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Mid-Day: Cowboys To Scrimmage Saturday

What's The Scoop:
With a full week of training camp now in the books here in Oxnard, Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said he's getting close to figuring out the first depth chart of camp.
Parcells said he wants to wait until the weekend before announcing his lineups.
But he did say it was important because he is trying to get certain positions, specifically the offensive line, playing together as a unit.
"That's something that I want to determine quickly," Parcells said of forming a depth chart. "I really want to get them working cohesively as soon as I can. I tried to do the same last year. It's not easy to do, but that's what I would like to do."
Parcells likely wants to wait until Saturday to see his players perform in a controlled scrimmage, which the coach confirmed will take place Saturday afternoon.
"Yeah, we'll do that in some form," Parcells said. "I'm just trying to get a lot of teamwork here. I've been doing a lot of that here lately."
The Cowboys have conducted an 11-on-11 scrimmage the last two years at camp after the first week of practice.

Quick Shots:

  • Parcells said he will continue to rotate his centers in practice, but plans to keep Andre Gurode working with the first-team offense ahead of Al Johnson. The coach said this is the best he has seen from Gurode since he took over as head coach in 2003. "This guy has a lot of ability now," Parcells said. "But he's a distractible player sometimes. But he's doing some good things right now." Parcells said Gurode and Johnson are even in the center competition right now.
  • Cowboys safety Justin Beriault has missed the last three days of practice with a mild concussion and Parcells said he doesn't expect the second-year pro to return for a few more days. Naturally, Parcells said Beriault is losing valuable practice time and it is giviing players such as Pat Watkins and Abram Elam a chance to make up some ground at the position.
  • One of the reasons Parcells said the offense is behind the defense so far is the play of his cornerbacks. "Right now, we just can't seem to get away from our cornerbacks," Parcells said. "I just think we've got pretty good cornerbacks." Of course, before he said the corners are covering well, Parcells made sure he knocked on the wooden table at the press conference.
  • Rookie wide receiver Skyler Green has changed numbers once again. He's back to No. 10, the number he originally had in the first mini-camp. He switched to No. 6, giving No. 10 to Ahmad Merritt, who was cut this week. Green could stay put now, as the NFL allows receivers to wear jersey numbers from 10-19.

You Should've Seen:
Rookie defensive end Jason Hatcher had an eventful practice Wednesday evening, disrupting several plays in team drills and causing his teammates to rally around him with several "Let's go Hatch!" chants. The third-round pick from Grambling and rookie Pat McQuistan had a highly-competitive series of showdowns during the second-team period. Hatcher blew past McQuistan and ran free to the quarterback on one play. When Parcells stepped in and demanded another play, McQuistan responded by not only locking up Hatcher on the play, but then tossed him to the ground for good measure. Of course, the tackle offered a hand to help up his fellow rookie, signaling two young players in a clean, yet competitive battle.

Who's Hot:
Teams didn't throw in Terence Newman's direction too often in games last year. And it's starting to take place out here in practice, too. Whether he's facing Terrell Owens or Terry Glenn, Newman has carried over his stellar play from last year into this training camp. Newman broke up three straight passes in a 7-on-7 drill, including one while covering Owens with no help.

Who's Not:
Running back Marion Barber had a tough couple of practices Wednesday, drawing the ire from Parcells. Barber lost a fumble in a team drill, prompting running backs coach Anthony Lynn to replace him with Keylon Kincade. As a frustrated Barber went to the sideline, Parcells yelled, "That's where he wants to be anyway. Just collecting a paycheck, pretty boy."

Injury Update:
S Justin Beriault, mild concussion - expected to miss next few days (7/31)
DE Marcus Spears, knee (meniscus) - had knee scoped (7/30)
Missed Practice:
S Justin Beriault (concussion)
DE Marcus Spears (knee surgery)
Returned to Practice:
K Mike Vanderjagt (illness)

DE Vontrell Jamison, released (8/2)
DE Jason Davis, signed (8/1)
LB J.J. Horne, released (7/31)
WR Ahmad Merritt, released (7/31)
CB Byron Parker, released (7/31)
TE Brett Pierce, placed on injured reserve (7/31)
T Flozell Adams moved from PUP to active roster (7/30)
LB Bobby Carpenter, signed (7/29)
T E.J. Whitley, placed on injured reserve (7/29)
T Flozell Adams, placed on active PUP (7/28)
S Darrell Brooks, released (7/28)
G Shannon Snell, released (7/28)

Top BILL-ing:
"Creatures of similar plumages habitually congregate in places of closest proximity." - *Parcells when asked if Gurode has been more focused this year now that good friend and former teammate Torrin Tucker is in Tampa Bay. *

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