Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Cowboys practice report: Day 4
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- Wade Phillips said Tuesday's practice, which was conducted in pads, was another crisp one. Maybe the cool weather and practicing on grass is helping the Cowboys. The Cowboys will have their last two-a-day practice of the week on Wednesday.
Here's what happened Tuesday afternoon:
*Pat Watkins returned from the walking wounded. He missed some practice time with a sore knee but participated in individual drills. He did not work in team drills. Yet Watkins was running smoothly. Victor Butler also returned from his neck strain. Butler worked in individual and team drills. Phillips said Scott Sicko was cleared Monday to return from his concussion. He didn't know about Mike Hamlin, who also had a concussion and needs to pass baseline tests to get back on the field.
*Jesse Holley (hamstring), Alex Barron (ankle), Marc Colombo (knee), Dez Bryant (ankle), John Phillips (knee), Stephen Hodge (knee) and Marcus Spears (knee) missed practice. As you know, Phillips is out for the season, and Hodge's return is unknown.
*David Buehler went 6-for-6 on field goals Tuesday. His estimated 45-yarder skimmed the left upright and went through. Buehler has shown a good leg this summer and his accuracy is getting better. Two of the field goals were in the "mayday" mode in which the team hurries onto the field to attempt a field goal.
*Interesting to see inside linebacker and second-round pick Sean Lee practice with the third-team defense. Lee was paired with Brandon Sharpe. The second-team inside linebackers is Jason Williams and Leon Williams.
*The Cowboys mixed-and-matched with Chris Gronkowski and Deon Anderson as the fullbacks. After stretching exercises, Gronkowski lined up with the first team as H Back.
*Roy Williams had a strong practice. He caught a deep ball on Bryan McCann as Barry Church came over too late to help. Williams also made a good catch running a slant from Romo and also showed his feisty side when after making a catch he was tackled up high by Jason Williams. Roy Williams was swung around by the neck and afterward got into the face of Jason Williams.
*Church had two interceptions on the day and one pass breakup. Jon Kitna double-clutched on a pass into the end zone but Church held his ground and picked it off. The second interception for Church came when Romo threw a pass over the middle to Marion Barber. The ball went one way and Barber went another and Church was there to snag it. After the play, Romo talked to Barber about the play. It appeared Barber ran the wrong route. Church almost had another INT when Romo's pass to Patrick Crayton was short.
*We've said some rough things about Kevin Ogletree the last 10 days or so. But he's getting better in practice. Maybe he hit a wall or something in San Antonio. In the West Coast, he's been good. He caught a nice sideline catch from Kinta against Mike Jenkins. What made this play so good was Jenkins' left arm held Ogletree's right arm. But Ogletree broke free and caught the pass. Ogletree also beat Orlando Scandrick on a fade route and he also caught a nice pass on a slant from Romo.
*There were two nice blocks by the offensive line on Tuesday. On a screen pass to Felix Jones, Kyle Kosier blocked his guy out of the way so Jones could read a hole, cut and get into the end zone. Leonard Davis blocked Jason Williams out of the play on another screen pass to Felix Jones.
*Miles Austin is excellent at running after the catch, as evident by two slants he ran to near perfection. After one catch, he outran two defenders for about 15 more yards.
*Stephen McGee was up-and-down. Again. He didn't get a pass out on time, allowing Stephen Bowen to knock it down. McGee threw a swing pass into the dirt to Lonyae Miller. But on the next play he fired a touchdown pass to Terrell Hudgins.
*Rough day for tackle Will Barker. DeMarcus Ware blew by him for a sack on Kitna. Then Barker is almost choking Ware on another rush because he couldn't contain him. Curtis Johnson then pushed Barker into the backfield as Kitna tried to pass.