Many players had a "veteran day off" and weren’t in pads today, including Tony Romo, Tyron Smith, Jason Witten, Sean Lee, Orlando Scandrick, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Doug Free.
While Dak Prescott has been the talk of the town over the last few days, it’s nice to hear that Romo has been having a great camp. He looks healthy, he’s moving around well, and he’s been on mark. As Drew Davison reported, Tony’s had one of his best offseasons of his career.
Unofficially, Romo finished training camp 90-of-140 (64.3 percent) passing in team and seven-on-seven drills. He had standout days, such as going 8-of-8 in seven-on-seven drills on Monday.
And he has been pleased from what he has seen from the team so far.
"I thought we improved as a team," Romo said. "I think each individual got a lot of reps. You learn a lot of the subtle situational football from the thinking to the muscle memory aspect of it, and just pleased with the way things have went. I’m excited to get out there and hopefully show what we’re capable of."
Romo will make his preseason debut Friday night against the Dolphins. Most people expect him to play one or two series in the first half, but even Tony himself isn’t sure just yet how many snaps he’ll get.
Tony Romo on how much he'll play Friday night: "I don't know. We haven't discussed the amount. I know I'm getting ready to go."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2016
Jason Witten had good things to say about his BFF.
Jason Witten: Romo's had a really good camp. "There's just this consistency he brings to our offense...that's a good feeling for all of us."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2016
In fact, Witten had good things to say about the team in general.
Jason Witten: "It's been a good camp. Guys have brought it every day. It's a good foundation...We have to continue to build on that."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2016
And there has been one player, in particular, who he’ been impressed with.
Defensive lineman who has caught Jason Witten's eye? David Irving. "I have really been impressed." Mentioned his long arms and strength— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2016
Jason Garrett always tends to focus on the positive, but he’s very guarded when it comes to getting into predictions. While he doesn’t offer up a whole lot, he did let us know that he’s got a feeling.
He’s got a feeling (woo hoo)...that this year’s going to be a good year.
That this year’s going to be a good year.
That this year’s going to be a good, good year.
He hasn’t been all that impressive these last few days and Friday will definitely present a challenge as he will likely have to play some with the reserve offensive line. All eyes will be on the rookie QB to see how he responds to pressure. One thing he seems to be dialed in on is the timing of his screen passes. Here he finds Gavin Escobar for a short gain.
Prescott seems comfortable throwing on the run.
Dak Prescott rolls out, finds Rico Gathers pic.twitter.com/8QC7odtYvM— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2016
Nice job by Dak, dropping it to Street over the top of Kavon Frazier. pic.twitter.com/EToX9qyW06— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 17, 2016
The Cowboys new star running back didn’t get to strut his stuff very much in Oxnard as he continues to rehab his hamstring injury, but that didn’t stop him from wowing people on Wednesday.
Impressive, right? Let’s see Jalen Ramsey do that!
The rookie showing some great acceleration once he finds the hole he is his looking for.
Darius Jackson, from the gun. Just like college. pic.twitter.com/xYIBRe9GdG— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 17, 2016
While the Cowboys veteran running back may not have the wheels the rookie has, he demonstrates that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Morris right up the middle untouched pic.twitter.com/WxXVPYGptF— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) August 17, 2016
While the other star veterans sat out of practice, it would take an act of Congress to get number 88 off the field.
All three of the Cowboys starters have been impressive in camp, but this could be a big year for Beasley. Nick Eatman had this to say about the slot receiver:
If you look at players like him, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and now Julian Edelman in New England, they don’t just burst onto the scene and shine. It takes them a while to get into form and Beasley, now in his fifth year, looks ready for a breakout season. In Wednesday’s practice, he was shaking defenders in the team period to the point where it didn’t seem like he was even being guarded. Give him credit for his route-running, but he seems quicker and faster and like always, catches everything his way.
If Beasley truly does break on the scene to where he’s that difficult to cover, I have a hard time seeing how defenses are going to be able to stop all the Cowboys weapons with only 11 guys.
Whenever one of the veteran tackles get a day off, that means you’ll see a heavy dose of Green. He was playing on left side and continued to struggle against the pass rushers. His technique is improving, but there’s still going to be a big learning curve and all his mistakes will be on full display this preseason. It serves as a reminder that the swing tackle position is going to be an area of concern for the Cowboys this season.
The good news for Green is that both of the starting tackles had the day off so that meant the other reserve tackles were thrown into action as well. The reps on the right side were shared between Ryan Mack and Bryan Witzmann. Both of these players also struggled against the rush and also committed penalties.
Chaz has his moments where he plays well. Here he is holding his own against newcomer, Benson Mayowa.
Benson Mayowa (93) getting in some work at right DE pic.twitter.com/c4ZjwCLIBr— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 17, 2016
Speaking of which, let’s move to the defense...
With DeMarcus Lawrence suspended the first four games, the Cowboys will be looking for edge rushers to step up. Two of their best candidates are David Irving and Benson Mayowa. Irving is nursing a groin injury and Mayowa just returned to practice on Monday and is gradually increasing his workload. Today, he got some reps on the right side. So far, he looks good though. He is demonstrating that same athleticism that interested the Cowboys in the first place when the signed him away from Oakland.
It’s good to see some of these new defensive lineman back on the field after coming back from their injury.
Benson Mayowa and Maliek Collins are getting a lot more work today after being limited after coming off PUP Monday.— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) August 17, 2016
If Jason Garrett can see your number, that means you’re not getting low enough. The Cowboys head coach made a point to ask Rod Marinelli about that and then singled-out Coe, telling him that he was tired of seeing his number.
Bryan Broaddus reported that this is hindering Coe’s progress.
Garrett is completely right about Coe. His biggest issue is that he plays too high and that hurts his ability to rush the passer and defend the run.
Coe is just hoping people are still seeing his number after roster cuts.
The Cowboys depth at cornerback is a lot more solid than people realize and with both Anthony Brown and Deji Olatoye having a good camp, it’s going to be hard for another corner to jump in front of them on the depth chart. One guy to keep an eye on, though, is McKinnon. With Brown resting his hamstring, it has opened up some chances for McKinnon as he has been given a chance to play the slot. He’s shown improvement and isn’t as grabby as he had been. Remember this kid’s name.
We cap this training camp report off with an extra point, as in - extra tidbit of information. For those of you wondering why Bailey is so darn good, here is a quick breakdown of the Cowboys kicker at work.
The team's punter got to be the hero today when Garrett offered to cancel the evening meetings if anyone could hit the Cowboys logo on Jerry Jones' suite, 20 yards away. Several players tried - Dez, Witten, Brandon Carr...to no avail. All three quarterbacks gave it a shot, but none of them could hit it. Then, Jones (who was a quarterback in high school) delivered a strike that made his teammates happy.
Garrett upped the ante even more saying he'd move the team's curfew to 11 pm if another player could hit it. No one else was able to do it. But then Garrett gave it a try and nailed it! The team rejoiced thanks to the clutch performance of their head coach.