Week Two of Dallas Cowboys Training camp will end in a date with the Miami Dolphins at the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Before this game there is much to be discussed following the practices that have taken place thus far. This past week unlike any other featured new faces in new places and the one aspect of football nobody likes; injuries. The competition is heating up in Oxnard, though the temperature remains breezy and cool.
First, we start with Sunday’s Blue & White Scrimmage that showed many younger Cowboys trying to make a case to lock up roster spots; a few noteworthy observations are as follows:
Sunday July, 28th Blue & White Scrimmage
- Tony Romo continues to look sharp as he was 14-19 in 7-on-7 drills; Romo also had a pair of touchdown passes to Jason Witten, and Miles Austin.
- Tyron Smith did a much better job at containing DeMarcus Ware; however Ware was able to make his way into the backfield for a would-be sack on Romo.
- Cornerbacks B.W. Webb and Sterling Moore both put out solid performances with Moore having a few impressive pass-breakups. Webb takes the cake though with his very instinctual pick-six off Kyle Orton to end the game.
- Quarterback Alex Tanney has cannon for an arm, but he needs to release the ball a bit quicker as he had a touchdown pass to Eric Rogers that would have been a sack by George Selvie. Tanney however is turning heads in Oxnard, trying to force these Coaches to keep three passers on the roster.
- Dan Bailey has missed only two kicks throughout Training Camp, one miss was surely one he neglected to judge the wind. Bailey did get a chance to redeem himself when he connected on a 53-yard booming kick right down the middle.
- JJ Wilcox is hitting anything that moves which brings a great identity to the secondary, but he needs to be a bit more careful or he’ll be a little light in the pockets.
- Terrance Williams was really working hard on his rapport with Tony Romo and they connected on some really nice plays that were perfectly angled over the linebackers but under the secondary.
Monday July 29th Practice
- New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi made his presence known as he gave a motivational speech after practice on the importance of unity within the team.
- Ronald Leary returned to practice with a vengeance, he’s not going away and most likely will earn himself one of these starting spots. He had a few nice blocks and plays with a much needed aggression.
- Dez Bryant is still not at full-participation, but coaches have assured all media that it isn’t serious and that their just being cautious with their number one receiver.
- Orlando Scandrick and Sterling Moore are having great camps thus far. They seem to always be sound in their technique and opportunistic when they get their chances. Scandrick has always been criticized for his “grouchy” demeanor, but maybe that will transfer well in this scheme.
- Caleb McSurdy made his presence known with a nice interception grab off Tony Romo; he recognized the play and executed his assignment which led to a 20+ yard gain.
- Jason Witten continues to be Mr. Reliable as he had a leaping Touchdown-grab over Sean Lee who was none too pleased with himself afterward.
- Broaddus gave Ernie Sims the play-of-the-day award when he was able to strip DeMarco Murray and Ware recovered the fumble.
Tuesday July 30th Practice
- It was a day for Joseph Randle who was doing his best to erase the Cowboys’ red-zone woes when he punched it in during goal-line drills. He was 2 for 3 on the goal-line drills which showed that toughness Bill Callahan has been talking about.
- Also in goal-line drills Gavin Escobar was able to snag a touchdown grab that gave the fans in attendance something to holler about.
- Garrett with all intentions tried to keep Tony Romo off the field; however Tony was having none of that as he talked his way into practice.
- DeMarcus Ware is putting to rest all the questions about him “wearing-down”, He is adjusting well back to his college-position of Defensive End. This is going to be where he excels as he won’t be used in pass coverage.
- Tackle Edawn Coughman was very good in run-blocking which led to the two touchdown runs by Joseph Randle.
- The Linebacking Core of Lee, Carter, Holloman, and Albright were “bright” spots in the goal-line drills as they completed a stand at the 2-yard line. Holloman was in for Durant, who was given a Veteran Day.
- Kevin Kowalski, who up to this point had been playing well with his opportunities left practice early with a leg-injury that was later confirmed as an injury that will keep him sidelined for 2-3 weeks. This comes at a bad time because Killer Kowalski was making an argument for an increased role.
- The Cowboys worked out four players and of the four they’ve signed Rookie Defensive End out of Central Florida Toby Jackson. Jackson missed his final season at Central Florida because he was academically-ineligible. Jackson entered the 2013 Supplemental Draft with no takers.
***Wednesday July 31st No Practice***
Thursday August 1st Practice
- The Dallas Cowboys finally got a Guard at Practice, too bad he is two-hundred pounds too light and plays a different sport. Clippers Point Guard Chris Paul stopped by and was like a kid in a candy store, obviously he is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan.
- Attempting anything at this point, Tackle James Nelson and TCU Guard Jeff Olson were signed and before the ink could dry Olson got lit up by Jason Hatcher and left practice with concussion-like symptoms.
- Jason Witten is diligently working to become this team’s go-to-guy in the red-zone and ended the day in consistent fashion with a touchdown grab.
- Tim Benford had a scare that sent him into the fence, trainers rushed over to him as he lay for five minutes or so before hopping back up and returning to practice. He helped his cause by scoring a touchdown on the very next play.
- Tyron Smith had a lousy day and was actually pulled by Callahan for his sloppiness against DeMarcus Ware; he’s starting to worry me a little as Ware was able to sack Romo three times.
- David Arkin is holding his own, which is positive considering how many believed he would be cut following this offseason. He still may be, however he is giving a valiant effort and may play the majority of the game this weekend.
- JJ Wilcox had another spectacular interception off Kyle Orton. Orton continues to struggle in these practices but many believe he’s more of a gamer. Sad excuse in my humble opinion.
- Dez Bryant returns to practice with absolute brilliance per usual.
- Injuries are stockpiling on the Offensive Line, probably the reason for Garrett wanting to sit Romo at this point in Canton.
Friday August 2nd Practice
- The Wide Receiving core was dealt a blow as Rookie wide-out Terrance Williams left with a concussion, NFL mandates that the player must stay off the field for seven days; No Dolphins game for Williams and possibly no Raiders either.
- The Cowboys Offense did receive some positive news on the injury front as Wide Receiver Danny Coale, Tight End James Hanna and Guard Mackenzy Bernadeau returned to full-participation.
- The Stars keep pouring in as Director of Friday Night Lights Peter Berg was in attendance.
- Lance Dunbar is really taking complete advantage of his opportunities, he can run, catch, block. Very impressed with this guy.
- The injuries, though most are not serious, are really a bummer right now. So far the MASH unit is as follows:
- G Jeff Olson- Concussion
- LB Alex Albright- Back
- TE Andre Smith- Hamstring
- G Kevin Kowalski- Leg
- G Ray Dominguez- Shoulder
- C/G Ryan Cook- Back
- DT Landon Cohen- Eye
- T Jeremy Parnell- Hamstring
- DE Anthony Spencer- Knee
- DE Tyrone Crawford- Achilles
- DT Jay Ratliff- Hamstring
- T Demetress Bell- Conditioning
- Bernadeau’s first day back was productive and Broaddus really was impressed with the effort he gave at the point of attack.
That is about all that was observed throughout Training Camp this week. It will be interesting to see how the depth chart shakes out at The Hall of Fame game this weekend. One thing is certain, this organization will most likely be trying out Offensive Lineman come Monday. There have been a few names to float around, none more intriguing than Brian Waters the Offensive Guard most recently known for his long career with the Patriots. The issue is that he is 36 years old and hasn’t played in a while. This Pro Personnel Staff has done a nice job in recent memory in finding contributors in hiding to get this team through difficult times. The first preseason game is a mere day away and I’m sure there are quite a few players out there looking to make an impact. As Training Camp commences, don’t forget that The Landry Hat will continue to monitor and report on all that is Silver & Blue related.