The second practice of the day was a shorts-and-shoulder pads affair, and was heavy on teaching technique and footwork, etc. They did get to some 11-on-11 at the end which was fun to watch.
All the usual suspects were still injured, Greg Ellis, Marc Colombo, Flozell Adams, Isaiah Stanback and Alonzo Coleman. And as for Anthony Spencer, I didn’t see him at the beginning of practice, but at the end when they were running 11-on-11 I could have sworn I saw him in there. Maybe another source can confirm this. Also, I didn't see Matt Baker out there this afternoon, maybe he got hurt or cut.
Let me give you this bit on Stanback, I showed up an hour before practice and he was on the far side of the field catching small tennis ball-type objects being spit out by a pitching machine, from a very short distance. This kid is working hard to get better. Also, Roy Williams had apparently stolen Rowdy’s 4-wheeler and rode into practice with Terence Newman on the back. Those kids, what will they think of next?
The Cowboys did their usual routine before stretching and once they got to stretching you could see the difference between a Parcells camp and a Phillips camp. Things were usually quiet and business-like for Parcells, but stretching under Phillips is a chance for the players to chat. In fact, Ken Hamlin, Keith Davis, Terence Newman and Jason Ferguson were having a regular giggle-fest during the stretches. Wade doesn’t seem to mind as he wandered through the lines talking to a few players.
After stretches, the offense worked on a few gadget plays like reverses to the WR’s and WR screens. Then the receivers and corners were working on their footwork, and the receivers where doing some plant-and-push-off drills. The linebackers were working on getting their drops into coverage and catching the ball, imitating INT’s. Safeties were working on criss-cross routes by the receivers and the correct way to cross over.
Next they broke into some 7-on-7 work, but I went to the other end to watch some one-on-one blocking drills. Even in shoulder pads and helmets, they were going at it pretty good. McQ did a good job staying in front of Bowen, Kosier pushed Ratliff to the ground, and Gurode and Fergie fought to a stand-off. L. Davis had no trouble with Spears, Hatcher killed Molinaro, and Joe Berger did OK with Remi Ayodele. Procter handled Stanley and Canty had no problems with Trey Darilek. Doug Free was fine with Ratliff, but then Ware drove Free backwards right into the QB. Ola Dagunduro did good work on Procter, then Marcus Smith did well against McQ. Hatcher also had success against McQ, and Stephen Bowen went right by Steve Franklin. Spears went right around James Marten (I think, correct me if I’m wrong and Marten wasn’t out there, but I thought it was his number), Joe Berger handled Remi Ayodele, and then Doug Free stood up Canty. Hatcher was able to get around Free, L. Davis abused Ratliff and Gurode and Fergie stood each other up again.
They broke for some FG action with Nick Folk kicking and he made about 8 in a row, the longest from around 42-yards. They did some punt practice with Rector, Newman and Butler handling the kicks. On the punt formation, instead of one guy protecting behind the line, they used a triangle formation with 3 protectors behind the line. Carpenter, Elam and Keith Davis were the first group followed by Bilbo, Watkins and Crayton.
It was then I needed to switch positions to get a better look at the 11-on-11 drill so I missed the first part of Romo’s session. I got back to see him hit Witten on a nice pass down the middle, then he overthrew Sam Hurd. Brad Johnson gave the ball to MB3 up the middle but there was too much traffic. Stephen Bowen then blocked a Johnson pass at the line, and on the next play Alex Obomese flew through the middle on a blitz for a sack. Matt Moore got a turn and handed off up the middle but was stuffed by the linebackers. On the next play he made a terrible pass that was incomplete.
Back to Romo who hit Fasano in the flats. Then they ran a reverse to T.O. but Roy sniffed it out and was in the backfield, but T.O. made a good move on him, still, if it was live action he might have made the tackle. Fasano beat Burnett for a catch over the middle, then he threw deep to Austin but Austin hadn’t made it out of his break yet and it was incomplete. The timing offense is tough to get down. Romo finished by running a stretch play to the left and MB3 made a good cut at the line to get a hole and some room.
Johnson came in and threw a pass to Tony Curtis in the flats but Abram Elam was right there for the tackle. Johnson tried to go out to the flats again but Junior Glymph made a sensational INT by tipping the ball up then catching it as he fell out of bounds. A gold-star play that fired up the defense. On the next play, Joey Thomas picked off Johnson’s pass and ended a less than stellar session for the veteran.
Bartel got his chance and threw into the flats but Ayodele was all over the tackle. He then threw a hitch to Jamaica Rector but Ware slid outside to make a tackle.
Romo came up for his final turn and handed off to MB3 on the right side but there was too much traffic. Oliver Hoyte dropped a dump-off pass, then MB3 took a handoff and made a cutback move but Keith Davis and Burnett were in position to make the play. They tried a WR screen to Terry Glenn but the corner turned it inside and Hatcher slid over to make a play. Romo finished with a sweet pass on a deep dig route by Hurd right in front of Nate Jones.
Brad Johnson was next and wanted to throw a pass to MB3 but Junior Glymph made the sack. Next he threw a pass in the flats to Tyson Thompson but...I swear I saw this...#93, Anthony Spencer ran down the play for the stop. If it wasn’t him, I must have gotten the number wrong. The offense tried a run next but Canty disrupted the play in the backfield.
Matt Moore got another chance and ran a draw to Battle who had a nice-sized hole to run through. He finished the practice by hitting Andy Thorn with a pass but Roy Williams made the tackle.