Camp observations: Barry Church's big day

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
8:52
PM ET
OXNARD, Calif. -- Safety Barry Church took advantage of his chance to work with the starters Tuesday and had a number of highlights, including an interception of Tony Romo during blitz drills.

Romo tried to fit a pass to tight end John Phillips but Church stepped up and came away with what would have been a pick six. Earlier he had tight coverage on Jason Witten and batted away a check-down to RB Phillip Tanner.

Now on to the rest of the observations:

* CB Morris Claiborne was targeted three straight times in a team period but gave up only one completion. That came on a quick slant to WR Dez Bryant when he allowed Bryant to slip inside. He had solid coverage on a sideline route to WR Miles Austin.

* DE Jason Hatcher had a good two-play stint in which he was able to track down a scrambling Romo for a sack and then was able to stop RB DeMarco Murray for a short gain. Hatcher looks good and after having a solid offseason.

* Witten had his biggest gain of two days when he was able to slide behind ILB Orie Lemon in zone coverage to haul in a perfect throw from Romo.

* After three incomplete passes in the first four 7-on-7 drills, Romo let the offense know it needed to get better in a hurry. After that Romo finished the session completing 9-of-12 passes, including a deep ball to Bryant for a touchdown on Claiborne.

* Bryant handled punts with WR Dwayne Harris and Murray. Bryant might not have the proper technique all the time while catching punts, but he is sure-handed. Harris dropped his first two punt attempts and hung on for dear life on his third. Harris later dropped a pass.

* How do you teach tackling on special teams when you’re not in pads and can’t go full speed? Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has his players wrapping up tackling dummies and landing on pads to keep them safe.

* Rookie DE Tyrone Crawford is wearing a sleeve on his right calf. He missed most of the offseason with a calf injury. It didn’t stop him from pushing the pocket on QB Kyle Orton to force an incomplete pass. Undrafted rookie DE Ben Bass forced a Stephen McGee scramble with a pressure. Unfortunately, McGee broke contain and had a nice pickup.

* Tackling is not allowed by Lemon and LB Caleb McSurdy got a little too rambunctious by bringing down John Phillips and Lance Dunbar during the practice.

* Rookie CB Isaac Madison did a nice job of breaking up a deep pass from McGee to WR Cole Beasley down the sideline during the “blue” practice for young players. Beasley did a nice job of slowing down just enough and inching in while knowing McGee’s pass was to his outside shoulder, but Madison was able to recover and push his hands through Beasley’s to knock away the football.

* K Dan Bailey is now 10 of 10 on kicks in camp. He also banged home his situational kick from 42 yards at the close of one team period. P Chris Jones had a much better afternoon practice Tuesday than Monday. He was able to hang the ball high and get some distance, although some of it was wind-aided.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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