Calvin Watkins' practice report
August, 2, 2012
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
OXNARD, Calif. -- The first day in pads revealed a few things about the Cowboys.
*The Cowboys have some issues at center. Not major issues, but enough to be slightly concerned. Phil Costa struggled to make blocks on the second level Wednesday afternoon and was pushed back in the pocket. It wasn't all bad, but it's clear Costa has trouble with bigger defensive linemen. The Cowboys have tried Harland Gunn at center, but he fumbled a snap and is trying to take the next step, so he might be another year away. David Arkin was getting some work at center but he also needs more work. It's too early to look for a new center but the team was hoping Kevin Kowalski would compete for a starting job with Costa.
*We haven't seen much of Raymond Radway in the first three days of camp. Wednesday, he beat Morris Claiborne for a deep touchdown pass. Radway has good speed and is still working on the little things in his game, like route running and how to get a defender off him with his hands. Last season, Radway was the favorite to make the roster as the No. 4 receiver, but a nasty leg injury in the final preseason game cost him his season. The big question regarding Radway is can he regain what he lost last year? However, Radway ran the wrong route and got a earful from receivers coach Jimmy Robinson.
*There was a tough stretch for the first-team offense where Tony Romo dealt with a false start, a short run by DeMarco Murray as the result of a missed block by Costa, a false start by Jason Witten and then a short run by Murray. Sometimes an offense can struggle and this is where coach Jason Garrett wants to see how his players respond.
*You can talk about cornerbacks getting beaten up on an island, well the same can be said of left tackles. Tyron Smith, who will start on the left side this season, was called for a false start and then gave up a sack to Jason Hatcher on consecutive plays. But Smith rebounded in pass rush drills, holding off a charging DeMarcus Ware twice.
*Teddy Williams is a long shot to make this team, but he did a nice job on a tackle for loss when he stopped receiver Tim Benford for a tackle for loss on a quick screen. Williams has to impress special teams coach Joe DeCamillis to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.