(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 during the Cowboys' Wednesday afternoon practice.
Byron Jones S
Jones has looked comfortable playing as the safety in this scheme. Overall coverage and range has been acceptable. He did struggle on a 1-on-1 route against Jason Witten with his positioning. He allowed Witten to separate from him and wasn't able to put himself in a position to drive back on the ball. He has been physical when it has come to sticking his nose in the action. He wants to be around the ball and in the pile. Shows a willingness to hit and go for the strip, and he works to create turnovers. He had an exceptional play on the goal line where he teamed with Derek Akunne to keep the ball out of the end zone. He was able to step up, then wrap up with some strength and leverage. Jones is also developing as a blitzer -- starting to see more of him being used that way. He was able to get home during the two-minute drill to force the ball out quickly by Dak Prescott. He appears to be gaining the trust of his teammates as well when it comes to his communication skills.
Jameill Showers QB
Not one of his better practices. Up until this point Showers has shown more good than bad. He had two really bad plays back-to-back where he had to eat the ball in 7-on-7 because the man coverage gave him problems on the read. Then the following play, he was too high to Geoff Swaim -- which resulted in an incompletion. His throw to Keith Smith during the goal line period was off target, which caused Smith to have to adjust in order to catch the ball. This allowed Kavon Frazier the opportunity to drive on Smith to keep him out of the end zone. It didn't help his cause that in the two-minute drill, he had a drop by Lucky Whitehead, and Brice Butler couldn't get inside on Deji Olatoye to complete the slant. With all his issues during this particular practice, I do like his willingness to attempt to make throws down the field, as well as his arm talent. His footwork has improved to allow him to make better throws from the pocket, especially his inside routes.
Deon King LB
I have to admit that the last place I'd think Deon King would have shown up during practice would have been the goal line period. King looks undersized for the position at 6-0, 225, but he sure didn't play that way during the drill. His day could have been even better if on his first snap he didn't hesitate coming down hill to meet Rod Smith. He was a tick slow and the result of that put him in a position where he wasn't able to get a wrap up shot on Smith. Later in the period, he was able to come back and take advantage of Jake Brendel at guard attempting to pull -- but falling to the ground on the play. King, now unblocked, was in perfect position to meet the ball in the hole and get a clean wrap-up with an assist from Kavon Frazier and James Morris. Up until that point of training camp, I had not noticed much from Deon King in any of these practices. He had a tendency in college to make plays on the move more than at the point of attack, but I was able to see a different side of him in that goal line drill.