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Monday, August 16, 2010
Cowboys practice report: Day 3

By Calvin Watkins

OXNARD, Calif. -- As we get closer to the third preseason game, the Cowboys' offense worked against a 4-3 alignment and worked on the two-minute drill in another crisp, lively practice. The Cowboys worked in helmets and no pads.

*The missing: Jesse Holley (hamstring), Alex Barron (ankle), Marc Colombo (knee), Scott Sicko (concussion), Dez Bryant (ankle), John Phillips (knee), Pat Watkins (knee), Mike Hamlin (concussion), Stephen Hodge (knee), Victor Butler (neck strain) and Marcus Spears (knee).

*Here are some lineup changes we noticed: Robert Brewster got the first-team reps at right tackle with Colombo back in Dallas getting surgery. Sam Young got second-team reps at right tackle. The second-team inside linebackers were Leon Williams and Jason Williams. There were a few snaps on the first team for Orlando Scandrick as Mike Jenkins got a break.

*Running back Marion Barber gets a lot of heat for the way he's played the last two seasons. But a much lighter Barber had a good practice Monday. He made a nice catch on a wheel route from Tony Romo as Sean Lee trailed the play. Barber also did a nice job finding holes, and after the second preseason game where coach Wade Phillips said the timing was off, it didn't appear that way on Monday.

*Miles Austin had four drops in Sunday's practice. Monday he was determined. During one drill, Austin made a nice low catch on a throw from Romo as safety Barry Church failed to make a play on the ball. After the catch, receivers coach Ray Sherman yelled his praise. On that same play, Brewster did a good job with protection. As the Cowboys ran a play in the two-minute offense, Austin zipped across the back of the end zone and made a reception for a score from Romo.

*On the two-minute drill, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was chastised for not going strong enough into the hole to challenge Felix Jones on a touchdown run inside the 10.

*Even though Romo's pass to Jason Witten was too high to get completed, linebacker Brandon Sharpe gave up too much space. If Romo's pass is on target, it's a touchdown.

*Kevin Ogletree has been inconsistent this summer. Monday he was pretty good. He caught a nice sideline pass from Jon Kitna and got both feet in to complete the reception.

*Jamar Wall snatched an interception from Romo in the end zone as Patrick Crayton failed to grab the one-handed catch.

*Best throw of the day came from Romo. With safety Danny McCray and and linebacker Jason Williams on him, Romo threw a nifty pass over both of them to Witten for a touchdown to end a two-minute drill session. Later, Witten had another touchdown reception as Romo found some room beating Jason Williams.

*Tight end Martellus Bennett had another strong practice. He bailed out Kitna with a catch as Keith Brooking was bearing down on him. Bennett is showing good movement on his ankle and is making the catches necessary. For all the hype surrounding John Phillips, Bennett is proving he is better.

*Before the start of practice, tight ends coach John Garrett was working with newly signed tight ends DajLeon Farr and Jason Pociask.