For the better part of a year, former UTSA quarterback Dalton Sturm had to deal with an injury to the elbow in his throwing arm.
That slowed him down when he went to training camp with the Dallas Cowboys. It still lingered when he had a chance to work out for other NFL teams. It eventually kept him out of throwing drills at San Antonio Commanders mini-camp in December.
But after having a procedure on his elbow, Sturm has declared himself ready to throw for the Commanders’ first training camp workout tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 5).
“I feel good. I’m ready to go tomorrow,” Sturm said. “My recovery time was good. My arm feels good so I’ll be able to throw it around tomorrow and hopefully make some good plays.”
Sturm started all 24 games UTSA played his final two seasons – including a bowl appearance his junior year in 2016. As a senior he completed 185-of-297 passes for 2,185 yards and 15 touchdowns in 11 games in 2017.
It was after his senior season was over that he hurt his elbow while getting ready for a shot at a pro career.
“It was actually just a freak accident. I was training for pro day,” Sturm said. “I’ve been dealing with it for … close to 10 months, almost a year. Before pro day, I went down to Florida. I was doing some work out there. I felt something in my arm when I was throwing some weighted balls working on a quick release and stuff like that.
“I’ve just dealt with it. I finally got the opportunity to get it fixed. The recovery time, I thought that went good. Now I’m ready to throw.”
The injury wasn’t healed when he joined the Cowboys for training camp last summer. He didn’t get in any of the team’s preseason games before being released.
Sturm still considers his time with the Cowboys well spent.
“There is an enormous amount you are able to pick up just from all the guys you are around,” Sturm said. “Just study habits, just work ethic, just a bunch of different stuff like that. Things that you never would have thought about.
“Being able to pick up some of that stuff from Dak (Prescott), from Cooper (Rush) and from all the guys, being out there is a great opportunity. I learned a lot.”
Joining the fledgling Alliance of American Football (AAF) and playing in the spring allowed Sturm to get his elbow right. His contacts in the NFL also encouraged him to give the new league a chance. He hopes it will also lead to him getting more playing experience.
“Whenever I was released (by the Cowboys) I had a couple of opportunities to work out with other teams. But then when I found out about this opportunity, my agent thought it was a great idea,” Sturm said. “I actually got pushed along by coaches from the Panthers as well. They thought it was a really good idea for me to go out there and get film.
“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me and for all these guys. For all of us to help make this league grow and to benefit us by getting some film and being able to play football.”
The Commanders have four quarterbacks in training camp: Dustin Vaughan, Marquise Williams, Logan Woodside and Sturm. All four were at mini-camp in December and all but Sturm got work in throwing the ball at mini-camp.
“I feel like I got everything out of mini-camp, just as much as everyone else did,” Sturm said “The only thing would be timing with receivers. But I feel like we’ve got a month to do that. I didn’t lose an edge. I was able to learn the playbook. I was able to get started on being able to do that.
“That’s the main thing. With this new league, none of us have played together. Being able to get that chemistry and getting everyone on the same page is going to be big. We weren’t able to do team reps during mini-camp, not a whole lot of them, not full speed. This month right here is going to be really important.”
The Commanders will have to cut their 75-main training camp roster down to 52 by Sunday, Feb. 3. That means the four quarterbacks are competing not only to start, but probably for two or three roster spots.
“I think it will be good,” Sturm said. “A couple of us knew each other prior. Just being able to go in there and learn from each other, being able to compete on and off the field, being able to help each other grow is going to be good.
“At the end of the day, everybody wants the starting job. It’s going to be whoever wants it and whoever grasps the offense and takes this team to wins.”