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Cowboys Close Up Shop at The Alamodome

This was a walk-through practice. No tackling. Just scheme and execution. Practice was crisp; they didn't waste any time between drills. Here's my snap-by-snap.

Willie Reid was out before practice shagging kickoffs. Felix then came out to join him.

10: 45 Coach Phillips gathered everybody up at midfield for a team prayer. After that, the team went into stretching exercises-offense in white jerseys, defense in blue. Mrs. Price stood in the stands wearing her Gurode jersey, at about the 40, yelling for the guys to "stretch all the way" and shouting "Bobby!".

10:55 Coaches Joe D and Reggie Herring lined up the kickoff units. They did something wrong on the first kick because Herring threw out a pretty loud F-bomb at somebody.

Buehler, as usual, was booming KOs. His first and second kicks went in the end zone, then he bounced one at the one, another at the goalline, and his last at the four. Folk set up and kicked his first one yard past the goalline and his next one went to the right, coming down at the seven.

11:00 The team split up into units. On one side of the 50, Jason Garrett shouted orders to the offense. The dome was not very packed today, so I could hear that he was talking blitz pickups. He was shouting loud enough for me to make out "free safety", then he started talking about the "SAM and WILL" linebackers as well as the "strong safety". Handling blitzers seemed to be the theme of the practice for the offense.

On the left of the 50, Brett Maxie and Dave Campo were running the DBs through backpedaling and hip-turning drills. After that, they practiced catching lob passes with one hand.

Catch the rest below...

To the far left past the endzone, Dat Nguyen tossed footballs to the linebackers. Most looked to have good hands. Stephen Hodge dropped one early, but caught the rest. Nguyen threw high, low, and medium passes to switch it up a bit. Snagging interceptions looks to be a goal this year.

On the far side of the field, Todd Grantham just looked to be talking strategy with the defensive linemen.

11:08 Drills switch. I watched Garrett as he coached the QBs and WRs. They were working on timing, and more specifically on quick routes. Other coaches filled in for defensive positions, one of which would imitate a blitzer. At first, both Romo and Kitna worked on throwing passes out and over the blitzers to the RBs.

Then Kitna broke out from the quick checkoffs and hit a deep pass down the middle, and a 10-yard out to John Phillips. The chant "we want seven!" from the fans behind the goalpost lasted until Romo came back in to hit Roy Williams on a 9-yard hitch inside. Kitna came back in and did the same with Willie Reid who ran the same pattern, but to the outside. These were fast, crisp routes and sharp, quick-drop throws.

11:13  First Team Offense 11-on-11s

This first 11-on-11 drill catered specifically towards the offensive game plan; the defenders pretty much just went through the motions. The first team began with Miles Austin playing opposite of Roy. I found out later that Patrick Crayton was excused from practice to witness the birth of his baby. Sam Hurd wasn't out there either. Anyways, Romo hit Austin on a 10-yard hitch, and then Marion Barber took a handoff up the middle. From a 2-RB shotgun, Romo went to Austin again for 6 near the right hash. Barber came back with a run off LT, and then RW caught a 7-yard comeback as both Felix and Julius Crosslin blocked out of the I-formation for Romo. On to a 3 receiver set, where Isaiah Stanback lined up wide left with Martellus Bennett in the slot. Romo hit Witten for 7 up the middle. On the next play Bennett motioned into the FB position in front of Felix and Austin was wide left again. Witten for 6.

Second Team Offense 11-on-11s

Kitna came out with Asaph Schwapp at FB with Felix behind him. Mike Jefferson was wide left and Stanback wide right. After a run, they went 3WR with Manny Johnson in the right slot next to Stanback. They blocked from this formation for a toss right to Tashard Choice. On the next play, Kitna connected with Stanback on a bomb that would have gone for a touchdown. Then, John Phillips came in at FB with Kevin Ogletree wide left. Phillips looked like he was in the right position because Choice had a big hole to run through on a counter to Ogletree's side. With Stanback in the slot, Bennett caught a short pass and then Reid came in for Ogletree and made a nice catch on a 10 yarder from Stephen McGee.

First Team Offense 11-on-11s

Austin lined up again wide to the left with RW on the right and Bennett next to him in the slot. Only Barber was in the backfield. Romo hit Austin for a 10-yard hitch. From the I-form, Barber had a nice run up the middle, then they went into shotgun with Witten at FB and Barber at HB. Short pass to Austin. Miles then went in motion on the next play and blocked for a Barber run left. Crosslin and Felix lined up in the I with Jefferson wide right and Stanback wide left. Pass went to Jefferson for about 10. Romo dumped another off to Felix for 9 and then another short one to Bennett.

Second and Third Team Offenses 11-on-11s

Kitna tossed right to Choice from a 3WR formation. Choice then went off tackle with Schwapp blocking. Manny J caught a 12-yard hitch and then Bennett caught one in the middle.

McGee came in and connected with Reid, who made a nice grab. McGee then hit Julian Hawkins on a 15-yard crossing pattern. From the shotgun, Rodney Hannah caught one on a short drag from the right to the left of the field.

First Team Offense 11-on-11s

Have you seen the words "incomplete pass" yet? Up until this point, the wideouts had caught everything. On this shotgun play, Stanback lined up wide left with Roy out right and Austin in the slot. Just Barber was in the backfield. Romo threw a quick screen to Roy, which bounced into the turf. Garrett made them do the play over, except this time Roy dropped the pass. On the third time, they got it right. This play seemed to be of some importance to Garrett because the CB who was covering Roy was coming in on a blitz.

After that, Stanback (wide left) went in motion and ran like he was getting the ball on an end around, but Romo handed off to Barber who popped up the middle of the line. Witten then caught a short pass. On the next play, it looked like Crosslin and Kosier missed their assignments because the half-walking, half-jogging defenders ended up in the backfield. They ran the play over and both corrected their mistakes, opening up a fat lane for Barber. Austin then caught a 5-yard drag pass that looked like it could've gone for a good chunk of yardage. A deep out to Jefferson fell incomplete, and then Stanback ran another fake end around-this time from the I-formation-but Felix took the ball off LT.

Second and Third Team Offenses 11-on-11s

Kitna faked a reversed to Jesse Holley while Keon Lattimore took the ball off LT. Bennett caught a short pass from the shotgun, and then Choice busted through for a nice run.

Rudy Carpenter made his presence known by rolling out and completing a 15-yard deep out that would have actually been ruled out of bounds. Lattimore ran up the middle and then Schwapp caught a shorty near the right hash marks.

11:42 First Team Defense 11-on-11s

The coaches moved the ball out towards midfield and out marched the first team defense. Seeing that TE Scott Chandler lined up wide, it was obvious that these drills were specifically catered for the defense. Bradie James and Ratliff teamed up for the first would-be tackle, then James made another one on a run left. Anthony Spencer gobbled up a toss to the right, and then Brooking grabbed the next runner up the middle. Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman were the starting CBs.

Second Team Defense 11-on-11s

With Orlando Scandrick at RCB, Courtney Brown at LCB, Alan Ball at FS, and Patrick Watkins at SS. Watkins made the first tackle on a run up the middle. Junior Siavvi made the next one. Wade was churning in different players so fast it was hard to keep up. The next group had Mike Hamlin at SS, DeAngelo Smith at FS. Derreck Robinson notched a tackle for a loss. Scandrick then subbed in as a LB went out. Brown made the play on a QB draw.

First Team Defense 11-on-11s

Scandrick started with this unit. A short pass went to Hannah (Brooking on coverage), then Newman broke up a deep out on Chandler (who had it but T-New swatted it out of his hands), Spencer would've had a sack on a HB screen, and Ken Hamlin intercepted a pass on a Manny J post.

Jenkins came back in at RCB. After a short pass was completed to a TE, Spencer would've had another sack on a play that ended up passing to the TE in the flats. Gerald Sensebaugh got beat on a deep pass from Rudy, but Chandler couldn't haul it in. Hannah dropped a pass against Newman.

Second Team Defense 11-on-11s

This group hand an interesting lineup. I rubbed my eyes, but still saw Jonas Seawright at LE next to Siavvi at NT. Robinson was at RE, while Victor Butler played WOLB and Justin Rogers and Brandon Williams rotated at SOLB. The ILBs rotated between Bobby Carpenter and Jason Williams and Matt Stewart and Jason Williams.

Manny J caught a deep post on Brown and Sensebaugh. Schwapp caught a pass in the flat as D.Smith blanketed him and then Smith knocked away a post to Hawkins.

First Team Defense 11-on-11s

These were mostly sub-packages. Jenkins and Newman manned their corners, while Scandrick played safety back with K. Hamlin. At other times, Sensebaugh would be back there deep with Hamlin while Scandrick covered the slot. This 4-2-5 featured Brooking and Carpenter in the middle with Spencer, Jay Ratliff, Stephen Bowen, and DeMarcus Ware on the line. Sometimes Ware stood up; but, Spencer rarely did. Jenkins would have stuck Holley on a short out. Then Ogletree caught a post on Scandrick.

The second team sub-packages then came in, but the only thing I saw out of the ordinary was Bradie James lining up as one of the ILBs. After that around noon, Wade huddled the team up and the crowd cheered as they exited the field. Locals Stephen McGee and Sam Hurd stayed after for interviews, as did somebody else who had so much media around him I figured it was Romo.

This concludes training camp. Just a couple more days and we will all be watching the first Cowboys game in the new stadium!

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