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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Camp observations: Eyes on Morris Claiborne

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- Let’s just say the first day back was a test of conditioning for some players.

Rookie tight end James Hanna lost his lunch (breakfast?) early in the session and several players were gasping for air and taking water breaks. The practices were moved to 8 a.m. to get the players out of the heat, or at least the intense afternoon heat because it was still hot.

The high in Oxnard, Calif., is 66 degrees.

On to some observations from the workout:

** The practice was basically another minicamp session with players not in pads. The first time the Cowboys will be in pads will be next Wednesday.

** All eyes were on CB Morris Claiborne, the first-round pick. He is aggressive and maybe too aggressive at times, but it’s better to be that way and coach it out of a cornerback. On a stop route to WR Tim Benford, he chewed up the rookie receiver and did not allow him to break free.

** QB Kyle Orton’s first three passes in seven-on-seven drills were incomplete with drops by Benford and Hanna. His third throw was a little wide to WR Cole Beasley. He closed the first session with a nice crossing route to WR Saleem Hakim.

** S Justin Taplin-Ross came up with a nice interception of a Stephen McGee pass across the middle that had the coaches excited.

** LB Dan Connor broke up an Orton pass to TE Andrew Szczerba, avoiding a pass interference penalty by using his outside hand to deflect the throw while keeping his inside hand off the tight end’s back.

** McGee opened up seven-on-seven drills with a nice corner route to Benford over CB Mario Butler and S Eddie Whitley.

** OLB Alex Albright took snaps at inside linebacker. The second-year linebacker will have to show versatility in addition to being a top special teamer.

** Safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery earlier this month, was at Valley Ranch doing rehab. The hope is he could be ready early in the team’s time in Oxnard, Calif., if not the first day.

** RB Darrell Scott left practice early with a tight hip flexor, which meant Lance Dunbar was the only tailback available. Fullback Jamize Olawale got a few carries as a result.