Optimism abounds for two Cowboys in the offseason: Checking in on DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant …

Last year, Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray saw his season end early with a fractured ankle/AP

It’s the offseason, which means stories and outlooks are generally sunny. That continues right up until mid-August, when teams start to play preseason games and begin to understand what they are missing.

So, after attending Cowboys rookie minicamp this weekend, everyone was in good spirits — even with coach Jason Garrett saying the rookies are “light-years away.”  Specifically, two position coaches spoke positively about the progress of two main guys.

What do I mean?

Cowboys RB coach Skip Peete spent last week watching formerly injured RB DeMarco Murray work out, and he sounded pretty pumped about it. Murray had tweeted as much. Peete saw plenty of good signs in Murray, who is recovering from a fractured ankle.

“He’s good, we worked out last week,” Peete told me. “It was the first time we had an opportunity to go on the field with him. To me, he looks fine. He was running routes, he was doing all the drills, he’s doing the workouts. At this point, he did everything we wanted him to do on the field. I know right now he can run and everything on it. Whether he can take a hit on it, I don’t know.”

Peete said there was no sigh of relief. Everything is still cautious. But early returns were solid.

“Him on the ankle, you want to see if he’s able to cut, change direction, plant and drive off that thing,” Peete continued. “And (Murray) was able to do that. We had him run different routes, and he had to actually put pressure and plant and drive hard off of it and there was no problem doing it. Right now, looks good, fine.”

And then Peete made fun of a reporter walking by for wearing ridiculous camouflage shorts. He asked if the reporter was trying to be invisible. Awesome.

Anyway, next was WR coach Jimmy Robinson, who talked about the progress Dez Bryant is making. Unlike last year, the mercurial Bryant is under the Cowboys’ care, and that’s making a difference.

“(He’s) working really hard and getting better out here every day,” Robinson said. “That’s got to carry over to the next phase, to the OTAs, and training camp and then regular season, game day. … It’s a real gradual, play-by-play, day-by-day progress. It takes a lot of time. The teaching sessions got off to a good start. He’s out here working really, really hard to get better. It’s got to make a difference. If it doesn’t, then what’s the point of the offseason program?”

Robinson added, “I’m confident that it’s going to help.”

See what I mean? Confidence everywhere.

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