Cowboys Training Camp Report, Practice Number Fifteen: Into The Black Hole, South - Blogging The Boys
Rabblerousr with his usual stellar reporting from camp, today focusing on the heated, intense scrimmage against the Raiders that featured extended 11-on-11 work.
Wednesday Recap: Injury Issues Return In Physical Practice - Nick Eatman, DC.com
Eatman includes Justin Durant, Terrance Mitchell and Rolando McClain as the notable standouts of the day.
Rolando McClain – The former Raiders linebacker probably had his best practice of camp as well. Playing mostly with No. 2 defense in the middle, McClain showed more than just awareness in the middle. He was powerful at the point of attack with ball-carriers and pushed the pocket well on blitzes. It seemed like one of those "light bulb-coming-on" type of days for him.
Dallas Cowboys Camp Report: Day 21 - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer's daily review of training camp has a big chunk on Dez Bryant:
Jason Witten scored a touchdown in a two-minute situation but the Cowboys ran another play with a hurry-up back fastball from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant over Raiders corner Tarell Brown. Bryant and Brown did a lot of chirping at each other during practice. Bryant was especially vociferous with the Oakland DBs after he felt a couple of them took some unnecessary shots on Bryant's fellow receivers. At one point, Bryant ran on the field after an Oakland defender took a bigger-than-normal hit on Cowboys receiver Jamar Newsome on the return. Bryant got the last word with his touchdown, throwing up his trademark X for emphasis.
Day 21 observations from Dallas Cowboys training camp practice: More fights against Oakland Raiders; QB Tony Romo not sharp | Brandon George, DMN
George lists the hits, misses and notable moments from Wednesday’s practice.
Tony Romo of Dallas Cowboys says he'll make preseason debut Saturday - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Tony Romo said he will make his preseason debut Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens.
"I think you have to play in the preseason," Romo said. "Obviously, some people can't, but I do know from my perspective, this game is not just something where you can show up and think that you can do it. I think it's been proven far too many times that if you take too long of a break or don't get reps under you that you will be exposed in certain areas. I'm a firm believer that you have to play football to get better at football. Football's a way of life. It's not just [a] sometimes thing. It's an all-the-time thing if you're going to be a great player, and I think if you have the opportunity to play, you've got to play."
Report: Dallas Cowboys Rookie Ben Gardner Will Go On IR - Blogging The Boys
Rookie defensive end Ben Gardner is expected to have shoulder surgery and be placed on injured reserve, a source told the Dallas Morning News.
Dez Bryant trash talking with Raiders defender: ‘I don’t even know your name, but you know mine’ | Jon machota, DMN
Bryant was mic’d up during Tuesday’s practice with the Oakland Raiders and the mothership has the video. Skip to about a 50-second mark to listen in an these two gems by Bryant:
The best two clips came after Bryant caught a slant during team drills.
"Boy, I’m telling you, this ball ain’t coming out of these hands," Bryant told a nearby defender. "That’s for real."
While standing off to the side between plays, Bryant was jawing with another Raiders player, this time dropping: "I don’t even know your name, but you know mine."
Jason Garrett says first joint practice with Raiders "was a fantastic day of practice." - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
Jason Garrett really liked the first joint practice with the Raiders.
"I thought it was a fantastic day of practice," Garrett said. "I really did. It was as electric an atmosphere as I’ve been around on a practice field, really in my life. Our offense had a tremendous home-field advantage over there with a lot of Cowboys fans on the offensive side and the defense was playing on the road a little bit. But I just thought the atmosphere was great.
Sterling Moore to get first shot at Cowboys' slot spot - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer writes that "the initial hope is Moore" for the slot corner position. Unlike last year, when Moore found himself on the street after final roster cuts, Moore looks like a roster lock for the 53 this year.
Scout’s Eye: Pass Rushers Struggles Against Oakland - Bryan Broaddus, DC.com
In a recap of the first joint practice with the Raiders on Tuesday, Broaddus explains why DeMarcus Lawrence is so important for the Cowboys (and why they ultimately traded up to get him).
It’s becoming very clear to me that the loss of DeMarcus Lawrence for the first half of the season is going to be a huge loss for this defense. Martez Wilson is having trouble generating any type of a pass rush on the right side. There have been more snaps where he has been blocked than ones where he gets around the edge and [creates] problems. It very well might come down to Jeremy Mincey, who has been steady starting on the early downs and Kyle Wilber dropping down from linebacker to fill the void, because the pressure is just not there.
Sullivan: Random Thoughts From Raiders-Cowboys Practice - Jeff Sullivan, DC.com
After Broaddus left us with unpleasant thoughts about the pass rush, here are three thoughts from Sully to cheer us up again:
Lance Dunbar looks even quicker than last year. Cowboys were lining him up in the slot a few plays, too, and he caught one ball and just exploded on a little slant. There are so many ways Scott Linehan can use him.
Don’t know a ton about Kenneth Boatright, the defensive end the Cowboys signed on Aug. 1, but he just keeps making plays. Like all the time. Definitely the surprise of camp for me. Can’t believe the Seahawks let him go. Have heard a few people in Oxnard drop the George Selvie comparison in terms of a guy coming out of nowhere, off-the-street, and making a real impact. Rod Marinelli loves having an eight-man rotation with his defensive linemen and at this point, I can’t imagine Boatright not being among that group.
Anthony Spencer did some resistance change-of-direction late in practice, and looked quite spry. [...] I’m not sure he’s going to play Week 1, but he’s going to play in September, that much I’m sure of barring a setback. Best guess would be Week 3, but they are still shooting for the opener.
Can Tony Romo commit to the run? - Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas
MacMahon makes a good argument that the Cowboys' new-found commitment to the run game may be little more than lip service if Tony Romo changes run calls to pass calls at the line. But he also gives Romo some room in the article to explain that most of the time, outside observers simply have no idea what play was initially called and what, if any, changes were made to that call at the line of scrimmage.
"We always talk about the one or two times where it obviously went negative," Romo said. "But over the course of your career, for every one there were nine that were very successful that we just don't talk about. You guys don't know we checked them, and they produced a first down to win the game."
"It's not necessarily going from run to pass. It can be run to run, pass to pass and pass to run. I think that you just need to be good and execute at a high level with whatever direction you go. Long story short, you want to be able to run the ball when you really feel like you're in a tough situation or you get eight-man boxes or when it gets tough. If you can do that, you're ahead of the game. I think we have that ability, so I'm excited about that."
Sources: Dallas Cowboys plan to sign TE Asa Watson | Brandon George, DMN
Another Patriot for the Cowboys: The Cowboys plan to sign tight end Asa Watson, who was waived three days ago by New England.