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Saturday, July 30, 2011
Todd Archer's practice observations

By Todd Archer



* Every offensive end defensive linemen wore knee braces in the first full-pad practice of training camp. We will find out if they will be mandatory like they were when Bill Parcells was the coach.

* WR Dez Bryant knows how to make the crowd cheer. He was able to leap over CB Orlando Scandrick for a pass from QB Tony Romo down the sideline. However, on his first route in one-on-one drills he did not sell the first part of a double-move, allowing Mike Jenkins to come up with an interception.

* Make of this what you will: rookie K Dan Bailey worked with first-team snapper L.P. Ladouceur and holder Mat McBriar for the first time. Bailey has missed only one kick in the first three days of camp.

* WR Lyle Leong made a nice grab on a deep ball from Romo but the rookie made the mistake of leaping for the pass instead of running through the route to keep his speed.

* First-round pick Tyron Smith earned some dap from Doug Free after a healthy punch to OLB Victor Butler in one-on-one drills. Later he was over-extended on a rush but was able to get his arms out to push Butler by the quarterback.

* Unofficially, Romo went 13-of-20 in team and seven-on-seven drills. Jon Kitna was 12-of-15. Stephen McGee was 6-of-7.

* The work of OLB Victor Butler in coverage continues to be a bright spot. He had a nice interception of a throw from Romo to Bryant that was forced early after ILB Sean Lee doused RB Lonyae Miller on a rush to get pressure on the quarterback.

* Through three days of camp, NT Jay Ratliff’s quickness has been apparent in how he tracks down screen passes. He disrupted a screen to RB Felix Jones on the first play of team drills.

* TE Jason Witten got himself overextended on a running play, allowing OLB Anthony Spencer to slide by for what would have been a tackle of Felix Jones for a short gain.

* One play after getting chewed out by LB coach Matt Eberflus, Kenwin Cummings was able to blow up a running play by Frank Warren by disengaging with a guard.

* WR Manny Johnson was limping during 7-on-7 drills but after getting his ankle taped was able to make a nifty tip-grab of a McGee throw down the middle of the field.

* The first fight of training camp -- if you can call it that -- was between Ratliff and Phil Costa after the second-year center rushed to the defense of rookie OL David Arkin.

* Lee’s work must be monitored. With Keith Brooking out with a hamstring injury, Lee took over as the starter. He also took a lot of the snaps in the early part of practice that is devoted to the young players to catch them up on reps. He will wear himself out.