Now he’s not an afterthought—he’s on a roll. “His work ethic, his workload capacity is outstanding,” coach Mike McCarthy said in the Dallas Morning News. “He’s having a great camp.” Great to the point that many expect him to knock veteran Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the former Alabama star, right off the Cowboys roster. “Experience is huge,” Thompson said. “Just being able to get out there and get some reps with those guys in a game-like situation has been awesome. I’m continuing to look at the film and critique myself and be my hardest critic.”

THE OTHER CINDERELLA

There’s another former Boise State star who’s been fitting the slipper the past month. Wilson has been making Dak Prescott look good in Dallas (not to mention his offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore). Here’s the Wilson chronology from Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News: “His first NFL season ended on injured reserve following a shoulder injury in training camp. His second season began on the practice squad and ended on IR after a December knee injury.” Fast forward to today, and here’s Gehlken’s take: “Here in 2020, a healthy Wilson has locked up the Cowboys’ No. 4 receiver job (after the) depth chart was fairly open to begin camp behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and rookie CeeDee Lamb.”

A sampling of what Wilson has done just in the past five days: “Friday’s NFL training camps were highlighted by Dak Prescott throwing to Cedrick Wilson, who shook free at the goal line for a touchdown with no time on the clock in the Dallas Cowboys’ scrimmage.” Then on Monday, the Dallas Morning News reports that Wilson caught a slant and sprinted away from cornerback Daryl Worley untouched for a long touchdown. Minutes later, Wilson rolled his left ankle, re-entered drills, and “promptly caught a 25-yard touchdown against Worley over the middle of the field.”

BYU MISSING BUSHMAN

BYU is lucky enough to be playing football this fall (at least, we think that’s a good thing), opening the season Labor Day night against Navy. But the Cougars will be doing it without one of their biggest weapons, tight end Matt Bushman, who suffered a season-ending ruptured Achilles in practice on Monday. It’s doubly-tough for Bushman. Last winter he had considered entering the NFL Draft early before electing to return to Provo for his senior year, and now this. Bushman was a thorn in Boise State’s side last October, keying the Cougars’ upset with two trick-play touchdowns a minute and a half apart in the third quarter. He has 125 catches for 1,719 yards and nine TDs in his career.

FORMER HAWKS ‘CANDY MAN’ THRIVES IN DETROIT

Probably the most solid of former Boise Hawks during the delayed and jump-started 2020 season is the unheralded Jeimer Candelario. The Detroit Tigers third baseman is batting .297 with four home runs and 17 runs batted in. He hit .356 during the month of August. Candelario, who’s in his fifth major league season, was a mainstay in Boise in 2012, hitting .281 with six homers and 47 RBI. The Tigers are trying to hang on in the expanded playoff race—they’re 17-16 after Tuesday night’s 13-2 rout of Milwaukee.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!

September 2, 1955, 65 years ago today: Ernie Banks blasts his 40th home run of the year to propel the Chicago Cubs past the St. Louis Cardinals, 12-2. That set the record for homers by a shortstop, which Banks would increase to 44 by season’s end. In 1958, the future Hall of Famer would break that mark by hitting 48 somewhat tainted homers. And that record would stand until 2001, when Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers snapped it with 52. A-Rod then bettered that by clubbing 57 dingers in 2002.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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