OXNARD, Calif. – Monday's joint practice against the Rams didn't seem to measure up in intensity – at least, not the kind of intensity demanded by Dez Bryant.
As the Cowboys squared off against outside competition, arguably their most fiery competitor had to watch from the sideline. Bryant is still rehabbing a tweaked hamstring, but he didn't let that stop him from making his voice heard.
"I heard him – believe it or not – over Rod, I think," said team executive vice president Stephen Jones. "You usually don't ever hear anybody over Rod."
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is typically the first and the loudest to voice his displeasure with a bad practice. It had to be Bryant on Monday, though, as he left his conditioning work and jogged 60 yards to help break up a scuffle between Cowboys receivers and Rams defensive backs.
"Obviously, Dez is a competitor, and I'm sure he's dying to be out there," Jones said. "It's probably a good thing he wasn't out there today. He probably didn't need that. Good for him to have a break."
The All-Pro didn't give his receivers a break, though, as he was upset with the intensity his fellow wideouts showed in the competitive portions of practice.
"He was just a little upset at the group," Cole Beasley said. "There were some plays that we let slip away. We've got to just have a better mentality and a better approach tomorrow and come out here and work."
Terrance Williams agreed with Beasley's assessment. As the Cowboys' top receiver during Bryant's extended absence, he said it's on him and the other receivers to step up.
"I just think that whenever Dez isn't out here we got to be ready for the next man up to come out here and take a bigger role," Williams said. "I think the more I started paying attention to Tony and coach was telling me, the more I got comfortable way before we even came out here."
There's no doubt Bryant will want to join the mix for the second day of joint practices, but that's not a likely proposition. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has said the plan is to be cautious, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he likely won't return to the field until after Sunday's preseason game in San Francisco.[embeddedad0]
In the meantime, Bryant will seek to help the Cowboys up their intensity level.
"I don't think we played to our potential today, and I don't think we're really happy with what we put on film today. We've just got to come back and grind tomorrow," Beasley said.
- Joel Ross wasn't lacking for any intensity when he dropped Rams receiver Brian Quick on the tail end of a short swing pass to the receiver. Ross lowered his shoulder and put Quick on the ground, which elicited a spirited response from the St. Louis offense. It didn't escalate into a full-scale brawl, but there was no shortage of pushing and yelling as the two teams sorted the problem out. It was the second of two skirmishes on the day, after Devin Street's incident with Trumaine Johnson.
- Running back Darren McFadden worked into team drills for the first time in training camp following his return from a hamstring injury. He also made multiple plays in one-on-one pass drills.
- The Cowboys didn't waste time looking downfield in one-on-one drills. On the first rep, Tony Romo threw deep down the left sideline and found Terrance Williams, who got a step ahead of Janoris Jenkins.
- Left guard Ron Leary was the latest starting offensive lineman to miss practice, sitting out due to back tightness. Rookie La'el Collins took his place with the first team.
- Safety Barry Church left practice with a rib cartilage issue he's been dealing with, executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "We may give him a day or so to take a break," Jones said.
- Country music star Chris Young, Modern Family actor Ty Burrell and former Rams running back Marshall Faulk attended practice.
– WR Cole Beasley – This is getting repetitive, isn't it? The Rams' secondary had the same difficult covering Beasley as the Cowboys' defensive backs. Beasley shook free for a couple of catches in one-on-one pass drills and forced a pass interference penalty in the process.
– DT Davon Coleman – Coleman has been a disruptive tackle in practice for most of camp, and that continued Monday in one-on-one pass rush drills, as he used a combination of power and quickness to penetrate the backfield multiple times.
– DE Randy Gregory – The rookie pass rusher continues to show improvement in camp, this time against the Rams' offensive linemen. In one-on-one drills, he got around Rams tackle Isaiah Battle with a quick spin move to the inside.
Play of the Day
With the Cowboys missing three of their top cornerbacks due to injury (Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Byron Jones), Corey White stepped up in team drills with a leaping interception of a Nick Foles pass intended for Stedman Bailey.
Aug. 16 – Signed WR David Porter
Aug. 16 – Released WR George Farmer
Aug. 15 – Signed RBs Ben Malena, Michael Hill
Aug. 15 – Placed S Ray Vinopal on Waived/Injured
Returned to Practice:
WR Deontay Greenberry
LB Sean Lee (rest day)
OT Tyron Smith (biceps)
S Barry Church (ribs)
DT Ken Bishop
TE Gavin Escobar
CB Byron Jones (shoulder)
LB Anthony Hitchens (foot)
G Ron Leary (back)
DE Tyrone Crawford (back)
TE James Hanna (knee)
RB Gus Johnson (shoulder)
DT Nick Hayden (ribs)
WR Dez Bryant (ankle)
WR Antwan Goodley (hamstring)
CB Orlando Scandrick (knee)
CB Brandon Carr (hand)
DE Kenneth Boatright (neck)
DT Terrell McClain (bone bruise/hamstring)
OL Chaz Green (hip)
LB Mark Nzeocha (knee)
LB Rolando McClain (knee)
Tuesday, August 18
12:00 p.m. (PDT) Coach Garrett Press Conference
3:45 p.m. (PDT) Practice (with Rams)
Wednesday, August 19
No availability (players off)