OXNARD, Calif. – Welcome back No. 94.
In case you have forgotten, that's Randy Gregory, the what-do-we-really-have 2015 second-round draft choice taking the next step in his return from the year-long suspension. The Cowboys took him off Reserve/Non-Football Injury and jumped him into right into Wednesday's walk-through practice.
The guy seems relaxed, excited and pretty much in control of himself. This has been a long haul for Gregory even to get to the walk-through point, and the Cowboys aren't in a hurry to push him into pads too soon. Maybe the end of this week at the earliest, with an off-day coming up Friday then practices Saturday and Sunday. Maybe those final two practices next week before they depart for the San Francisco preseason game. We'll see.
But with Taco Charlton finally taking a day to rest/rehab his sore shoulder, Gregory was getting the majority of his walk-through snaps with the second team, and did get a few with the first team. Again, walk-through.
Can't wait to see him "run-through." Now that will be a huge \_shot\_ in the arm for this Cowboys defense.
Old Home Day: Seemed like the Cowboys turned back the clock to the '90s out here at practice. First former offensive line coach Tony Wise pops up. Then former Cowboys head coach Dave Campo strolls in. Saw former Cowboys tight end Eric Bjornson at practice. And also former defensive assistant Clancy Pendergast, now the USC defensive coordinator. In fact, Clancy has lured Campo back onto the practice field, hiring the 71-year-old football coach as a defensive analyst. Good for Camps. He needs to stay busy.
MIAs: We've hit that time of camp when the MIA list starts growing longer. Rookie linebacker Chris Covington missed a second day and defensive end Charles Tapper was out, too, both with an illness, not injury. WR Noah Brown at least got back into the morning walk-through, but the tight hamstring still kept him out of practice. Mentioned Hurns and Taco missing, and darn it, tests still haven't come back on Kavon Frazier. Maybe tomorrow I hear. Also taking basically a veteran day were Tyrone Crawford, L.P. Ladouceur and Dan Bailey. Practicing, but off to the side some was Marcus Martin, the 330-pound guard working with the strength and conditioning coaches trying to shed some weight. Tad heavy, he is.
Bubble Wrapped: Most want to know when Sean Lee will get back into practice since he's being held out of pads this past week. The Cowboys don't seem to be in a hurry, and as head coach Jason Garrett says, "We're doing everything we can to get him ready for the first game." Circle Sept. 9, Carolina, for Lee.
Heating Up: No, certainly not the temperature out here, but this budding one-on-one rivalry between Tavon Austin and Byron Jones. On the first two encounters, Jones wins, running with him into the end zone with no room to throw the ball and breaking up the second one. Then Austin won on a deep route with a fine over-the-shoulder catch and again during the fourth encounter into the end zone.
Catch 14: This had to be the catch of the day during a team period by Lance Lenoir. The first-year wide receiver slipped to the ground on a come-back route, but had the wherewithal to catapult himself forward off the ground to capture the low throw. Saw that No. 14.
Keep An Eye On: Here are a couple of guys doing enough to remember their numbers. No. 19, Mekale McKay, first-year receiver from Cincinnati. He's 6-4, and seemingly can jump forever. Keeps showing up. Then No. 32, Donovan Olumba, 6-2 rookie corner from Portland State. Has the length the Cowboys like in a corner. Having good days in pads. No. 36, Bo Scarbrough. Now he's not obscure, the Cowboys' seventh-round pick. But in a crowded backfield, he's at least the third guy. Has good feet for a 235-pounder. Saw he even got a second-team snap/carry on Wednesday. No wonder Garrett said when asked about him, "We like Bo."
No Let Up: So Pendergast hooked up with his former USC defensive lineman after practice, first-year DT Antwaun Woods. I mean even I've got his name down with his number, 64. Clancy was talking with his former player when owner Jerry Jones walked by, and let Woods know he knew who he is, then saying as he walked away, "Don't let up." Woods' response? "I don't know what that is." Good answer.
- SoCal Shots: Got to hand it to the defense for the second day in a row. Corners playing very aggressive . . . Third-round receiver Michael Gallup made his presence known early in practice with two really nice catches. Good day for the rookie . . . Right now when it comes to punt returns, it's Cole Beasley and Tavon Austin. But making the most of his reps back there is Lenoir . . . Too bad for rookie wideout Cedrick Wilson, placed on IR already with a separated shoulder and will be scheduled for surgery . . . One more practice Thursday then another day off on Friday as The Shots keep coming.