On the second day of practice, Wade Phillips said let them wear pads, and it was good. Finally, the Cowboys got in some real action this morning at practice. They started just like yesterday with some positional drills before they moved on to stretching and then they started the real thing.
Greg Ellis was not dressed for the practice along with Flozell Adams, Marc Colombo, Isaiah Stanback and Alonzo Coleman.
After stretching, they broke into some more positional drills and the linebackers were working on stripping the ball from a runner. They also worked on fumble recoveries by placing the ball under a couple of blocking pads and the player had to dive into the pads, get to the ball and cover it up in the fetal position. There seems to be an emphasis with the defense on creating turnovers.
There were quite a few dropped passes in the QB/WR drills including one by T.O. and one by the usually sure-handed Jason Witten. After working through the drills they moved on to some 9-on-9 action, the receivers and the corners were not involved in the drill. The receivers battled the cornerbacks in some one-on-one drills but I concentrated on the 9-on-9 session. The line-ups were basically the same as yesterday with Alex Obomese filling in at OLB opposite DeMarcus Ware. The defense was flopping positions based on the offense shifting the strong side, so Ware and Obomese were moving from side-to-side and Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams were also on the move.
Romo opened the session at QB and handed off to Julius Jones on a middle run. JJ then ran a sweep to the left side and Bradie James filled the gap and laid a nice hit on JJ. This cracked up some of the defensive players on the sideline. Next was another run in the middle but Roy Williams filled the hole nicely. MB3 then got a run up the middle before trying a sweep to the left side but Bobby Carpenter ran him out of bounds. Brad Johnson subbed in and MB3 tried another run but Jason Hatcher made the stop. Tyson Thompson had a big hole on the right side and accelerated through for a good run. Next was another run up the middle and Lousaka Polite put a nice block on Bobby Carpenter.
Matt Baker took over and Blair Phillips blew up a sweep to the left. Jackie Battle then did some hard running up the middle and then JJ was back in for a sweep to the right. The offense tried the middle again but the safeties filled the hole. MB3 danced around in the backfield for a short gain and then ran to the right on the next play for modest yards. They finished with a couple of more runs that didn’t get very much; the defense played some stout run defense during the session.
They took a water break then moved on to some punt drills. Terence Newman, Jamaica Rector, Quincy Butler and Aaron Glenn were fielding the punts. Some of the gunners were Jacques Reeves, Miles Austin, Alan Ball, Jehreme Urban, Joey Thomas and Courtney Brown.
While all of this was going on defensive coordinator Brian Stewart was on the sideline discussing defense with Ken Hamlin, Roy Williams and Anthony Henry. That discussion went on for 5 minutes or more.
They took another break then went into some full 11-on-11 action. Romo started out by handing off to JJ who went through a big hole on the left side. Romo dropped back for a pass but DeMarcus Ware came through the line and chased Romo out of the pocket. Next was a quick pass to Sam Hurd but it fell incomplete. Next was my favorite play of the morning. MB3 tried a sweep to the left but D-Ware strung the play out and then Bradie James came flying in and hit MB3 so hard he popped his helmet off. The defense loved it.
Brad Johnson came in and had to scramble for yards because the secondary had the receivers locked down. MB3 made a nice run up the middle, he then tried the middle again but it was clogged so he tried to bounce it outside. Tyson Thompson had a nice run through a big hole on the right side.
Matt Baker handed the ball to Jackie Battle up the middle but there was no room at the inn. Next they fumbled the QB/center exchange. Baker then threw a pass on the next play that was almost intercepted by Nate Jones.
Romo was back on and tried to hit T.O. on an out pattern but they couldn’t connect. JJ had a decent run to the right side, then tried a sweep to the left but Anthony Henry jumped the play to stop it short. Witten jumped offsides on a hard count, then MB3 tried to cut outside on a run but Henry again shut it down. Romo finished by overthrowing Terry Glenn on a deep post, Newman was in coverage.
Brad Johnson came on and hit Hurd on a quick slant, then hit Andy Thorn on the backside but Thorn fumbled the ball after contact from Keith Davis.
Matt Moore got a shot at QB and handed the ball to Battle, but Montavious Stanley clogged the hole. Moore then rolled-out for a pass but threw incomplete.
They broke for some work on technique in blocking for FG’s, and the kickers then hit a few short FG’s.
Back to 11-on-11 with Romo at the helm. JJ had a short run, then Romo hit Witten over the middle who had beaten Bradie James. He threw a quick hitch to T.O. but Henry was in position for the tackle. Romo threw a pass to Witten that was a little off, the ball bounced up in the air and Keith Davis got the INT. MB3 tried a run up the middle but Kevin Burnett stuffed him.
Brad Johnson threw a short pass to Hurd, then a quick hitch to Jamaica Rector. Tyson Thompson ran a draw and Brad finished up by underthrowing Hurd on a skinny post.
Baker came on and handed the ball to Battle but Chris Canty was in the backfield for the stop. He then hit Austin on an out pattern.
Romo jumped back in and gave it to JJ who had a nice hole, then gave it to JJ on a draw for an OK gain. Good coverage and pressure from Hatcher forced Romo to scramble on the next play, then he hit Hurd on a hitch but Junior Glymph popped him for the stop. MB3 then tested the middle for short yards and then Romo tried to hit Owens over the middle but it was incomplete. This lead to Keith Davis yelling repeatedly from the sideline "alligator arms."
Johnson was in and handed to MB3 but Marcus Spears was having none of that. They attempted a screen but the execution was poor. They then ran a reverse to Austin but the defensive line was not fooled.
Matt Moore finished up the practice with a handoff to Battle who made a nice run to the right side; Moore then fumbled the QB/center exchange and then had a bad handoff to Battle.
That was it. There’s another practice this afternoon.