Wade Phillips had the team in full pads today and the defense was a little chippy, taking their shots at the offensive players that led to a minor skirmish. More on that later. They went through the regular routine of positional dills and then stretching.
Greg Ellis didn’t dress and the rest of the injury crew was the same; Flozell Adams, Marc Colombo, Isaiah Stanback and Alonzo Coleman all worked with the trainers on the side.
The offensive line hit the blocking pads then practiced some more combo blocks while the outside linebackers were working on getting leverage on the blocker by steering them with their hands on the outside of the shoulder pads. While all this was going on Jerry and Wade were having a long discussion on the sideline.
The first scrimmage drill was a 9-on-9 while the WR’s battled the CB’s on the other end of the field. I was watching Tony Romo’s session in the 9-on-9 drill that started with a run to the left by JJ but Spears crashed down the line and was helped by Spencer on the outside to make the stop. JJ then went to the right side and Canty made the tackle. JJ went back to the left with L. Davis pulling out in front and was eventually stopped by Spears and Ayodele. MB3 had a nice run up the middle thanks to a Hoyte block on Carpenter. MB3 made another run to the right and got some yards before Watkins came up to make the tackle.
My plan was to watch the WR/CB battles on the other end after Romo’s session, but that was partially interrupted by Rowdy, who came up behind where I was sitting to throw t-shirts to the crowd causing everyone to stand up and block my view. Did I mention I’m not fond of Rowdy? I did manage to see Hurd lose Henry on a deep dig route for a nice catch and Jerard Rabb beat A. Glenn on a deep post route. Owens had Newman beat on a deep pattern but Brad Johnson’s throw was off-target. Crayton beat Quincy Butler on a dig route. Meanwhile, over at the 9-on-9 MB3 ran over Carpenter, then TT had a good run until Damarius Bilbo gave him a nice pop. Battle finished it up with a run through a nice hole. Sorry for the incompleteness of this section, but my nemesis Rowdy won the day. Curses!
They moved on to some special teams work, mainly on kickoffs. Gramatica had two kickoffs; one went to the 12-yard line and another went to the 7-yard line. Folk got one kick that went to the 9-yard line. While all this was happening, Ellis, Ware and Pasqualoni continued their technique sessions from yesterday in the corner of the endzone. Ellis and Pasqualoni were tutoring Ware in the proper technique for putting one hand on the offensive player’s chest then getting leverage to explode up into him and knocking him backwards. Pasqualoni played the part of the offensive player.
The horn blew and they moved on to an 11-on-11 drill. Romo’s session started with a JJ run to the right but Canty crashed sown the line for the stop. JJ wanted to go left on his next run but Ferguson busted through the line forcing him back to the middle and into traffic. Next Romo dumped a pass to MB3 who was tackled by Bradie James, then MB3 ran a sweep to the left, Carpenter filled the lane but took a bad angle and MB3 got around him to the edge. Romo finished with a short pass to Witten.
Brad Johnson ran a draw to TT but Bowen filled the hole nicely. They tried it again and Remi Ayodele filled the hole but TT broke it back to the left for some yards. Then TT got a big gainer thanks to a great trap block by Doug Free. Matt Moore subbed in and tried to hit Austin on the sidelines but Junior Glymph just barely tipped the ball and Austin couldn’t corral it.
Romo was back in and ran a draw to JJ and Spencer made the tackle after an OK gain. Next, the skirmish broke out. JJ ran to the left and Canty grabbed JJ and threw him to the turf, rather roughly I might add. JJ was not amused, popped up and started shoving with Canty. Akin Ayodele had to run in and wrap both arms around JJ to move him away; JJ was visibly angry. After this died down Canty was smiling and did some hip-bumps with Hamlin and Newman who were fired up and laughing. Good stuff. When order was restored, Romo threw a dump pass to MB3 and Joey Thomas made the stop. MB3 then ran through a big hole on a draw play and Watkins had to make the stop deep. Romo finished with a dump pass to Fasano.
Johnson came in and handed off to TT who did a beautiful job of picking his way through traffic up the middle for a good run. TT tried a run to the left to little advantage. TT next tried a sweep to the right but Ayodele snuffed it out. Johnson then completed a short pass to Jehreme Urban who was tackled by Nate Jones. Richard Bartel got his shot next and gave it to Battle but Canty made a nice play to stop it. He then threw an incompletion to Jamel Richardson who was covered by Newman. Battle ran through a big hole for good yards until Roy put him on the turf.
They went back to kickoffs and tried a few onside kicks during the session. Burnett wasn’t fooled and covered one, but Watkins had trouble with the second one, letting the ball bounce off him that led to a scramble, but it looked like Watkins eventually came up with it.
After that it was back to 11-on-11. Romo gave it to JJ who cut to the right but Bradie put the horse-collar on him. JJ caught a short dump pass, then from the shotgun Romo tried to hit Terry Glenn on a quick hitch but A. Glenn jumped the pattern and broke it up. Oliver Hoyte then made a nice one-handed catch (maybe I was wrong about his pass-catching ability), MB3 then ran to the left and got some yards before Reeves and Watkins made the stop, and Romo finished by hitting Fasano in the flats.
Johnson tried to throw a dump-off but he held the ball too long and Glymph got good pressure in his face. TT had a nice run through a big hole in the middle before Elam blasted him. From the shotgun Johnson dumped a short pass to TT, then TT ran a sweep to the right and was helped out by a good block from Hoyte. Moore came in and connected with Rabb who had beaten Henry. Then Canty ran right over Kosier for a sack.
Romo came in and hit Owens on a crossing route. Then they ran a fake handoff to JJ and gave it to T.O. on a reverse, Carpenter read it and maybe would have tackled him if it had been live action, it was a close call, but they didn’t blow the whistle and T.O was eventually forced out of bounds for a short gain. From the shotgun Romo hit Crayton, then a sweep to the right was snuffed out by Blair Phillips. Next came the offensive play of the morning; T.O. was streaking down the left side, Romo threw the ball inside, T.O. adjusted to beat Nate Jones and caught it with one hand for a long TD. The crowd was much appreciative. Romo then threaded the needle for a pass to Terry Glenn.
Johnson hit Austin for a nice sideline catch, MB3 ran to the left but Spears laid him out, then Spencer got in for what would have been a sack. Johnson concluded with a dump off pass to Battle. Bartel came on and dropped the QB/center exchange, then ran a sweep to the left with Battle but Stanley made a nice stop. The practice ended with a hitch to Adam Bergen who was tackled by Joey Thomas.
They ran the nickel defense again today on occasion, and on the 2nd-string unit Keith Davis came in to assume the linebacker duties where Roy was on the 1st-string, and Bobby Carpenter lined up with his hand down as part of the four-man line on the 2nd-string.