The Dallas Cowboys practiced in shoulder pads again this morning. About a third of the way through practice I noticed that Montrae Holland was running with the first team offense at guard and I couldn't find Kyle Kosier. I'm guessing he had some kind of injury early in practice, hope it's not serious. Also, Jason Williams came up limping on a play but was later back in the rotation.
Early on it was special teams and it was centered on kickoff returns. The main guys doing the returns were Cletis Gordon, Kevin Ogletree and AOA. Chris Gronkowski was singled out by coach Joe D. again for good performance during the drill. They added a couple of squib kick practices at the end. After position drills, the offense did some walk-through plays with a lot of emphasis on pitch plays to the backs.
Once again, though, the practice consisted mainly of 11-on-11 drills. They started out practicing the offense getting off the goal line, as you might expect, this consisted of a lot of runs. Today, the offensive lines were getting a good push during this drill. Romo's turn started with a Marion Barber run that was led by Deon Anderson who had a big collision with Sean Lee to open the hole. Anderson followed that up on the next play with another fine block, then on the next play the middle of the line blew open a huge hole for Felix Jones. Finally the defense got some action when Sean Lissemore got good penetration to rush an attempted pass, but the offense was back at it when they ran the ball and Bigg pulled to open a hole. Kitna gave a handoff to Tashard Choice who displayed nice vision with a cutback run. Kitna hit Jason Pociask on a short swing pass but Jason Williams had excellent pursuit. On the next play it was Williams again as he got nice penetration into the backfield. Pociask got a short catch in front of Gerald Sensabaugh, then they tried a swing pass to Gronkowski but Sean Lee showed good pursuit on the play.During McGee's turn they ran the ball on one play and Gronkowski popped Lee in the hole to open up the running lane.
They took a short break then went back to 11-on-11, this time with a full field. Romo started with a bad pass to Witten and had another bad one to Hurd. In between they ran the Razorback and Bigg pulled to lead Choice through a nice hole. As you can tell by now, the running game was clicking today. Witten closed Romo's session by pulling in a nice catch on a Y-drag pattern. Kitna threw into heavy coverage and Terence Newman came up with the pick. Choice followed with a nice run around the edge, then the team lined up with three TEs but actually threw the ball from the formation, a short pass to Herb Donaldson.
Romo came back with a couple of runs but Victor Butler was in position on both to make tackles. Kitna tried a bootleg run but Orlando Scandrick had good pursuit. Choice followed up with another nice cutback run.
After a break, they went back to 11-on-11 from the 25-yard line. Romo tried to hit Crayton, the pass was a little high but Crayton showed a lackluster effort to go and get it. Next he hit Sam Hurd on a short pass then rolled-out and hit Crayton. Felix tried a run but Steve Octavien had good pursit, but they pitched to Felix on the next play and he had wide-open space to the outside. Romo's final play was a dud when the secondary had excellent coverage. Kitna had to deal with a poor snap on his first play, but managed a pass that was broken up by Jason Williams. DajLeon dropped a sure TD, then a screen was ruined by Sean Lee shutting it down. Jay Ratliff and Sean Lee then stuffed a middle run.
Romo's final turn was highlighted by a pass to Farr, a Hurd catch beating Scandrick and a slant TD to Roy Williams. Sandwiched in between was an excellent defensive play by Bryan McCann. Romo tried to hit Austin in the endzone, but McCann and Austin wrestled for the ball with McCann winning and securing the interception before going out of bounds. This got the defense fired up and got some screams out of Dave Campo and a fist-bump for McCann. Kitna managed to hit Pociask for a TD during his session.
To finish the practice, the players to off their shoulder pads and did some half-speed 11-on-11 that was really all about assignments, etc.
The running game looked good today, much better than it had in previous practices. Anybody know anything about Kosier?