OXNARD, Calif. – The undrafted rookie cornerback hasn’t looked hesitant since the Cowboys landed in California.
SMU’s Bryan McCann played timid a lot of the time in the Alamodomo, but he’s made a lot of plays in Oxnard. His most impressive play so far came when he outfought Miles Austin for a ball in the Wednesday morning practice.
Tony Romo tried to hit Austin on a back-shoulder fade in the end zone, but McCann got a hand on the ball. The Pro Bowl receiver and rookie corner both had a chance to grab it at that point, but McCann came down with the ball, getting both feet down inbounds for the interception.
“When their hands go up, we put our hands up and just try to break the pocket,” McCann said. “That’s what I did. I was leaning into him to break the pocket, and usually when you hit the ball it will fall, but that time the ball just kind of was suspended in the air for a quick second. We kind of bobbled it around and I just pulled it out of the air and hung onto it.”
Secondary coach Dave Campo jogged over to McCann, offering him a fist bump and some encouragement.
Campo said earlier in camp that he’s intrigued by McCann’s 4.35 speed and ball skills. But Campo wanted to see McCann be more aggressive, something that has happened over the last week.
McCann, whose preseason debut was cut short when he suffered a chest contusion on a punt return, said he’s more confident after getting extended playing time in last week’s loss to the Raiders.
“Everybody would ask me how I was doing,” McCann said. “I would say I’m doing my job, but I didn’t necessarily feel that I was making an impact. Now I feel like I’m trying to make the transition from doing my job to making plays and making an impact.”