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Practice Points

Practice Points: Heated Practice With Broncos


DENVER – Observations and standouts from the Cowboys-Broncos outdoor joint practice at the Broncos' practice facility:

  • Micah Parsons is apparently hard to block for the Broncos, too. Parsons has wrecked many of practices in Oxnard and he carried that over into Denver as well. Parsons pulled up many times before getting to the Denver QBs, including starter Russell Wilson.
  • Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb connected multiple times during team drills, continuing the strong practice work they were putting together before the team traveled to Denver. Prescott found Lamb for a 25-yard touchdown on a post route, with Lamb beating cornerback Michael Ojemudia for the score.
  • As expected, things got chippy in the second hour of practice when both teams lined up against each other for 11-on-11 work. A few post-play shoves ensued, particularly among offensive and defensive linemen. All the scuffles quickly dispersed. As Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said before practice, "We don't want the fights. We're not here for fights. I don't view it as toughness."
  • Former Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory, who made headlines in the spring when he changed his mind about re-signing in Dallas and joined the Broncos, was not practicing on Thursday as he is on the PUP list. But he was in the middle of the action several times, barking back and forth – sometimes in a playful mood, but other times not. Gregory was in the middle of several of the fights that occurred. Dak Prescott said "he missed us" when asked why Gregory was so vocal.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Kelvin Joseph was getting plenty of attention against the Broncos receivers. On one of the first plays of the day, Joseph was tested deep against Denver WR Courtland Sutton and Joseph was in perfect position to make the play and nearly had the interception but he deflected the pass to the ground. But after that, Denver had its share of success against Joseph, who gave up a couple of big passes down the field.
  • Higher altitude and temperatures in the upper 90s were a stark change for the Cowboys after practicing the past two weeks in Oxnard, California's mild oceanside climate. The practice was well-attended: a mix of Broncos and Cowboys fans packed the hillside on one end of the field.
  • Tight end Ian Bunting and defensive tackle John Ridgeway both left practice early with apparent injury or conditioning issues. Tyron Smith also limped off the field towards the end of practice. The Cowboys medical team was still evaluating them all after the practice.
  • Penalties were a problem all season for the Cowboys in 2021 and it seemed to be an issue once again on Thursday. On the defensive side, the Cowboys had plenty of offsides and holding penalties. Offensively, there were a few holding calls but the officials at practice were clearly calling more flags on both defensive units.
  • Defensive end Tarell Basham isn't known for his coverage skills, but he picked off a deflected pass in a team drill and ran it back for a would-be touchdown, igniting the entire defense to chase him into the end zone for a celebration.

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