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Dallas Cowboys training camp: Practice #5

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For the first time the Dallas Cowboys practiced under cloudy skies but were in full pads for a spirited early morning session. One piece of bad news, T-New left the practice midway with what appears to be a groin injury. I don't know how serious . Over at the defensive line warm-ups Tank Johnson once again was holding court and entertaining his teammates. He playfully chided the assistant coach for being late and calling the Big 10 conference the 5th best conference. He proclaimed the Pac 10 the best and laughed when his teammate said the MEAC was the best. He told him the MEAC plays on channel 955 and no one sees it. Meanwhile, Anthony Henry was shagging punts, maybe he’s trying to get in on the action for special teams.

The defensive line moved over to a fenced-off section where fans can come up within 10 feet or so of where their hitting the sleds. The coaches were imploring them to get off low, keep leverage and be physical. The coach got on Marcus Dixon for coming off too high and telling him to keep low. Later, they practiced twisting line stunts.

On the other end of the field they practiced redzone running offense but in front of us they were running 1-on-1 WR/CB drills. Hurd beat T-New on a slant. Then T.O. and AJ squared-off; again AJ was very physical with T.O. and the battle was a good one although at the end T.O. managed to get away for a short out pattern. Dave Campo loved AJ’s physical play and let him know it. Crayton fell down while going against Alan Ball, Austin ran a quick slant and dusted Oglesby, and Rodney Hannah couldn’t hold on to a pass while being covered by Courtney Brown. Mike Jenkins got very physical with Mike Jefferson and the pass was incomplete. Jefferson went again and smoked Anthony Henry on a deep pass drawing the ire of Campo. Amendola beat Orlando Scandrick but the pass was bad. AJ was covering Todd Lowber; the pass hit his hands but he dropped it. Roy alert; he had good coverage on Drew Atchison and broke up the pass. Hurd then got a step on T-New but the pass was overthrown.

Mark Bradford beat Evan Oglesby badly because Oglesby was trying to guess the route and jump the ball. Campo got all over Oglesby. Crayton caught one on Ball, Henry had good coverage on T.O. and T.O. slipped, then Hannah got a step on Hamlin for a catch. Isaiah Stanback ran a nice route and beat Jenkins deep then AJ got physical with Austin and Austin fell down. Amendola beat Scandrick on an out then Lowber dropped a bomb after he had beaten Oglesby causing the offensive coaches to yell get two hands on the ball. Hurd ran a good route and beat Ball then Henry had excellent coverage on Jefferson causing Campo to yell “see that #23 (Oglesby), he sat down on the route, he didn’t jump it.” Bradford dropped a slant against AJ and Crayton got deep on Scandrick. Another AJ vs. T.O. matchup with AJ being very physical on a dig route, T.O. was able to create a little separation but dropped the pass.

Stanback got the better of Jenkins again, Austin battled Oglesby but the pass was bad. Amendola couldn’t pull in a one-handed catch on an errant pass while battling Oglesby. Lowber abused Henry on a double move, Bradford worked Oglesby for a catch, then Scandrick had good coverage on an Austin slant. T.O. got the better of AJ, Hurd beat Jenkins and Austin caught an out on Henry.

They broke for special teams and not much happened except Ronnie Cruz did a nice job of busting up the wedge on a kickoff.

11-on-11 was next. Romo gave the ball to MB3 but Ratliff was in on the tackle. Crayton got deep on Jenkins but the pass was overthrown. On the next play the middle linebackers blitzed and Zach got in the hole on MB3. Romo overthrew Witten and Felix Jones tried a run but Bobby Carpenter filled the hole nicely. Romo finished by connecting with Witten on a crossing pattern with Courtney Brown trailing him. Brad gave the ball to Choice for a run to the right edge, he then overthrew Austin with AJ in good coverage. Coleman ran a draw but Marcus Dixon made a play. Brad then fake a toss-pitch one way, rolled back the other way and found a wide-open Tony Curtis. Bartel dumped one to Coleman with Carpenter in pursuit and then he underthrew the WR and Oglesby made the INT.

Romo was back and gave it to MB3 for no real gain. He then hit T.O. who had gotten open on Henry and had a throw-away after being pursued by Ratliff and Bradie, Next he dumped one off to Felix with Zach in hot pursuit. Brad threw a hitch to Jefferson but AJ was all over him. Carpenter broke through on a blitz for a sack; after letting the play continue Brad connected with Jefferson. He then ran a reverse to Austin who got a lot of yards with Courtney Brown finally making the tackle. Jeff Terrell threw a pass to Hannah, Carpenter had good coverage but mistimed his jump and missed the interception. He then threw a hitch to #16 and he juked Oglesby for some yards.

Another break for special teams. Carpenter bobbled an onside kick trying to cover it, but Erik Walden handled his cleanly.

They closed practice with 11-on-11. Romo kicked it off with a short pass to MB3 in front of a trailing Zach. T.O. made a high catch on the sideline over Henry, Bradford caught a short pass, then Felix tried a run but Burnett had the tackle. Felix got another run and found a huge hole up the middle. Romo closed with a tipped pass at the line that went low to Witten. Brad tried to hit Austin but Oglesby made a nice play for a breakup, Chocie tried a run but Remi Ayodele made a nice play, then Choice tried a draw but Dowayne Davis filled the hole and made the stop. Hurd then beat Jenkins on an out. Bartel threw to Lowber but he dropped it.

They moved to 11-on-11 in the redzone where we couldn’t see that well because of the players blocking our view. But here’s the best I could do on that session. Romo tried to hit Crayton in the endzone but AJ jumped high to break it up. Next was an incompletion to T.O. Choice ran a draw but Zach read it well, then Witten caught one. Romo closed with an MB3 run but Carpenter had good pursuit. Brad came on and hit T.O. on a crossing pattern then Stanback ran a reverse for good yards, a possible TD. Coleman made a short catch but the defensive line had the sack then Coleman tried a run but Spencer was on him. Bartel hit Amendola for a TD catch then Lattimore finished with a run.

That was the end. There’s another practice today but we’re told it’s a special teams practice only. Both Shango and I had other work that we had to get done today so we are not going to be at that practice. Sorry, no report for this afternoon’s special teams practice. I hope to do a general update on what I’ve seen at camp so far later tonight.