OXNARD, Calif. – All of a sudden, the Cowboys' time in California is winding down.
The preseason opener against the Rams is just two days in the rearview, but all of a sudden the Cowboys have just two practices remaining in California before they return to Texas.
Tony Romo returned to practice after sitting out of the game on Saturday night, and he wasn't alone as the Cowboys trotted out the majority of their starters for the afternoon session.
Here's a quick recap of the afternoon's practice:
- As noted earlier in the day, the Cowboys returned a bevy of players from the injury report on Monday. Maliek Collins and Benson Mayowa went through the individual portion of practice after returning from the PUP.
- Linebacker Damien Wilson returned from the NFI, and he went through both the individual portion of practice, as well as some reps in the full-team and four-minute portion of the day.
- Ezekiel Elliott sat out of practice after going through walkthrough in the morning. He worked with the team athletic trainers during the afternoon, and he is expected to return to the action on Tuesday.
- Chaz Green once again got the first-team reps at left tackle while Tyron Smith sat out the competitive portion of practice. Smith suffered a stinger last week and the Cowboys are monitoring him for the time being.
- Sean Lee made it a point to raise the energy level during an occasionally slow practice. The Cowboys' Pro Bowl linebacker returned to the fray, and he was his usual disruptive self. On top of that, he made it a point to trash talk the offense at any possible occasion. Lee wanted the offense to know he was out there, and he succeeded.
- Dan Bailey connected on all five of his field goals at the afternoon session. His long on the day was 52.
- Wide receiver Chris Brown left the field and was evaluated during practice. It's not currently clear what his injury was.
- Actor Michael Rapaport was in attendance at Monday afternoon's practice.
Notable StandoutsJason Witten –The All-Pro has turned in arguably the most consistent camp of any player on this roster. As one might expect, he continually shows up to practice and makes plays. Romo looked for him often during the full-team portion of the day, dumping off mid-range passes to help move the offense downfield. It's not ever one amazing play with Witten, but the impressive collection of good ones.
Chaz Green –Given the amount of criticism Green drew for his struggles on Saturday night, it's only fair to call out his accomplishments as well. Jason Garrett singled Green out against Ryan Russell in the anticipated Compete Period at practice. Green stonewalled the young defensive end to get a win for the offense.
Orlando Scandrick –Witten drew some praise for his receptions, but give some credit to the defense too. During the four-minute portion of practice, Romo looked for Witten out wide once again – only to have Scandrick reach around the big tight end and bat the ball away. The veteran cornerback was in on several positive plays on a solid day for the defense.
Play of the Day
Dez Bryant picked up where he left off when he went back to practice on Monday. He didn't make any acrobatic touchdown grabs like he did on Saturday against the Rams, but he showed his continued progress. In the full-team period, he caught a short crossing route against Brandon Carr, and he showed off his top gear as he outraced the secondary to the corner and turned it upfield for a touchdown. It was easily the most exciting play of the afternoon, and it prompted plenty of jawing between the offense and defense.
Unofficial Injury Report
RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring)
DE Charles Tapper (back)
LB Andrew Gachkar (thumb)
QB Kellen Moore (fibula)
RB Darren McFadden (elbow; Active/NFI)
RB Lance Dunbar (knee; Active/PUP)
LB Jaylon Smith (knee; Active/NFI)
TE James Hanna (knee; Active/PUP)
Returned to Practice
DT Maliek Collins (foot)
DE Benson Mayowa (knee)
LB Damien Wilson (eye)