Monday, August 2, 2010
Cowboys practice report: Day 10
By Calvin Watkins
SAN ANTONIO -- The Cowboys worked on their short-yardage and red-zone offense Monday. There were situations where the offense took snaps against a 4-3 defensive alignment because Cincinnati, Dallas' first preseason opponent, runs that scheme.
A small stumble aside, Tony Romo finished Monday's practice with no problems.
*Tony Romo didn't have as many throws downfield Monday because of the practice situations, but his sore right biceps wasn't an issue. He also made fewer throws during individual drills. He had just one scare Monday when he was tripped up handing the ball off to Marion Barber. Romo got up slowly and shook his right foot but was OK and finished practice with no problems. The trainers didn't tend to him. Phillips said Romo was fine.
*Kicker David Buehler went 4-for-6 on field goal attempts Monday. He was wide right on a 44-yard attempt and wide left from 53 yards. Buehler made kicks from 30, 38, 48 and 50. He is 2-for-3 on kicks from 50-yards or more. He's 20-of-24 on field-goal attempts in camp this summer.
*Marion Barber ran with a burst and was physical during the short-yardage and red-zone drills. Barber has dropped 10 to 15 pounds this summer to gain some speed and elusiveness in the hope that he can survive a 16-game season. However, after Barber gained two first downs on consecutive plays, he spun the ball and then flicked it downfield. Both of those moves would have been penalties.
*Alan Ball continues to make plays. On a completed pass from Romo to John Phillips, Ball came from the middle of the end zone and knocked Phillips down short of the end zone. The Cowboys like Ball's athletic ability, speed and smarts.
*During a three tight-end formation, Romo found Jason Witten for a touchdown which set off Phillips to correct something linebacker Jason Williams didn't do on the play. Secondary coach Dave Campo yelled at safety Barry Church for moving to the right spot late before the snap of the ball.
*Sometimes Roy Williams just can't catch a break. Terence Newman did a nice job of stripping Williams of a completion. The receiver was trying to tuck the ball when Newman made a smart play and forced a turnover.
*Fullback Chris Gronkowski is inconsistent. On one play he did a nice job blocking but then on several others he was knocked down. Deon Anderson, the projected starter at that position, held his own against DeMarcus Ware and also caught a touchdown pass. Anderson also had a drop.
*Notable: Nose tackle Josh Brent who returned to practice over the weekend with a cast on his right hand because of a broken hand, left practice briefly. He later returned and said he needed the cast to retaped. Jay Ratliff was pulled out of the second-to-last play of practice after he was shaken up. Ratliff jogged to the middle of the field for the final stretching exercise and appeared to be OK. Curtis Johnson, the backup defensive end, experienced a leg problem, but it didn't appear serious. ... Former Cowboys pass rusher, Charles Haley attended practice and received plenty of love from the fans. ... One fan hung a bra over the end-zone wall hoping for an autograph.