Monday, August 6, 2012
Calvin Watkins' practice report
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- The Blue and White scrimmage is over, and we review.
*It's only a scrimmage, so we're trying to not go over the top here, but quarterback Stephen McGee struggled badly Sunday afternoon. His performance raised more questions about his status with the team. The last portion of the scrimmage was devoted to the reserves at full speed. Tackle football, as coach Jason Garrett likes to say. McGee failed to lead the offense to one first down, resulting in three punts. Rudy Carpenter, who doesn't have McGee's skill set, led the team down the field and showed toughness after throwing an interception. Carpenter connected on first-down passes to Donovan Kemp, Tony Benford and Raymond Radway. It seems McGee isn't getting the ball down the field, but Carpenter is.
*Cornerback Orlando Scandrick had a strong performance. He was physical, giving running back DeMarco Murray a love tap following a run and doing the same to tight end James Hanna following a reception. Scandrick should be credited with a sack on Tony Romo as he came on the blitz. He also had a pass breakup on a pass to Andre Holmes.
*We can go for days about how good Brandon Carr has been at cornerback. He should have had two interceptions Sunday. His first one was on a throw from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant. Then when Romo made a bad pass to Dwayne Harris, Carr couldn't hold on to the pass.
*The backup receivers struggled at finishing plays. Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree didn't complete touchdown receptions. Holmes dropped a sure touchdown in the middle of the end zone. The Cowboys don't have the No. 3 receiver on their team right now.
*Left tackle Tyron Smith knocked outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware to the ground on a pass rush during a pass play.
*Ed Wesley is trying to make this team and has to take advantage with two running backs out with injuries. On his first rushing attempt, he fumbled the pitch. Yet Wesley rebounded and had some good runs, hitting the hole quickly and showing a little wiggle when challenged.
*Sean Lee was physical and all over the field. He attacked all the running backs, including good friend DeMarco Murray, and did a nice job covering running backs out of the backfield.
*Tight end Jason Witten made two nice plays. He caught a sideline pass from Romo and darted down the field for a score. On the next play, Romo, moving his feet in the pocket to give himself time, found Witten in the back of the end zone for another score.
*Ware is a powerful man. On a field goal attempt, he knocked Pat McQuistan on his back. It looked so easy.
*As the Cowboys were attempting a field goal, the referees penalized them for having 12 men on the field. The guilty party was Jermey Parnell. "Get the (expletive) outta there!," screamed special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.
*The left side of the offensive line did a nice job of holding Josh Brent, Sean Lissemore and Ware from rushing the pocket so Romo could complete a pass.
*Sunday's attendance was 9,008, the highest for a single practice. Actor Rob Lowe and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson were in attendance.