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Cowboys practice highlights: Randy Gregory has a stand-out day; Dak Prescott is going deep; more

Everything you need to know about the final padded practice in Oxnard.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott’s camp total: 118 of 172 [68.6%] - Todd Archer via Facebook
Archer’s camp summary focuses on Dak Prescott’s day.

On the day, Prescott completed nine of 12 passes. He showed his mobility twice on scrambles from the pocket when things broke down. His best throw came in seven on seven when he found tight end Geoff Swaim down the seam after he got by linebacker Jaylon Smith. He had a touchdown on a scramble play called back because of an illegal touching by Lance Lenoir, who stepped out of bounds before catching the pass.

Four of Prescott’s completions went to Michael Gallup, continuing their run of good chemistry.

“We’re starting to click, staring to hit the deep ball a lot more in some of these last practices than we did early on,” Prescott said of his work with his receivers. “But we knew that would be part of it, working out the kinks and we’re all getting comfortable with each other. It’s fun to do it.”

'We're starting to click': How Dak Prescott, Cowboys WRs are progressing in one particular area of importance - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
Dak Prescott is starting to hit the deep ball.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan sees improvement in Prescott. The emphasis has been on the timing of all of the routes, including the deep ball.

"Right now, putting a real premium on closing that cushion, getting on top and throwing that ball to a spot," Linehan said.

Linehan said that's the focus more than particular throws, such as the back-shoulder throw. He called that a changeup for when a defender is able to stay on top of the receiver.

Overall, Prescott says he's clicking well with the receiving corps, even though the rotation has varied because of injuries. Veteran Cole Beasley has been out with a groin injury of late. Deonte Thompson, a free agency addition and possible deep threat, has missed most of camp to an Achilles injury and won't be back soon.

Veteran Terrance Williams has come on during camp, and he has caught some of the deep passes.

Star of the Day: Nearly A Clean Sweep For Gregory - Staff,
Gregory walked away with four of the five stars yesterday.

David Helman: In the blink of an eye, Randy Gregory had turned the corner and “downed” Dak Prescott for a sack. It happened so fast that Prescott didn’t even bother to throw the ball. To be perfectly frank, I did a double-take and assumed Gregory had beaten Cam Fleming on the rep. Nope — it was Tyron Smith. If I was still doubting, Gregory confirmed it for me two reps later, when he blew past Smith again and helped Jihad Ward for another sack. I’m trying hard to temper my expectations, but Gregory has been impressive from the moment the Cowboys put him on the field.

Rob Phillips: With each practice, Randy Gregory looks more comfortable and more competitive out there. He’s now getting some one-on-one pass rush drill reps, and that’s where you can isolate him and see his skills. He’s so explosive off the line of scrimmage. It’s really something to see. But the thing that keeps impressing me is how he’s developed his upper body and added weight while away from the team. That should help him hold up through the course of the season.

Randy Gregory has his best practice so far as Dak Prescott works on chemistry with his new receivers – Calvin Watkins, The Athletic
What a day for Gregory.

Gregory emerged with his best effort in practice this summer with a pair of sacks and a crushing move against an offensive lineman in a pass rush/compete drill. From the moment Gregory was reinstated by the NFL after violating the substance abuse policy, the Cowboys have brought him along slowly. He got limited reps with the third team and he did individual drills with defensive line coach Leon Lett.

Gregory got work with the first team, lining up at right defensive end, recording a blindside sack on Dak Prescott by beating La’el Collins, in at left tackle for Tyron Smith. One play later, Gregory had another sack, forcing Prescott to scoot out of the pocket. After the play was over, Gregory ran toward the sideline and raised two fingers in the air.

Before his two sacks, in an extensive pass rush/compete drill, Gregory faced third-team tackle Jacob Campos. No contest. None. Gregory charged him with a bull rush, knocking Campos onto his back for the sack. Gregory also beat tackle Cameron Fleming in the drill.

This is the Gregory the Cowboys will be looking for once the regular season starts Sept. 9 at Carolina.

Final thoughts from training camp on Wednesday - Clarence Hill, Star Telegram
Hill with some observations from Oxnard.

Defensive end Randy Gregory had a standout day in team drills with two would-be sacks of quarterback Dak Prescott while going against Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith. Gregory has gained weight and still has the burst to get around the end. The Cowboys have been raving about how [Gregory] has looked in practice and Wednesday was definitive proof.

“It has worked well up to this point,” coach Jason Garrett said. “There have been no setbacks in any way and we’ll just keep progressing day by day.”

Dak Prescott completed 9 of 12 passes in team and 7-on-7 drills. He did have an interception when cornerback Bryon Jones picked off an underthrown deep ball to Terrance Williams. Prescott used his legs to scramble for two first downs and he continues to have good chemistry with rookie receiver Michael Gallup. Wide receiver K.D. Cannon had his best day in training camp with two long receptions. It had been a relatively quiet camp for Cannon, who was a former star at Baylor but has struggled to adapt to the pro game and NFL offenses.

Practice Recap: All Clear For Frederick; More - Staff,
The Cowboys went through a spirited Wednesday evening practice. Some highlights:

Tyron Smith doesn’t give much ground, if any, but rookie Dorance Armstrong might have slightly gotten a win in the one-on-one pass rush drill with an inside move that caught the Pro Bowl left tackle off guard.

Rookie receiver Michael Gallup continues to make plays downfield. A week after catching a 30-yard touchdown pass from Prescott in the preseason opener, he hauled in a deep pass from Cooper Rush down the left sideline in team drills.

Tight end Blake Jarwin had the most impressive catch of the period, hauling in a pass with one hand despite tight coverage from safety Jameill Showers.

Going Home, But More Camp To Come - Mickey Spagnola,
Yesterday was the last padded practice in Oxnard. The Cowboys will have a walkthrough practice early today before breaking camp and leaving for Dallas on Friday.Spags has some thoughts about camp so far.

Woods Work: Defensive tackle Antwaun Woods latched on to a first-team spot about a week or so ago, right after the Blue-White practice, and he has not let go. Says Garrett, “He’s a great example of a guy who comes from a different place, and that’s good for our team. Not everybody is a high draft pick or makes a ton of money. A lot of these guys come in and just want an opportunity to play. We’re going to believe what we see.” And so far, seeing is believing.

Spread ‘Em Out: There seems to be a real concern out there from you guys that without a true No. 1 receiver, defenses will just stack the box to cause problems for Ezekiel Elliott running the ball. Well, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan sent out a message the other day for those thinking that’s the secret to stopping Zeke. “If there are eight in the box, we’ll just spread people out a bit,” Linehan says. That means getting Zeke out in the formation, which the Cowboys have been doing a little bit more of that out here. Think how dangerous he’ll be in space.

Cowboys 2018 training camp: Michael Gallup & Lance Lenoir dominate, plus injury update - Michael Sisemore,Blogging The Boys
Always worth a look: Sisemore with all the sights and sounds from camp.

Cowboys injury roundup: The latest on Travis Frederick, Leighton Vander Esch, and Tavon Austin - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Lots of injury scares yesterday, but it looks like everyone is alright.

Wednesday was a rough day for the Cowboys injury-wise as word of Travis Frederick dealing with a “stinger” surfaced before the team even practiced. Panic began to set in everywhere.

When practice actually started things got a little worse. Tavon Austin and Leighton Vander Esch left the field at different times. Dallas had gotten through training camp relatively unscathed so far, but apparently the last padded practice (we believe) of Oxnard had something in store for the team.

Thankfully it seems as if Tavon Austin is alright and that his hamstring tightening up was just a one-time thing. The Cowboys have been at training camp for a while now so it makes sense that the body would be sore and bite back. Hopefully the biting is done for the time being.

It’s not ideal that LVE didn’t complete practice, but it seems like him not doing so was also precautionary measures by the Cowboys. Considering they play another game on Saturday and that their bodies have been through a lot this is a wise practice.

Wednesday was a bit of a tough day for Cowboys fans as we were on pins and needles for most of it. We survived though, and now we get to keep on moving forward. Thank goodness.

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