Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Camp observations: D comes up with stand
By Todd Archer
OXNARD, Calif. -- Goal-line drills often are the closest thing to real football in training camp because of the intensity that is required.
There is no tapping of the offensive players by the defense in this drill.
The Cowboys’ No. 1 defense beat the No. 1 offense in their three plays Tuesday.
Phillip Tanner was stopped short by DeMarcus Ware on a run to the strong side, and Ware got a little help from Jason Hatcher. On second down, the defense covered everybody on a Tony Romo pass, forcing the quarterback to scramble into linebacker Sean Lee. On the third, tight end Gavin Escobar was out of bounds on a sprint to the right by Romo.
• While it was a good day for the No. 1 defense, the No. 2 defense gave up three straight touchdowns. RB Joseph Randle ran it in for the first two scores, and Kyle Orton hit Dante Rosario on a play-action pass across the back of the end zone.
• The No. 1 offense rebounded in its situation work to close the practice. Needing a first down to kill the clock with a three-point lead, Romo connected with Miles Austin on a third-down rocket screen to end the game.
• After missing two days with a quadriceps bruise, WR Cole Beasley returned to practice Tuesday and dropped two passes. He was so upset with himself that he spent extra time on the Jugs machine catching passes after practice.
• Rosario had a solid practice. He lined up more at fullback and was able to make a handful of catches from Orton.
• WR Anthony Armstrong broke off a route for a back-shoulder throw from Orton, reaching for the pass and getting his body between the ground and the ball for extra security. The play resulted in a first down.
• At the start of the practice, the defensive coaches said they wanted turnovers. They didn’t get any interceptions, but they did get two fumbles. S Matt Johnson forced the ball loose on TE Andre Smith after a catch by the sideline, and S J.J. Wilcox recovered. Later, S Will Allen forced a fumble on Escobar.
• WR Terrance Williams has earned praise for his play on offense, but he got more for his work as a gunner on the punt team. Williams split cornerbacks Devin Smith and Micah Pellerin with an inside jab and was able to help force a fair catch.
• CB Sterling Moore had back-to-back solid reps in one-on-one drills. On the first, he broke up a back-shoulder throw from Romo to Austin, jumping as Austin reached back for the ball. On the second, he came down with an Orton throw after snuffing out Beasley on an out route.
• K Dan Bailey had his first multiple-miss day of camp. Bailey went 3-of-6 with misses from 44 yards (right), 45 (left) and 47 (right). He closed his team work by drilling a 50-yarder.