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Cowboys News: The pads come on

Jaylon Smith was by far the most talked about subject of the day, but hardly the only one.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Camp Day 3: All your highlights from the Cowboys’ first padded practice - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
For a quick recap of the day's activity as reported on social media, here are the highlights. One thing that is often overlooked is that camp is all about learning and improving, and includes everyone.

'He's impressed me in every single way': An inside look at Jaylon Smith's first padded practice | Brandon George, SportsDay
The biggest story of the day was finally all about football, specifically how Jaylon Smith would perform. This was the first time he has put on pads in over a year and a half. And as they have been all year, the reports were all positive.

Smith cleared yet another hurdle in the Cowboys' first padded practice. He took part in eight team drills with the second team -- six runs and two passes -- that included contact. Smith also went through individual drills but didn't do seven-on-seven work.

Smith was fluid and didn't hesitate changing directions. He moved well laterally and accelerated when needed. He didn't show the same explosiveness that once had him projected as a top-five pick while at Notre Dame, but he never favored that left knee or ankle throughout practice.

Cowboys Jaylon Smith: “Zero” lower leg pain after 1st padded practice | K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Smith didn't just look good, he felt good as well.

Smith says he escaped pain free, and more to the point of his recovery, that he doesn’t remember the last time he experienced discomfort.

Jaylon Smith: “I can’t remember the last time I had pain in my knee or my foot. Zero. My knee feels 100 percent. I can hop on one leg.”

Hopping on one leg might sound funny, but that’s exactly something Smith would be able to do to go out and play when it matters most, in a game. There will undoubtedly be times where game action will force Smith to land on his bad foot and ankle. That didn’t happen in Wednesday’s practice, but the progress Smith has made was still worth watching.

Wed. Practice Recap: Jaylon’s Back In Pads; Two Brief Injury Scares | Dallas Cowboys staff
While Smith has been getting most of the attention, there were lots of other things going on. And for the starting QB, there were no signs of regression.

Dak Prescott – The Cowboys’ starter looked sharp in his first padded practice of the year. Prescott threw over the middle of the field early and often, connecting with Terrance Williams and Brice Butler on several slant routes. He also picked up big-time yardage on a quarterback keeper that faked out the entire defense. Prescott went 11-of-15 on the day, and one of those incompletions was a drop by Williams on what would have been a big play.

On defense, there were two minor injury issues, but they were not believed to be of any real impact.

The defensive line suffered two injury scares, though neither issue appears to be serious. Maliek Collins left practice and was evaluated in the medical tent at the midway point of the afternoon. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones later classified it as a hip flexor. “He had a little hip situation they were looking at. It was precautionary for the most part,” Jones said.

Charles Tapper also suffered from calf cramps during practice. The second-year defensive end fought through the discomfort to continue on in practice, but it was noticeably bothering him at times. Tapper said afterward that he’d be fine.

Cowboys Quarterback Depth Takes A Hit With Zac Dysert’s Back Injury | Mickey Spagnola, Dallas Cowboys
There was one player who suffered a season-ending injury. You have to wonder what it is about the Cowboys and their quarterbacks in camp.

For the second year in a row the Dallas Cowboys have lost a quarterback the first week of training camp.

Last year it was Kellen Moore, fracturing his fibula at the ankle level in the first padded practice of camp, the team losing the projected backup quarterback for the entire season.

This year it’s potential third-string quarterback Zak Dysert, and he didn’t even make it to the first padded practice that took place on Wednesday, the third day of practice here at the River Ridge complex. Dysert is headed back to Dallas to have a herniated disk in his back repaired.

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said Dysert was simply reaching over to pick up a bag Wednesday morning in his room here at training camp when the disk ruptured.

Now the Cowboys will need to find another quarterback to help handle the load in camp and the preseason. I wonder who might be available. Not mentioning any names . . .

Charles Tapper: I will add speed to team's pass rush - Mark Lane, All22
Jaylon Smith was not the only member of the 2016 draft class to miss the entire season due to injury. DE Charles Tapper is looking to make an impact this year as well, and he discussed how he can help the pass rush.

“I bring a lot of speed,” Tapper told the station on Tuesday. “I have a lot of speed. So, I can bring some speed off the edge.”

Tapper outlined how his speed is one of many tools the Cowboys rushmen have in their arsenal.

“The offensive linemen can’t just focus on DeMarcus Lawrence,” Tapper said. “Because this is his best moves right now. He’s got to worry about Taco [Charlton] coming in. He’s got to worry about Tap coming in. And these guys, all of us, we’re like, ‘Man, we’ve got all these attacks.'”

Smith’s long-awaited debut in Cowboys pads didn’t disappoint | Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The draft class of 2017 also had some good moments.

Rookie cornerback Chidobe Awuzie made a strong first impression. In one-on-one drills, he had tight coverage on veteran receiver Brice Butler and swatted Dak Prescott’s pass in the air. Awuzie then tipped it to himself for an interception. Said Awuzie: “It’s confidence building. That’s what you’ve got to do as a DB – take the ball. When I took it away, it felt good.”

Scout's Notebook: Taco Flashes, Dak In The Pocket, OL Rotation; More | Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus had some comments from Tuesday up as well. He mentions Damontre Moore, who also showed some impressive bend on Wednesday working against All Pro Tyron Smith.

I’ve been noticing Damontre Moore playing some as a standup defensive end. I first saw this in minicamp and it’s now carried over in these first two practices. Moore will usually have his hand in the dirt and lined up wide rushing the passer. What the coaches might be thinking about scheme-wise as a strong side linebacker in certain situations? He has the athletic ability and frame to handle the job.

Jets claim Lucky Whitehead, the Cowboys still handled situation the right way - DannyPhantom, Blogging The Boys
The Lucky Whitehead mess is now officially no longer a problem for the Cowboys (although the media will likely not let it go just yet). In a strange bit of irony, the New York Jets cut former Cowboy Devin Street to make room for Whitehead.

After some speculation about whether Whitehead would then return to the Cowboys, that was quashed when Whitehead and his agent made it clear that they wouldn’t want a return to Dallas. The Cowboys also made it clear they were moving on. Reports are coming in this afternoon that the Jets have claimed Lucky off waivers.

Jourdan Lewis to arrive in Oxnard after practice - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys have one more piece to add as Jourdan Lewis is joining the team after being cleared of the charges in his domestic violence case.

He will not go through a full practice Thursday after missing nearly a week of practice, but the Cowboys hope he will be able to do some conditioning work on Friday when the rest of the players are scheduled to have an off day. The earliest he would be in pads is Saturday.

David Irving on lost nipple ring: 'The girls like it. I have no shame' | Clarence E. Hill, Jr, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
In a camp of weird stories, this one may be the weirdest of all. David Irving lost his nipple ring. (WARNING: This may cause toes to curl.)

“It hurt so bad I just had to let the world know,” Irving said. “But it didn’t completely tear through. It must have been loose and yanked the side out. Thank God it was loose.”

So why do you have a nipple ring in the first place?

“Well damn if we are talking about it. That’s my spot,” Irving explained. “When you get it pierced it gets more sensitive. The girls love it. That’s why I go it.”

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