Dallas Cowboys training camp: Practice #16

 

The Dallas Cowboys practiced in shorts and shoulder pads in a spirited practice that included a lot of hitting. The team is definitely ready to hit another team as things got chippy with a mini-fight between Marc Colombo and Tearrius George that was quickly broken up and both players were sent off. Tank Johnson was taking a few light, extra-curricular shots at QB Jeff Terrell during the OL/DL drills. And Roy Williams closed the practice with a nice hit during a goal line run. The team is ready to go, they need fresh meat to hit.

T.O. and Flo both practiced today and Alan Ball fully participated. After the warm-up drills, which included Zach Thomas fielding a few punts, they moved to 9-on-9 running drills while the CB/WR 1-on-1 took place at the other end of the field. Romo opened the 9-on-9 with a handoff to MB3 but Ratliff moved down the line to close it out. MB3 tried to get wide but Zach and Ware were in position for a stop. Spears got good penetration on Gurode forcing the next run away from the middle, Felix made a nice turn on the corner on the next run then Tank blew up Gurode in the middle while Carpenter stopped Felix. Cricket couldn’t get Spencer blocked on another Felix run. Brad gave it to Choice and he made some nice moves on the right side. Choice then tried the middle and found too much traffic and bounced outside. Coleman found a lot of room on the edge as Walden and Carpenter got pushed inside. Coleman took another run but Ware was up in his grill in the backfield. Bartel gave to Lattimore but Canty got into the backfield then a middle run by Lattimore was OK. Romo came back on and gave to MB3 who had an OK run to the left, Felix tried the middle for not much, then Kosier couldn’t get Hatcher blocked and he stopped a Choice run.

Special teams break where Nick Folk went 8-for-8 on FG’s and then they went to punt coverage. The inside coverage guys were Bennett, Carpenter, Rogers, Burnett, Spencer and Curtis with Hurd and Watkins as the gunner. Cricket was the protector and L.P. of course was the long snapper.

Back to scrimmaging with a session of 11-on-11. Romo hit Curtis who had Bradie right on him but held on to the catch. After a poor pass from Romo, he hit Austin down the sidelines; Austin showed great hands on the catch after barely getting past Henry. Next Witten caught a short one then Witten shook loose from Carpenter for a catch over the middle. Romo finished with an incompletion after Burnett blitzed and forced him to throw it early. Brad hit Austin on a slant beating Jenkins then Roy blitzed but Brad had the hot read and hit Bennett short, Bradie then made the quick tackle. T.O. beat Oglesby over the middle and Carpenter blitzed and forced a bad pass. Bartel’s first pass was tipped at the line and Carpenter dove but just came short of intercepting it. Bartel then threw a short one to Lattimore.

Romo back in and he Witten deep down the seam beating Zach, MB3 caught one in the flats and Ellis or Canty had a sack but the play rolled on and Romo hit Stanback deep over the middle. Romo finished by throwing low to T.O. but he scooped it up in front of AJ. Brad attempted a deep out to Stanback but didn’t have the arm to get it there then he tried to hit Cruz but he was covered well and couldn’t bring the catch in.

Next, 7-on-7 was going on at one end while OL/DL 2-on-2 stunt drills were going on at our end. (The accuracy of  this section is in question; spotting and charting this drill was very difficult but I think it's mostly accurate). Flozell and Kosier battled Ware and Canty, the first time Canty slid by Kosier but the second time the o-line was solid. Marcus Dixon and Marcus Smith battled Bigg and Gurode with the o-line winning. Ellis and Tank battled Bigg and Colombo with the o-line winning both tries. Hatcher and George battled Flo and Kosier; the first try the o-line pushed them wide but on the second one Flo didn’t pick up the stunt and Hatcher broke through. Junior and Remi battled Bigg and Gurode with the o-line winning, then they went against Gurode and Kosier and they handled it fine. Bowen and Ellis went against McQ and Marten with Ellis getting through on the inside, they went again and the o-line won. Ware and Tank went against Free and Berger with Ware getting easily inside on Berger, the next time Free and Berger were OK. Spears and Hatcher battled Proctor and Marten and the o-line was fine with that one, then Spears and Hatcher went against Proctor and Berger and the o-line won again. Marcus Smith and George battled McQ and Berger with George easily getting inside Berger. Dixon and Walden went against McQ and Free and the o-line looked pretty good on both tries.

They finished with 11-on-11 off of the offenses’ goal line and driving the length of the field. Romo started with a run up the middle to get some room by MB3. Watkins broke up a pass intended for Curtis then Witten actually dropped a pass. George got a good bull-rush on Colombo but Romo hit Witten for a catch. MB3 took a handoff but Hatcher made the stop and on this play Colombo and George went at it in a brief scuffle. MB3 tried another run but Carpenter fought off a Witten block to get the tackle. Romo threw an errant pass to no one then Carpenter broke through to block a pass. The drive finished with Bennett making a diving catch that I believe he held on to for a TD.

Brad started from his own goal line and got some room on a Cruz run through the middle. After a checkdown pass to a TE, he hit Austin on the sideline then Choice had a nice run through the middle. Brad missed an open Amendola, Austin made a catch against AJ, Choice had another run and Bennett caught one over the middle. Brad tried to hit Stanback in the endzone but the pass was a little high and though Stanback got his hands on it he couldn’t catch it. Then they tried a Felix run to the edge for a TD but Roy shot through the blocking and laid a hit that destroyed the play and hyped up everyone, fans and players alike.

That was it for us and was the last training camp practice for me in 2008. I hope you guys enjoyed reading them as much as I did watching the practices. I tried to give you guys an eye into practice and get a feel for how the practices flow and how each player is progressing over the past week. I’ll be flying home tomorrow so I won’t be posting again until Wednesday. I might be able to jump in on some of the comments and I’ll do a wrap-up of training camp later this week.
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