Todd Archer's practice observations

July, 30, 2011

* Every offensive end defensive linemen wore knee braces in the first full-pad practice of training camp. We will find out if they will be mandatory like they were when Bill Parcells was the coach.

* WR Dez Bryant knows how to make the crowd cheer. He was able to leap over CB Orlando Scandrick for a pass from QB Tony Romo down the sideline. However, on his first route in one-on-one drills he did not sell the first part of a double-move, allowing Mike Jenkins to come up with an interception.

* Make of this what you will: rookie K Dan Bailey worked with first-team snapper L.P. Ladouceur and holder Mat McBriar for the first time. Bailey has missed only one kick in the first three days of camp.

* WR Lyle Leong made a nice grab on a deep ball from Romo but the rookie made the mistake of leaping for the pass instead of running through the route to keep his speed.

* First-round pick Tyron Smith earned some dap from Doug Free after a healthy punch to OLB Victor Butler in one-on-one drills. Later he was over-extended on a rush but was able to get his arms out to push Butler by the quarterback.

* Unofficially, Romo went 13-of-20 in team and seven-on-seven drills. Jon Kitna was 12-of-15. Stephen McGee was 6-of-7.

* The work of OLB Victor Butler in coverage continues to be a bright spot. He had a nice interception of a throw from Romo to Bryant that was forced early after ILB Sean Lee doused RB Lonyae Miller on a rush to get pressure on the quarterback.

* Through three days of camp, NT Jay Ratliff’s quickness has been apparent in how he tracks down screen passes. He disrupted a screen to RB Felix Jones on the first play of team drills.

* TE Jason Witten got himself overextended on a running play, allowing OLB Anthony Spencer to slide by for what would have been a tackle of Felix Jones for a short gain.

* One play after getting chewed out by LB coach Matt Eberflus, Kenwin Cummings was able to blow up a running play by Frank Warren by disengaging with a guard.

* WR Manny Johnson was limping during 7-on-7 drills but after getting his ankle taped was able to make a nifty tip-grab of a McGee throw down the middle of the field.

* The first fight of training camp -- if you can call it that -- was between Ratliff and Phil Costa after the second-year center rushed to the defense of rookie OL David Arkin.

* Lee’s work must be monitored. With Keith Brooking out with a hamstring injury, Lee took over as the starter. He also took a lot of the snaps in the early part of practice that is devoted to the young players to catch them up on reps. He will wear himself out.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter



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