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Mon. Practice Recap: Tapper Leaves Early; Switzer, Smith Return & More
OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys got back to work on Monday, but one of their promising young defensive ends didn’t finish practice.
Charles Tapper left early with tightness in his hip and legs, team executive vice president Stephen Jones said, though he’s hopeful the first-year pass rusher won’t be out long.
“I think this will be short-lived in terms of hopefully he’ll be able to get back out here tomorrow,” Jones said.
Tapper, a fourth-round pick a year ago, made his NFL debut last Thursday in the Cowboys’ Hall of Fame Game win over the Arizona Cardinals. He showed a quick first step in the pass rush,
A back injury sidelined Tapper his entire rookie season, and he worked all year with the athletic training staff to return healthy this offseason. Jones said Monday’s issue isn’t related to his back.
Also on the defensive line, veteran end Benson Mayowa had a little knee swelling after the long flight from Canton, Ohio, back to Oxnard and sat out Monday.
Quick Hits Read
- Ryan Switzer returned to practice after missing nearly two weeks with a hamstring injury. He was still limited, held only to individual drills, he will continue to work back into the mix and said he wasn’t sure if he will play Saturday against the Rams.
- Dan Bailey was perfect once again on field goal attempts between 40 and 50 yards.
- After being held out of the preseason opener, Jaylon Smith was back in pads working at middle linebacker with the defensive reserves.
- NBA free agent Perry Jones III was at practice on Monday, catching up with former Baylor basketball forward Rico Gathers, who is now in his second season as a Cowboys tight end. Jones entered the NBA draft in 2012, just missing Gathers, whose first season at Baylor was in 2013. But the two talked for a while after practice and the tight end invited him to Saturday’s game in LA.
DeMarcus Lawrence – The pass-rusher had a good day against Tyron Smith, who returned to practice after missing two last week with a neck and back injury. Lawrence had some success off the edge in team drills, with one play avoiding Smith and his hands with an inside rush. While Smith might have been somewhat rusty, it still was a good move for Lawrence, who is expected to be one of the team’s best rushers in 2017.
Ross Burbank – Yeah, the backup guard makes a debut here on this list after yet another strong practice in 1-on-1 drills. He holds his own against some of the quick defensive tackles, including drafted rookies Joey Ivie and Jordan Carrell. Burbank also played well in Thursday’s win over the Cardinals.
Jason Witten – He hadn’t practiced in nearly a week and it showed. Witten was turning linebackers around in practice, including Mark Nzeocha on two occasions in 1-on-1 drills. He also did the same to Sean Lee in another drill, proving yet again how well he gets open despite playing 14 seasons.
Play Of The Day
Brice Butler continues to show deep speed and sure hands here in preseason. Working at receiver with the second-team offense in team drills, Butler separated from cornerback Leon McFadden down the left sideline and used his long arms to stretch out and catch a slightly overthrown pass by quarterback Kellen Moore.
Unofficial Injury Report:
DT Maliek Collins (hip)
LB Justin Durant (NFI)
OT Chaz Green (shoulder)
DE David Irving (ankle)
CB Jourdan Lewis (hamstring)
CB Anthony Brown (hamstring)
DE Benson Mayowa (knee)
DE Charles Tapper (hip)
Returned to Practice:
OT Tyron Smith (neck, back)
WR Ryan Switzer (hamstring)
Tues., Aug. 8
3:45 pm (PDT) – Practice Read