IRVINE, Calif. – The Cowboys' second and final joint practice with the LA Chargers is in the books. Here are all the observations and standouts from Thursday's work from the Chargers' training camp site:
- Undrafted rookie wide receiver Dennis Houston continues to impress, and his walk-off touchdown catch to end practice was arguably the play of training camp so far. On the final play of team drills Thursday, quarterback Dak Prescott tossed a Hail Mary roughly 50 yards to the end zone, where Houston and wide receiver Simi Fehoko both leaped for it over two Chargers defenders. Houston came down with the catch, prompting a team-wide celebration.
- Houston has gotten his share of first-team snap throughout camp, and that rep count increased Thursday with CeeDee Lamb (foot) and Noah Brown (toe) not practicing. Lamb missed both practices against the Chargers, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates him returning next week. Brown's toe injury isn't expected to be a long-term issue, either.
- One day after veteran cornerback Jourdan Lewis suffered a hamstring injury that will likely sideline him for the rest of camp and the preseason, rookie cornerback DaRon Bland more than stepped up in his absence. Bland had his best day of camp, not only breaking up two passes in team drills, but he ended the practice with an interception in the end zone, as the Chargers tried to test him down the field.
- The starting offense had difficulty establishing the run at times Thursday, but Prescott did throw two touchdown passes against the Chargers starters: the Hail Mary to Houston and a red-zone TD to tight end Dalton Schultz.
- Backup quarterback Will Grier was back in team drills for the first time since straining his groin in practice Aug. 9 and threw a touchdown pass to running back Malik Davis in red-zone work. Full practice is an encouraging sign for Grier's availability Saturday against the Chargers.
- After practice, Prescott spent some time visiting with former Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, who started his career with the Chargers before winning a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints.
- The kickers traded field-goal attempts before team drills, with both Brett Maher and Lirim Hajrullahu each making about half of the kicks in the range of 35-50 yards. However, they were kicking on uprights that were probably half as narrow as the regulation kicks. For the most part, it appeared the kicks were on target and would've been good in a normal setting.
- Second-year linebacker Jabril Cox got some extensive reps on defense, and didn't show any lasting effects of an ACL surgery he had last fall. On one play, Cox ran some 40 yards down the field with a Chargers receiver and safety Markquese Bell on a pass that fell incomplete. But the play showed plenty of speed and range for an inside linebacker, especially one coming off reconstructive surgery.