A new feature on DallasCowboys.com this training camp is to hand out some Cowboys-themed "gold stars" after each padded practice here in Oxnard. On the first day, the staff writers each had a different answer, including four players who are new to this team in 2018.
Mickey Spagnola: First day of pads. Rookie with the first-team offensive line. Connor Williams fit right in. Stoned guys in team pass drills. Stoned guys in the one-on-one pass-rush drills. Relentless run blocking. Actually, an impressive first day for the second-round draft choice. Quick feet his best asset.
Nick Eatman: A lot of good choices here on this first day but I really liked what I saw from Michael Gallup. He made some better headlines on the first day of practice than last year's No. 13, who wasn't as "lucky." Gallup was so smooth with his routes and literally plucks the ball out of the air.
Bryan Broaddus: Plenty of conversation about the tops corners on this team but the one that shined today wasn't a guy we've talked much about. I really like what I saw from Donovan Olumba CB during the Team Period. Two times, Olumba was tested where he had to come up with plays on the ball and was right where he needed to be. Kris Richard praised him both times for his effort and results.
Rob Phillips: Cornerback Byron Jones made arguably the play of the day in his first padded practice as a cornerback since 2015. Working at right corner against Deonte Thompson, he had tight coverage and made a leaping interception on a deep throw by Dak Prescott. Jones said the pass was slightly underthrown, but it was a contested ball against arguably the fastest receiver on the team. Beyond that, I thought he did a nice job playing press on certain plays. Kris Richard likes taller corners because they have the frame to keep receivers from getting an easy release, and we saw a glimpse of that from Jones today.
David Helman:It's bound to get lost in the shuffle of a busy day at practice, but I want to be sure to give Mekale McKay his proper credit. McKay is way down the depth chart, but he made a top-notch play on Saturday. Working downfield against Anthony Brown, he skied over the smaller corner and used his 6-5 frame to bring in a fantastic ball from Cooper Rush. It was one of the best plays of the day.