OTA observations: Kyle Wilber flashes
May, 29, 2013
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas – Here are some observations from the second session of organized team activities that was open to the media Tuesday:
Kyle Wilber worked with the first team at right defensive end with DeMarcus Ware out. Tyrone Crawford handled that spot in the first week that was open to the media. Wilber had a productive day. He was active and was around the ball. Remember, he was going against Tyron Smith, too. Wilber did a nice job reading a reverse to WR Terrance Williams.
Dwayne Harris turned into a tremendous punt returner last year and he took the first-team work on Tuesday, but he was later joined by Cole Beasley, B.W. Webb and Anthony Amos.
Teams sometimes shy away from putting starters on special teams, so it was interesting to see Sean Lee and Bruce Carter on the punt coverage team. Lee served as the personal protector.
Morris Claiborne came up with a nice interception of a Kyle Orton throw on a slant-and-go to Miles Austin. Claiborne did not bite on the fake and was able to stay underneath the route to come up with the turnover.
Orton struggled in one-on-one throws, especially the deeper throws. Maybe it was the wind, but he was unable to get the ball to open Dez Bryant a few times. Bryant won every rep he had against Brandon Carr.
When the Cowboys ran their two-minute drill, Williams served as the No. 3 receiver over Harris and did not come off the field. He caught a nice corner route from Orton, tapping his feet just inside the sideline.
Jason Witten caught seven passes in team and seven-on-seven drills. He ended the first-team two-minute drill with a touchdown down the seam after beating Matt Johnson at the line. Witten was able to bend his route a little to the outside to throw Johnson off balance before coming back to the middle with added separation.
Speaking of tight ends, James Hanna had the play of the day with a one-handed grab down the seam as a defender closed quickly. Hanna continues to be the second tight end behind Witten when the Cowboys use their 12 personnel group over Gavin Escobar. It’s not that Escobar isn’t doing well, it’s that Hanna is doing better.
In the battle of No. 2 offense vs. defense, J.J. Wilcox ended the day with an interception of Nick Stephens on a pass across the middle. Stephens was looking for Beasley, who appeared to slow down on his route.
With Justin Durant out with a hamstring injury, Alex Albright was the starting strong-side outside linebacker. He also played some inside linebacker.