We start out today with the news that Tony Romo, Dez Byrant, and Jason Witten were all participating in full pads for today's practice. However, going with their routine to get guys some rest; Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, and Barry Church were not participating today. Ezekiel Elliott was in uniform but without pads and not practicing just yet, he's still working with trainers to get through some soreness in his hamstring.
As some of the players made their rounds answering various questions, I thought it important to bring forth to you that this defense hears all the talk. In fact, we stated yesterday quite a few folks in attendance will say that the defense has come to camp looking sharp thus far. Brandon Carr had a few motivating words for his fellow comrades on the defense today:
Does Dallas D have chip on shoulder? "It's bigger than a chip,'' CB Brandon Carr said. "It's a boulder.''— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) August 5, 2016
Brandon Carr, asked abt DAL CBs in contract yrs: "Get the ball, get this money." Says he's been losing sleep thinking abt getting turnovers.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 5, 2016
It certainly would be nice to see him return to the Brandon Carr we became acquainted with in 2012. Let's run down a few more nuggets from today's Jason Garrett press conference:
Coach Wade Wilson has missed two days of camp in Oxnard dealing with a personal matter. Here is the updated information for anyone that is interested in his well-being:
Source: Cowboys QBs coach Wade Wilson is expected to return to practice Saturday after missing last two days with a foot infection.— Brandon George (@DMN_George) August 5, 2016
It starting to look mighty thin at the linebacker position as Andrew Gachkar left yesterday's practice and will be getting thumb surgery in Dallas.
Cowboys are now without linebackers Kyle Wilber (back), Andrew Gachkar (thumb), Rolando McClain(purple drank) and Damien Wilson (eye)— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) August 5, 2016
We will continue to monitor this situation as the Cowboys keep taking blows to the linebacker corps. It looks as though Andrew Gachkar will miss the next 3-4 weeks, which is certainly a shame. As the world continues to turn and pour over the options for the backup quarterback position. This is as emphatic as anyone can be regarding some opinions/ false information that has been floating around out there.
The Cowboys are not interested in Michael Vick. Please stop asking— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) August 5, 2016
Never say never but we're pretty sure the Cowboys have a shortlist at quarterback and both Michael Vick and Josh Freeman are pretty far down it, if not, completely off it. The Cowboys may want a veteran quarterback but as Stephen Jones has already stated, "they must get it right." In fact, here's his quote following today's practice:
Stephen Jones says the Cowboys made a run at Foles and it didn't work out. He doesn't want to sign a QB just for the sake of it.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 6, 2016
Onto the highlights and a quick rundown of practice today.
With Tyron Smith out, Chaz Green was working in his place as the left tackle, that's a good sign for folks rooting for him to be the swing tackle. Cedric Thornton was not present today as he was dealing with an illness. However, there is a good sign for the D-Line as Tyrone Crawford (back) was in pads doing some rehab work.
Crawford has stated that he is very ready to go but must wait on being cleared by the trainers. It's all precautionary as the Cowboys want to bubble-wrap some guys for the season. We're sure to see him get involved soon. Also, focusing on the defensive linemen, keep an eye on these guys as we've been hearing rumblings of some young, mean, hungry dudes ready to take the next step.
While Eminem blows my eardrums out, Russell, Jack & McAdoo go through the gauntlet. pic.twitter.com/TOtyPeDrkV— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 5, 2016
Switching back to the offensive side of the ball; is it just me or are any of you a little hyped about the friendly war between 88 and 24. In this video, 88 surely won.
I don't know about you all but I can't get enough of 88, he brought the thunder and lightning today.
Dez doing Dez things pic.twitter.com/Rmr82KVHYD— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 5, 2016
Okay, Brandon, we know you're excited to prove doubters wrong but this isn't going to cut the mustard, sir. Needless to say, Dez Bryant had some words for Carr after that.
Dez & Carr go again. Things go awry. pic.twitter.com/5nl0jIwmfo— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 5, 2016
There has been a physicality to the way these DB's have been approaching practice and I for one must say, I love it. Our buddies, Joey Ickes and Birddog seem to find the common denominator; Coach Jackson?
Fwiw I think there's zero coincidence to the fact that there's a new CBs coach and all of a sudden these guys start makin plays...— Joey Ickes (@JoeyIckes) August 5, 2016
A more aggressive vibe https://t.co/mSEspVV5pg— Birddog26 (@Birddog26) August 5, 2016
Dez catches the slant. Carr strips him. Though you could argue that he'd have been down if this was live. pic.twitter.com/YDE0EYI3wn— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 6, 2016
It's okay because Brandon Carr's aggressive behavior eventually paid off.
Brandon Carr intercepts Tony Romo in 7 on 7 pic.twitter.com/8dhJxhqwJi— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 6, 2016
If we're going to be missing out on a ton of linebackers, it means that the young ones will have to produce. Mark Nzeocha has been listening as he picked off the quarterbacks yesterday and just leveled Darius Jackson in blitz pickup.
Mark Nzeocha just ate Darius Jackson for lunch. pic.twitter.com/aXhVQgvOVI— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 5, 2016
I know it's just Training camp but are we missing something here? I thought the defense is supposed to be dreadful?
Defense wins 5 of 6 in compete period - combo of 1-on-1 pass rush and receiving.— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) August 5, 2016
Not too bad taking care of business in the run game thus far either, we see you defense!
Morris tries to cut the toss back. No dice. pic.twitter.com/w7pYu8vnsV— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 5, 2016
All in all, today's practice showed that the defense is out to prove something as everyone got in on the action. Not only did Carr have a solid day but J.J. Wilcox came away with a redzone interception off Witten's hands. Also, Byron Jones stripped Gavin Escobar today. It was an aggressive afternoon for the Cowboys' defensive backs but this is a defense that everyone is writing off, including me. A little bit of aggression can do them some good.