Player Postcard: Butler's Progress, Looney Settling In, Intriguing Young DE

(Editor's Note: 90 players are striving for a roster spot over the next month. In an effort to keep up with all of them, Bryan Broaddus is going to write a report on three different players after every practice. From the team's most prominent players to its no-name camp bodies, this is a place to read about what's going on across the Cowboys' roster.)

OXNARD, Calif. – Three players who stood out to me after studying the Cowboys' Thursday night practice.

Brice Butler, WR
I'm still waiting on Butler to have that practice where he puts himself in position to compete with Terrance Williams for the spot opposite Dez Bryant. Butler has been getting his chances and with Bryant sitting out of Thursday's practice, he was on full display. His strengths are his ability to use his body to shield defenders in route -- especially on the slant -- and to separate up the field. I haven't seen him execute either of these with any consistency. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr were able to shut him down on separate occasions when the ball was delivered in his direction. This is not the player I thought I would see while we were here in Oxnard to this point.

Mike McAdoo, DE
At 6-7, 255 you would think that McAdoo has a better shot to make an NBA team than an NFL one. What I have learned about him is: don't let the thin build fool you, he has surprising strength in that frame. I am not saying that he's an overpowering player that can stand there and go toe-to-toe with Tyron Smith, but there are snaps where he is able to hold the edge when the ball does come his direction. His length is also an asset when he can extend on the blocker and keep that separation as he is working toward the ball. He is a slippery pass rusher that can capture the edge, and -- due to his frame -- not allow the blocker much of a hitting surface. McAdoo has been able to carry over many of the positive snaps from the OTAs and minicamps to these practices while at training camp.

Joe Looney, C/OG
Before signing Joe Looney this past offseason, I had a chance to sit down and study his game. I didn't see an overwhelming physical player but more of a fit and position type of blocker. What has been different now seeing him practice live is that he can be more of a physical player. If you watched our coverage of Training Camp Live, you could see this exact type of trait I was speaking of when he was dealing with Cedric Thornton -- who is one of the most powerful players along this defensive front. While I expected the worst in this matchup with Thornton, he was able to sit down on Thornton and keep him from the spot. It was a nice display of power and technique against a rusher who was giving blockers problems. Looney appears to be more comfortable at center than guard but his play has not been poor. I would call him an upgrade at this point over Mackenzy Bernadeau -- who lined up at that position in the past. 

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