With the Hall of Fame Game coming up on Sunday, the Cowboys closed out this portion of training camp at the Alamodome with a walk-through practice. No pads. Just jerseys and shorts. No helmets either.
Being that this was the last practice in San Antonio, a good number of autograph-seeking fans showed up. The players are already hitting the road back up to Dallas. Tomorrow, they will head up to Canton, Ohio.
It's kind of hard to believe that we will be watching a Dallas Cowboys football game in just a couple of days. We can certainly expect to see a fair share of backups on Sunday. Personally, I don't remember the last time I've been this eager to see backups play.
When you consider the depth at wideout, there should be strong competition for that 5th and 6th spot. If Titus Ryan turns out to be a good return guy, that could tighten things up at that position. I saw him lined up in the slot often today. A little Stephen McGee-to-Ryan action on Sunday could be slightly intriguing.
Practice notes after the jump.
Nothing very exciting going on during today's hour-long practice, so I will just run you through by the clock (at each time interval noted, a whistle or QB change occurred).
Players enter field in jerseys, shorts, no helmets. Stretching begins promplty at 9:18.
9: 22 AM
First team 11-on-11s. It's just a walk-through, so players are lining up and practicing somewhere below half-speed. Marion Barber takes a Tony Romo handoff right off tackle. On the next snaps, Deon Anderson subs in for Martellus Bennett and Barber takes a toss left.
On defense, Jason Hatcher is in for Marcus Spears.
Second teamers in. Jon Kitna hands right to Felix Jones between guard and tackle, and then they do the same to the left side on the next snap. Alex Barron is in and doesn't look hampered at all by the broken pinkie. If he was wearing a cast or splint, I couldn't see it from my vantage point. After another Jones run to the right middle, I noticed that AOA was lined up deep about 15-yard off the LOS, while Barry Church was within five yards of it. Felix then took another run to the right between C and G and then the 2nd teamers left the field.
3rd team. Stephen McGee hands off to Tashard Choice for a run between C and G, and then McGee tosses right to Choice on the next snap. On the 3rd D, Bryan McCann is RCB and Jamar Wall is LCB. McGee then hands off right to Lonyae Miller (C/G). The offense must've done something wrong here because Jason Garrett made them rehuddle and run the play again. Before the next snap, Dave Campo yelled for the left DE to move further inside. Sean Lee was the RILB on D.
1st D vs. 3rd/4th O. Dez Bryant comes out to watch practice at this point, drawing cheers. Matt Nichols throws the first pass of the day--a quick out that falls incomplete. They replay the snap and complete the pass. The 2nd D comes in featuring Barry Church and Mike Hamlin at safeties. After Nichols completes a short pass to Manny Johnson, Jason Williams picks off his next one. Reminder: these drills are in super slow motion. Miller then takes a handoff right before the whistle blows.
The offense now turns around to face the end zone from the 15. Nichols zips one into Terrell Hudgins, who ran a curl route. Against the 2nd D, he then completes 5-yarders to Jesse Holley and Herb Donaldson. A slow post-corner TD pass to Hudgins follows, and then a shallow cross complete to Holley.
The 1st O comes back in and turns back around facing the length of the field again from the 25. They are facing the 3rd D. Tony Romo completes a short lob to Jason Witten, but then Garrett yells for them to rehuddle. Steve Octavien and Josh Brent are jumpy on the next play--a draw to Felix up the middle. Witten then takes another 5-yarder in the middle and that's it for the 1st team O. That may be more than what we get to see from them on Sunday!
Kevin Ogletree looks like he's wearing Mickey Mouse gloves. Anyways, Kitna hands off the Choice, who takes it outside Barron at LT. KO then catches a short slant from Kitna. The next play is a short pass to Choice who is covered by AOA up at the line. Donaldson then takes a handoff right. We see the first shotgun 3-WR alignment of the day:
16 17(slot) 89(on the line) 85
The 3rd O in and they run a reverse to Sam Hurd. McGee finishes the play by fake-throwing. KO then catches a short mid pass from McGee. How come nobody talks about McGee and John Phillips wearing their ballcaps backwards? The nickel D is in with Lee as the RILB and Brandon Sharpe at LILB. After a Miller run up the middle, I notice that Brandon Williams comes in at RILB. Don't know if that means anything. He could just be a placement player there or something. Miller again off LT, Lee comes back in at LILB while Sharpe switches to the right side. McGee short pass to Kevin Brock.
Nichols completes a 10-yard cross to Scott Sicko, and then tosses left to Miller. Who will the practice squad RB be this year? Church plays close to the line even as O shows 3WRs, as the other S stays deep. After a pass to the right falls incomplete, the defense shows blitz which causes Nichols to gun a ball to Hudgins on a slant. This was the fastest action I saw the whole hour. The next formation was tight with 2 TEs, and FB Chris Gronkowski got himself a carry up the middle. He could be fun to watch on Sunday.
1st D back in and Mike Jenkins get himself an easy Nichols INT covering Holley. After a Miller C/G run, they move Gronkowski out to the slot with Miller as the lone RB. The result of this is just a short mid pass to Brock. They go back to the offset-I for a flat pass to Donaldson.
On the 2nd team D, Hatcher goes back to backing up Igor Olshansky's side and Leon Williams and Jason Williams are the ILBs. After a short pass to the RB, the offense tries a couple of rollouts. Nobody really blocks Hatcher and Victor Butler on the first so Garrett has them run it again. From the offset-I, Donaldson runs left C/G with the SS up close to the line.
Good fake protection on the next play allows a Sicko pass in the flat, and then Miller takes a toss right. They ran this play twice in a row. Sharpe and Jason Williams are the ILBs. After a nice Nichols post pass to Sicko, he gets a little too much air on the next throw--a quick curl to Hudgins. He overthrows Hudgins deep to the left and McCann nearly picks it off. Wall jumps a slant and picks off Nichols on the next play.
Nichols hits Manny on a 15-yard in. They replay this, which falls complete, and then Donaldson runs left between C/G. Danny McCrary and Mike Hamlin are the safeties. McCann breaks up a pass to Holley, and then Wall gets another INT on an out-route.
Team huddles up. Practice is over. Training Camp: Part One is complete!