Friday, August 16, 2013
Cowboys practice report: Day 18
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- A marine mist swung through the practice fields here on the last open practice for the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys worked mostly on preparing for their opponent on Saturday afternoon, the Arizona Cardinals.
Dwayne Harris had a solid day on offense with two leaping catches and a touchdown grab. It was one of Harris' better days of training camp.
Jason Witten dropped a wide-open pass as he neared the sidelines. Witten was trying to get his feet down and catch the ball, something he does with ease but didn't this time. On the next play, James Hanna made an over-the-shoulder grab on a pass from Tony Romo.
Joseph Randle had a strong run off the right tackle with the third-team offense. Randle has deceptive speed and has great vision. The Cowboys will get him plenty of snaps in the preseason.
Lance Dunbar has been fantastic this entire camp. Dunbar shows speed, vision and is not afraid of contact. The only negative is pass protection. He's 5-foot-8, and that puts him at a disadvantage against bigger defenders. Dunbar has the solid base to prepare for blocks, but running backs coach Gary Brown said he needs to use his punch to hold defenders off.
Dez Bryant made a nice leaping catch and saw the ball before Brandon Carr could react on it.
With the defensive coaches preaching turnovers, Danny McCray should have snagged one from Danny Coale on a reception down field. Coale pulled the pass into his chest just seconds before McCray had a chance to get there. But McCray should have kept tugging on Coale's arms during the reception.
Jason Hatcher's emergence as a leader took shape during the scout team run. With Jabari Fletcher not on the field to take a snap with the scout team defense, Ben Bloom, the defensive quality control/linebackers coach elected to take the snap. Hatcher took over and sent Bloom off the field. After the play was run, Fletcher ran back onto the field. Hatcher is showing he's willing to do anything to help the team.
Expect Nick Hayden and Hatcher to start at defensive tackle with the first-team and George Selvie as the defensive end. DeMarcus Ware is the other end. Carr and Orlando Scandrick are the first-team corners with Morris Claiborne out. B.W. Webb is getting time as the slot corner with the second-team and Brandon Magee was the second-team middle linebacker. David Arkin is the first-team left guard and Dennis Godfrey is the backup.