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Mario Butler picked right time to get hot

ARLINGTON, Texas -- As the Cowboys begin to pare down the practice reps for the younger players, rookie cornerback Mario Butler picked a good day to shine.

Butler had three pass breakups and blanketed wide receiver Kevin Ogletree on a deep ball from Jon Kitna to force an incompletion. Butler used his height (6-foot-1) to break up a fade pass in the end zone to Raymond Radway (6-foot-3); he deflected a pass on a crossing route to Radway and poked the ball away from Manny Johnson at the goal line.

“I know every day I’m trying showing up on film and I think I’ve been doing that, but today I showed up a little bit more,” Butler said. “I put it in my mind today that I just have to step up my level of competition. I know the final cuts are coming soon, so I’ve just got to show my value to the team.”

Butler is in a fight for the No. 5 cornerback spot with Bryan McCann and Josh Thomas.