Thursday, August 9, 2012
W2W4: Cowboys get back to work
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- Coming off their second off day of training camp, here's what's going on as players return to practice Thursday.
More work for: Mackenzy Bernadeau and Danny Coale suited up Tuesday and did individual drills. There's a possibility they could see some work in team drills. The Cowboys most likely will use Ronald Leary and David Arkin at guard in their preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders on Monday night, but if Bernadeau shows the coaches a little something in practice, maybe he'll get a few reps in the game. Coale enters a wide-open third wide receiver mix against the rising Cole Bealsey and Tim Benford. For now, Kevin Ogletree is the leader in that race, but there's still time.
Who's at center?: Phil Costa is the starting center, and the Cowboys struggled at that position in their last practice. Harland Gunn and Arkin also got some snaps there but struggled. Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said he's not worried about the center position, but if we get a few more fumbled snaps, that could change. Bernadeau could see some snaps at center after practice. He's never done it in a regular-season game, so it'll be interesting to see how he performs.
Cornerbacks rising: When camp started, Teddy Williams was getting second-team reps, but now C.J. Wilson and Mario Butler have done an excellent job with the second teams and have earned more snaps. With Mike Jenkins out at least until the regular-season opener, it's opened the door for young corners to make a name for themselves. One of the keys in this area is special teams. If any of these corners can get downfield on punt or kick returns and make some plays, it would impress the coaches and give them an edge.
Player to watch: Rookie tight end John Hanna. With John Phillips out with an ankle injury, Hanna has gotten snaps with the first-team in two-tight end sets. He's a good receiver who is working on his blocking skills.
One thing we need to see today: The center-quarterback exchange can't result in fumbles.
Practices and media times: Jason Garrett talks to reporters at 2 p.m. CT. Today's practices start at 12:30 p.m. CT (walkthrough) and 4:30 p.m. CT (full practice). Follow all the happenings during practice on our live chats, which can be found right here on our Cowboys Blog.