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Cowboys training camp practice #10

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Friday, Aug. 4th (9-11 AM practice)

The Cowboys practiced under overcast skies with a slight drizzle for the first time since camp started. The rain cleared up quickly but the cloud cover kept the temperature cool. They opened practice with individual punt/FG block exercises, with each guy running toward the kick and getting his arms extended to block it. They also worked on punt defenses to use for fake punts. After that they ran some half-speed formation drills including the nickel defense. The back seven in the nickel were James and Burnett at LBer with Henry, Newman, Glenn, Williams and Watkins playing center field.

Terrell Owens didn't dress for the second straight practice; instead he was riding the stationary bike and doing stretching drills with a trainer. The line-ups stayed the same as they have been over the last few days; Gurode at center, Ellis running with 1st team defense on almost every down they were out there, sometimes lining up as a down lineman in the nickel sets. They also used a 4-3 defense where the line-up was: Ratliff, Ferguson, Johnson and Canty along the front, and Ellis, James and Ware at LBer. This looks like a jumbo package for short yardage situations, that's a lot of beef up front. Colombo remains entrenched at RT, with Petitti still on the 3rd string. Bobby Carpenter continues to work exclusively at ILB on the 2nd unit.

After sprints and stretching - during which Parcells and Jim Burt were having a good old time chatting with Roy Williams - they went into team drills. The 1st unit LBers were SOLB Ellis, SILB James, WILB Ayodele, WOLB Ware. The 2nd unit was SOLB Singleton, SILB Fowler, WILB Carpenter, WOLB Burnett. Greg Ellis made an INT by leaping high in the air during a half-speed LBer drill that made Bradie James howl with laughter and cheers. During the same drill Junior Glymph made an error that had Mike Zimmer ripping him loudly from across the field, and then Paul Pasqualoni chided him up close.

They moved on to 7-on-7 in the redzone while the OL/DL match-ups were happening at the other end of the field. During the 7-on-7 Bledsoe led off with a swing pass to JJ but Burnett had him covered. The defense was in a nickel set on the play so that was the reason Burnett was on the field. They went back to a base 3-4 D and Bledsoe threw a pass to Witten on a crossing pattern but Roy Williams popped him pretty hard when the ball got there and Witten dropped it. The collision actually sent Witten to the turf causing excitement amongst the crowd. Bledsoe followed up with a bad pass to Glenn and a throw-away out of the end zone. On the next play he hit Crayton in the corner of the end zone for what was an apparent TD but the ref ruled Crayton juggled the ball as he went out-of-bounds. Anthony Henry then got flagged for a holding penalty on Copper and Romo took over.

Romo threw a nice pass to Rector, a dump off to Kincaide, and then Willi Pile broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Witten. Parcells was giving Carpenter some tutoring on where he should be in the defensive zones during this series. Romo then had a bad throw to Tony Curtis but followed up with a TD pass to Rector. He tried to hit Copper on a fade-stop route but it was a tough catch and Copper couldn't hold on.

Henson came in and threw a poor pass to Kincaide, then threw for Hannam in the end zone but Hannam's feet got tangled up with Roy's and the ref ruled it a no call. He then hit Curtis on a crossing pattern, and went to Sean Ryan for a TD pass but Ryan dropped it. He came right back to Ryan on the next play and this time they connected for a TD. He tried a fade pass on his last throw but Quincy Butler defensed it well.

After that they did some more individual drills on blocking punts and FG's before moving back to some 11-on-11 on the goal line. It was tough to see this drill because the players were blocking everyone's view, but here's what I thought I saw. Two TD runs on the first two plays by either JJ or MB3, then Bledsoe threw one out of the end zone. On Romo's series Polite scored a TD up the middle, and JJ got in on an off-tackle play. Henson threw incomplete into the corner and then Reeves deflected a pass intended for Hannam.

Next, they ran a drill where the offense would run a play then get off the field and the FG unit would race onto the field for a kick, a situation like at the end of a game without a time out. On the first one Vanderjagt missed from the 25-yard line, then Suisham connected from the 15-yard line. Vanderjagt came back and made one from the 15-yard line.

They finished practice by letting the 1st team offense go against the 1st team defense on an extended series for Bledsoe. Then went 2nd against 2nd and 3rd against 3rd on an extended series of plays for Romo and Henson. Once again today, Jeff Mroz saw no action. During this time Greg Ellis ran with the 1st team defense regardless of whether the situation called for a pass or a run, as he's been doing the last few days. My guess would be that Parcells is trying to get him as many reps as he can against the best quality offense we have, to see if he has the chops to handle the position in the regular season.

Bledsoe started out by hitting Fasasno short in the middle, then Ratliff busted through to snuff out a JJ run. MB3 had a tough run for a few yards to get a first down. Bledsoe then ran a bootleg but Ratliff was right in his face so Bledsoe threw to Witten who was covered by Ellis, the pass was incomplete. Bledsoe overthrew Glenn, who was wide-open, on the next play then followed up by hitting Fasano on a short gain. JJ got about 5-yards on a run up the middle before Ayodele got him, then Bledsoe hit Glenn but he would've been sacked by the good pass rush. He hit Glenn again, but once again, if it had been a real game, Canty would've planted him. Ayodele blitzed on the next play and stuffed a JJ run and then Bledsoe hit Crayton but Ware had run right by Flozell on a speed rush and would've got the sack.

Romo took over and handed off to Polite who got smothered by Burnett in the backfield. He then hit Rector on a long pass because MB3 helped pick up the pass rush of Singleton. MB3 then had a short run with Kenyon Coleman and Singleton making the stop. Romo rolled-out on the next play but good coverage forced him to tuck the ball and run. He rolled-out again and hit Hannam on a pass, then Watkins did a great job in breaking up a pass to Rector. It was almost interference for getting there too early, but the refs ruled it was clean. They followed with a pitch to MB3 for a short gain and Kincaide got wide-open in the flats for a good gain. They ran a pitch to MB3 on the left-side and McQ made a good block to open the hole. On his last play he had an over-throw in the end zone.

Henson started with a pass on an out pattern that hit LB Rocky Boiman right in the hands for a sure pick, but he couldn't hold on and the ball bounced up and into the hands of Sam Hurd. Tyson Thompson had a good run up the middle before Henson hit Marcus Coleman right in the hands for another should-be pick, but Coleman dropped it. He rolled-out next and tried to hit Skyler Green but he was covered. Scott Shanle then caught Thompson in the backfield on a run, followed by a Henson scramble up the middle. He threw to Green again on the side-lines but Skyler couldn't corral the ball. Demtrius Summers ran for a good gain up the middle and then Lenny Williams got called for pass interference on a pass intended for Miles Austin. It was a long pass by Henson but just hung up in the air for a jump ball situation. Henson ended his series and the practice by hitting Hannam on a dump-off.

There's another practice this afternoon so I'll have another report tonight.