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Fri. Practice Report: Livings Returns; DE Takes Another Hit

Posted Jul 26, 2013


OXNARD, Calif.– The Cowboys continued their 2013 training camp Friday evening with an intense practice. This year, Jason Garrett’s new schedule gives even more time between the lighter morning walk-through and the afternoon practice.

Each night, DallasCowboys.com will feature the second practice of the day with the big news, the highs and lows and notable standouts.

Main Event:

While the Cowboys got some much-needed help on one side of the line, they took yet another hit on the opposite side of the trenches.

Guard Nate Livings returned to action after missing the first week of a camp with a foot injury. But the practice ended with defensive end Ben Bass in the training room with a foot injury. It doesn’t appear to be a serious issue, but more of a re-aggravation from a prior nagging setback.

Bass actually was working some at defensive tackle with Jason Hatcher getting the day off for rest. Bass’ versatility has been on display, similar to what the Cowboys have now lost with Tyrone Crawford, who played end and tackle before his torn Achilles injury he suffered last Sunday.

During the team period, Cameron Sheffield worked with the first-team defense at end, opposite of DeMarcus Ware. Newly-signed George Selvie got plenty of reps, too.

As for Livings, the veteran guard was removed from active PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) and signed to the 90-man roster. Livings worked with the first-team unit at left guard, replacing Kevin Kowalski. David Arkin continued to work at right guard.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Living said. “I wanted to knock a little rust off. I still have a ways to go but today was good start. This was the first time I was in pads since the Washington game (Dec. 30, 2012).

Quick Hits:

  • Anthony Armstrong received a lot of first-team reps during the Cowboys’ end-of-practice two minute drill. The reason for that was a cramping issue with Dez Bryant, who went through stretches with a team trainer. Bryant jogged off the field after practice and said he was fine.
  • Matt Johnson also gave fans an injury scare when he ran off to see trainers immediately following his interception of camp. Johnson said he came down hard on his knee when he came down with the ball, but he is fine. “I just jammed my knee or whatever it was. I’m fine,” he said.
  • Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and wide receiver Miles Austin both took the day off from practice, though both players were in attendance. Neither situation is an injury concern, however, so much as a veteran off day.
  • Dan Bailey continued his hot streak Friday afternoon with a perfect outing during field goal drills. Bailey “won” both the first and second string two minute drills with field goals – the first of which was from 50 yards away.
  • For the first time this training camp, newly-acquired quarterback Alex Tanney took third team reps ahead of Nick Stephens during full-team drills.
  • Whether they were on local or national media, just visiting or on the coaching staff, 11 former Dallas Cowboys players were on the field Friday, including five ex-players who showed up for the first time at camp. Jay Novacek, Dat Nguyen, Babe Laufenberg, Nate Newton and Keyshawn Johnson all arrived in Oxnard Friday, joining Cowboys coaches Jason Garrett, Wade Wilson, Leon Lett and Chris Boniol. Calvin Hill is a consultant and former linebacker Carlos Polk is a fellowship coach.
  • Continuing the run of national media at training camp, SportsCenter arrived in Oxnard on Friday, as anchor Stan Verret and analyst Keyshawn Johnson broke down the team and interviewed defensive end DeMarcus Ware on set.

Notable Standouts:

Matt Johnson: The second-year safety made his first big play of training camp during full-team drills. Johnson dropped back into zone coverage against the first-team offense, and caught Tony Romo eying down Dez Bryant off to the left side of the field. Romo uncorked a long go route to Bryant, who was being covered by Orlando Scandrick, only to watch as Johnson leapt in front of the play and snatched it out of the air. Johnson then returned it down the sideline for 20 or so yards. As noted above, Johnson wasn’t hurt on the play, which is an added bonus.

Anthony Armstrong: Armstrong made the most of Bryant’s absence from the offense in two minute drill. He helped the first team work into field goal range with three different receptions on short to intermediate routes. Tim Benford also deserves a mention in this spot, as he made a diving catch along the far sideline to move the second team into field goal range.

Orlando Scandrick: The Cowboys’ No. 3 corner made a bevy of plays from both the inside and outside spots, continuing a strong showing at training camp. He broke up several passes during one-on-one drills between the wide receivers and corners. That continued into full team drills where he knocked a ball away from tight end Gavin Escobar. Scandrick gives up four inches to receiver Eric Rogers, but it didn’t stop him from stripping away a potential touchdown catch from the lanky wideout. This is the second or third time in just a week the veteran corner has stood out, as he’s rarely out of position and hasn’t been bested often to this point.

Play of the Day:

Sean Lee must have gotten Jason Garrett’s memo from earlier Friday afternoon about making plays. On just the second snap of full team drills, he announced his presence in a big way. Romo found running back DeMarco Murray open on a short check down to the middle of the field. Murray turned upfield only to catch a facemask full of Lee, as the linebacker proceeded to smack Murray, strip the ball, recover the fumble and return it for a touchdown – all on his own.

Photos from Friday's afternoon practice >>

Injury Report:

Returned to Practice:
G Nate Livings (foot)

Left Practice:
WR Dez Bryant (cramps)
DE/DT Ben Bass (ankle)

Missed Practice:
DT Jason Hatcher (rest)
WR Miles Austin (rest)
OT Jermey Parnell (hamstring)
DE Anthony Spencer (knee) 
WR Danny Coale  (knee swelling)
DT Ikponmwosa Igbinosun (ankle)
TE James Hanna (hamstring)
DE Tyrone Crawford (Achilles)
DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring)
G Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring)
LS L.P. Ladouceur (calf)
OT Demetress Bell (conditioning)

Transactions:

July 21:
Signed T Demetress Bell, QB Alex Tanney and Lavasier Tuinei. Placed G Mackenzy Bernadeau and DT Jay Ratliff on the active/physically unable to perform list and placed the following players on the active/non-football injury list: T Demetress Bell, C/G Ryan Cook, LS Louis-Philippe Ladouceur, G Ronald Leary, G Nate Livings and WR Lavasier Tuinei.

July 23:
C/G Ryan Cook passed his physical and returned to practice.

July 24:
Released WR Lavasier Tuinei. Signed DT Landon Cohen and DE George Selvie.

July 26 – G Nate Livings passed his physical and returned to practice.

Upcoming Schedule:

Saturday, July 27
10:30 a.m. (PDT)         Walk-Thru
12:00 p.m. (PDT)         Coach Garrett press conference
5:15 p.m. (PDT)           Practice

Sunday, July 28
TBD                             Coach Garrett press conference
2:30 p.m. (PDT)           Blue-White Scrimmage

Photos from Friday's afternoon practice >>

Image Map