With the Hall of Fame Game kicking off, you can finally smell football in the air. It might be a meaningless contest between players competing for roster spots, but it signifies that football season is finally here.
The Falcons and Broncos battled it out in Canton, but the Cowboys were getting more work in at practice in Oxnard. The defense ruled the day during practice 5. Without further ado, we give you the highlights from social media of Thursday’s action.
Practice five was the third practice in pads, and the defense made life hard for the offense in the California heat. Rookie Michael Jackson out of Miami made a splash play, jumping the pass and returning it for six:
Rookie CB Michael Jackson with an interception in one on one drills pic.twitter.com/5eFukmnonn— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 1, 2019
Michael Jackson with a pick-6 on a comeback intended for Randall Cobb #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/oJQ8DXPuvq— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
The late-round pick is competing for one of the final roster spots in Dallas. Anthony Brown, who was also a day three selection in his draft class, made some plays on Thursday as well:
Anthony Brown pass breakup pic.twitter.com/PyLFjEk1QS— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 1, 2019
Brown had an impressive season as the slot corner in Kris Richard’s defense in 2018. The Cowboys are hoping that will continue moving forward.
Jourdan Lewis, meanwhile, has been lost in the shuffle in the defensive backfield. The smaller Lewis does not fit the prototype Richard defensive back, but he makes plays when his number is called. The former Michigan Wolverines star impressed in practice five:
Jourdan Lewis has a really nice day in 1v1s. I counted 3 PBUs l, and the one completion he gave up was on a route that took 6 seconds to develop. pic.twitter.com/uvcivEmvgX— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
Here’s Jourdan again, vs. Cedrick Wilson #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/JJqp8yXqoW— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
Things were not all bad for the offense, though. Dak Prescott was able to hit second-year receiver Michael Gallup a few times during the practice. Their timing was a little bit off last season, but they are hopeful that things will change this year.
Here’s a better effort. Dak to Gallup #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/AFi95UAPxQ— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
Dak keeps finding Gallup #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/X3lvaq6FOG— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
Gallup was not the only receiver that Dak connected with on Thursday — undrafted rookie, and popular pet cat, Jon’Vea Johnson, hauls in a deep touchdown here;
Here’s a long TD from Jon’Vea Johnson on Michael Jackson.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
Johnson & Guyton both had long catches today #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/KONaconWm6
Fellow UDFA receiver Jalen Guyton makes a play here too, despite some initial impressive coverage from Chris Westry.
Good initial coverage by Chris Westry on Jalen Guyton but slows after contact at the top of the route pic.twitter.com/0sOYjHZGCY— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 1, 2019
There is some debate on whether or not Tavon Austin will make the 53-man squad this season, but that has not stopped him from making plays in training camp. Here, he makes the defender look silly:
Tavon the ankle breaker #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/R9UfXRERsm— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 1, 2019
The defense wasn’t done making plays, though. Jaylon Smith breaks up a pass that was intended for Jason Witten.
Defense dominated offense in the 2-minute highlighted by a Jaylon Smith PBU on Jason Witten #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/lRcYSvc82F— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2019
Hopefully this is a good omen:
The next two Super Bowls are LIV & LV.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 1, 2019
54 & 55. pic.twitter.com/PbnPQoLR0q
One of the bigger moments of the practice came from Dorance Armstrong. The second-year defensive end beat Tyron Smith one-on-one, which is certainly no easy task to do.
Dorrance beat Tyron in 1v1s. Wow— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 2, 2019
UPDATE: After this article was published, Calvin Watkins posted the video of Armstrong getting past Smith.
From earlier in the day Dorance Armstrong beats Tyron Smith. pic.twitter.com/N2MrKUIW8T— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 2, 2019
Dorance Armstrong pic.twitter.com/kvg7SmHhph— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) August 1, 2019
Rookie defensive tackle Trysten Hill had some nice moments during the day as well:
Gorgeous win by Trysten Hill pic.twitter.com/ixEMJFE2BO— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 2, 2019
Despite a largely defensive day, Prescott was impressive in 7-on-7, finding multiple receivers:
Prescott just went 8-8 In 7on7....including a couple of nice down field throws to Tavon Austin and Jason Witten and one to Randall Cobb on the move— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) August 2, 2019
Dak to Tavon #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/oWFNu8cUn2— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2019
Dak to Cobb #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/SDeCjtaZVD— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2019
Dak to Witten #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/ozXVDz9gDO— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2019
The defense ultimately won the day though, as the defensive backfield impressed in the afternoon heat.
Practice No. 5 is over. I’m calling this a win for the defense. They stopped two of three 2-minute drives, and they showed out in 1v1s.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2019
Following the practice, Jerry Jones was asked about Ezekiel Elliott’s situation. Jones says he is not worried about it not working itself out:
Jerry Jones was asked if he’s worried about Ezekiel Elliott’s contract not getting done.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 2, 2019
Jones: “I don’t consider it. No. When have I ever not done one? So I don’t worry about that.”
Jerry also clarified his statements regarding not needing a rushing champion to win the Super Bowl:
Jerry Jones: "Certainly individually they want to be recognized when it comes to the money, but on the other hand, it's got to fit our plan, or it doesn't work with our house and our house falls." https://t.co/xqyxIyW6Wx— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 2, 2019
Finally, there is nothing new regarding Dak, Zeke, or Amari’s contract negotiations.
Nothing to report on any contract issues, per Stephen Jones just now. Not much else to say until something gets done. #cowboyswire— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 2, 2019