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Tues. Practice Recap: Offense, Defense Get More Than Chippy

Posted Aug 13, 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys are wrapping up training camp with just a few practices remaining. 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 Story:

The end is definitely in sight for these players. And it was rather evident in Tuesday’s afternoon practice, arguably the most intense two hours the Cowboys have had here in Oxnard.

While there was no actual fight between any two players, to say it got chippy out there would be an extreme understatement.

Several scuffles and verbal confrontations took place, including one instant in which DeMarco Murray threw the ball at Jason Hatcher’s helmet. The defensive end wasn’t too happy about it at first, but could make light of it after practice.

“It was funny, man. I kind of snapped for a second, then he took off running and started laughing, I just started cracking up,” Hatcher said of Murray. “He’s my teammate. I love him to death. He knows what buttons to push. He did it a couple years ago in OTAs and me and them got in a little brawl. So he knows how to push my buttons.”

Later, Will Allen and Miles Austin got physical after a play, causing the veteran safety to sound off after practice.

“I think I got the best of him though – he lost the play. Miles don’t want that physicalness. He may be a big receiver, but he don’t want it. You can tell him that.

Allen continued by stating Tuesday’s practice was just another example of many intense practice sessions between the offense and defense.

“It’s been kind of chippy all through, but today kind of just exploded. That’s just the way practice went down, but it was fun – it was a lot of fun out there.”

Sean Lee also got into with rookie receiver Terrance Williams on the first play of team drills, sending the linebacker into a vocal rage that lasted through the defensive huddle.

Allen said Lee set the tone for all of practice.

“I don’t know, man, it just started with the competitive period in the beginning with the first run, and it just went on from there,” Allen said. “Sean Lee got a little upset, a little hot, and as a defense we’ve got to have his back. So every play after that everybody took it personal. We took a stand as a defense and wanted to make a statement.”

Murray said it’s just friendly competition during practice but shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

“We fight hard between the whistles,” Murray said. “But we’re teammates. I love those guys over there. They’re intense and have some pride. So do we (on offense). I think it’s healthy.”

Hatcher summed it up, saying he believes the intense practices can have a positive effect in the real games.

“Definitely. That's the way we practice, man,” Hatcher said. “We’ve got to practice like that with a chip on our shoulders and let it carry to the game.”

Quick Hits:

  • The Cowboys claimed defensive end Thaddeus Gibson off waivers from the Titans on Tuesday. Gibson (6-2, 245) has played both end and outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. The former fourth-round pick of 2010 has been with six teams in his career.
  • To make room for Gibson, the Cowboys waived tackles James Nelson.
  • Owner Jerry Jones made it back from the announcement in Frisco earlier in the day to attend Tuesday’s practice. When asked if the new Cowboys headquarters will have its own naming rights, Jones responded quickly. “It’s certainly a consideration. As we look at how this thing develops, we will consider that.”
  • Jones also said the Cowboys and the City of Oxnard are already working on a contract extension to keep the team here for years to come. Jones said whether or not an NFL team moves to Los Angeles will not play a factor in the decision to continue training in Oxnard.
  • Defensive end Jabari Fletcher worked with kicking coach Chris Boniol as a long snapper. Fletcher took a few reps snapping back to Boniol after practice. The Cowboys have cut two backup long snappers this week in Jackson Anderson and P.J. Mangieri. The Cowboys are likely trying to find ways to rest veteran L.P. Ladouceur during the preseason games without having to use a roster spot.
  • Former Cowboy and 2013 NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinee Larry Allen attended practice Tuesday. Allen was also on the sideline during the Cowboys’ preseason game with Oakland on Friday.
  • Former Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck also made a visit to practice.
  • Actress Kate Bosworth and actor Chace Crawford attended Tuesday’s practice.

Notable Standouts:

Will Allen – Allen was all over the field and around the ball throughout the chippy day of practice. He had Miles Austin lined up for a bruising hit, and would have delivered if it was a game, and he deflected multiple passes, including one that he knocked away from Jason Witten.

Micah PellerinWe haven’t heard a bunch from the former Hampton defensive back, but he made his presence felt in a major way Tuesday. Pellerin laid a shot on Phillip Tanner during team drills and was involved in multiple pass breakups with the backups.

Jermey ParnellThe tackle’s first day involved fully in team drills since his injury can be called a success. Parnell was able to reach the edge quickly and didn’t seem slow, despite missing a lot of time with the hamstring injury. Unfortunately for him and his chances of starting, Doug Free has performed well throughout camp. 

Photos from Tuesday's afternoon practice in Oxnard >>

Injury Report:

Missed Practice: 
LB Ernie Sims (groin)
DT Sean Lissemore (groin)
S Eric Frampton (hamstring)
S J.J. Wilcox (non-injury)
CB Morris Claiborne (knee) 
OT Darrion Weems (chest)
LB Alex Albright (back) 
Kevin Kowalski (leg)
Ray Dominguez (shoulder)
DE Anthony Spencer (knee) 
G/C Ryan Cook (back)
S Matt Johnson (foot)
DE Tyrone Crawford (Achilles) 
DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring)

Transactions:

August 6 – Released P Spencer Benton and DE Monte Taylor. Signed DE Jabari Fletcher and G Dennis Godfrey.

August 8 – Released G Jeff Olson. Signed G Dennis Godfrey.

August 11 T Demetress Bell passed his physical and returned to practice. Released LS Jackson Anderson. Signed K Brett Maher and LS P.J. Mangieri.

August 12 – Released LS P.J. Mangieri. Signed DT Travis Chappelear.

August 13 – Released T James Nelson. Claimed DE Thaddeus Gibson off waivers.

Upcoming Schedule:

Wednesday, August 14
10:30 a.m. (PDT)         Walk-Thru
12:00 p.m. (PDT)         Coach Garrett press conference
4:00 p.m. (PDT)           Practice – CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

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

Friday, August 16
TBD                             Walk-Thru
                                    Coach Garrett on field after practice
                                    Break Camp/Travel to Phoenix, AZ

Photos from Tuesday's afternoon practice in Oxnard >>

Image Map