Friday, August 17, 2012
Calvin Watkins' practice report
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- A look at the last practice from Oxnard before we move to San Diego for about a week.
* If you don't believe the Cowboys have leaders on this team, check out inside linebacker Sean Lee. After Andre Holmes made a sliding catch near the sideline, it appeared cornerback Morris Claiborne didn't touch him. Lee shouted at the rookie corner: "Hey, you gotta touch him." It's not college where if a player hits the ground when carrying the ball, then he's ruled down. In the NFL, a player can get up. It's something Claiborne hasn't seen yet.
* Sometimes the pressure on a quarterback gets to him. Tony Romo dropped the ball when trying to avoid pressure from DeMarcus Ware.
* With Jermey Parnell out with a stiff neck, Jeff Adams received some second-team snaps at tackle.
* Practice was held in helmets and shorts for the first time this camp. The first three days of camp, the players didn't wear helmets and wore full pads thereafter. With a game coming up Saturday night, the Cowboys wore full pads Wednesday and went with a padless and shorter practice Thursday.
* This is what burns the Cowboys coaches: Inconsistency. Holmes allowed Akwasi Owusu-Ansah to strip him of the ball after a catch.
* Speaking of stripping players, Tim Benford did a nice job holding onto the ball as Lionel Smith tried to force a turnover after a reception.
* Romo threw a deep ball along the sidelines to Dez Bryant. But Claiborne had inside position, and despite contact from both players, no penalty was called. The pass landed incomplete.
* Felix Jones showed a nice burst after catching a swing pass. Jones has looked sluggish at times, but here he displayed some speed as he moved through the defense. During kick return drills, Jones displayed some wiggle and speed.
* Running back Lance Dunbar returned to practice after his recovery from a hamstring injury. He made a nice catch underneath the linebackers, who were in zone coverage, and got up field.
* Everyday you can find a new wide receiver emerge as the favorite to become No. 3 on the depth chart. Dwayne Harris made a nice catch while falling down. Mario Butler had the coverage but his back was to the ball. Harris made the catch as he hit the ground and lost his helmet, but he held on.