Camp observations: Dez Bryant, Brandon Car battle

August, 10, 2012
8/10/12
8:59
PM ET
OXNARD, Calif. – Ten practices down at Cowboys training camp, and Jay Ratliff doubled his workload in team drills. He took two snaps.

The plan is to work Ratliff in slowly coming off his plantar fascia injury in the hopes he could play in the second preseason game at San Diego or Aug. 25 against St. Louis at Cowboys Stadium.

Now, on to the observations:

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* WR Dez Bryant and CB Brandon Carr had a nice back-and-forth in red-zone one-on-one drills. Bryant was able to beat Carr to the inside on one route for a touchdown, but on the next rep between the two Carr was able to rip a Tony Romo pass away from Bryant for an incompletion.

* WR Kevin Ogletree opened the team drills with a touchdown catch from Romo. The best part was how he held on to the pass in the end zone while getting his feet down and taking a hit from S Gerald Sensabaugh.

* K Dan Bailey is human after all. CB Orlando Scandrick blocked a 47-yarder and Bailey pushed a 55-yarder wide to the right. They were his second and third misses of camp. The 55-yarder had enough leg but flared too much to the right.

* Lots of situation work that had some fans confused when Romo threw the ball out of bounds. He did it on purpose as a way to kill the clock.

* WR Andre Holmes doesn’t always use his 6-foot-4 frame to his advantage, but he did on an end zone throw from QB Kyle Orton against CB Mario Butler. He beat Butler to the ball, tucked the pass to his body and held on as he fell to the ground.

* Butler, who was not at Thursday’s practice because of the birth of a child, was working with the first-team nickel defense. He had a nice pass breakup on an underneath throw to TE Jason Witten.

* Scandrick rebounded from a subpar Thursday with a good Friday. He had a would-be sack of Romo and a would-be blowup of TE James Hanna on a throw to the flat. He had pass breakups on throws to WRs Ogletree and Dwayne Harris.

* A lot of people got carried away with a nice one-handed grab by Cole Beasley as he was being smothered by Butler, but they failed to see that his third-down catch was short by a couple of yards. S Danny McCray knew. He held his fist up signaling fourth down. But Beasley once again had a productive day in the slot against the regular defense.

* The Cowboys haven’t had a good training camp brouhaha yet, but RT Doug Free and DE Kenyon Coleman almost started one. On a run by Felix Jones the veterans got tangled up and decided to throw a couple of haymakers before they were separated by teammates. For Free, he might have been salty before the snap because he was pulled from the lineup for a false start on the previous play.

* QB Stephen McGee put a nice pump fake on a rushing OLB Adrian Hamilton, giving him a way to get outside the leaping defender and complete a pass to Holmes. McGee went 4-of-5 on the day.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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