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Practice Points

Practice Points: Noah Brown Shines; Kicking Woes


OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys had another padded practice on Saturday afternoon in front of a full-set of bleachers here in Oxnard.

Here are some of the highlights from practice:

  • The kicking situation continues to be an issue, especially for rookie Jonathan Garibay. The undrafted player from Texas Tech missed a couple more kicks in team situation, including an extra point that didn't even reach the cross bar. His competition – Lirim Hajrullahu, wasn't much better, missing two kicks as well.
  • The mobility of Dak Prescott was on full display on Saturday. The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback took off and ran on more than one occasion when he saw open grass in front of him, and one play saw him take a QB option up the middle after taking the snap at midfield for a big gain. It's something that has perennial All-Pro guard Zack Martin excited – noting how a mobile and "confident" Prescott can "put the defense on their heels" – with Micah Parsons labeling it one of Prescott's "biggest strengths".
  • Another day, another Noah Brown sighting. The fifth-year veteran is having as impressive a training camp as anyone on the roster, and at a position of dire need for the Cowboys. With the absence of Michael Gallup and James Washington due to injury, the competition behind CeeDee Lamb is wide open – young upstarts having owned several headlines already while Brown quietly remains the most consistent of them all. He added three catches to his camp ticker on Saturday, and one was an applause-worthy deep grab in double coverage.
  • Much has been said about Trevon Diggs, as expected for a player coming off of a breakout season that saw him grab 11 interceptions. The First-Team All-Pro had a bad day at the office on Thursday, giving up a touchdown pass to both Simi Fehoko and CeeDee Lamb in one-on-one drills, but he's been having a very strong camp overall; and he was back to making his presence felt on Saturday with blanket coverage that led to multiple pass break ups.
  • With the addition of Anthony Barr to the linebacker room, and the return of former fourth-round pick Jabril Cox to the roster, it's fair to say that Leighton Vander Esch is battling to not be the odd man out in the rotation. He went a long way to achieving that mission on Saturday, the first play from scrimmage in team drills turning into a tip drill created by Vander Esch on a pass attempt from quarterback Dak Prescott that was eventually intercepted by safety Jayron Kearse and run into the end zone for the second pick-six of training camp – serving as a reminder that Vander Esch hasn't suddenly disappeared.
  • Screen passes seemed to be a focus down in the red zone with the running backs getting plenty of catches. Zeke had a one-handed grab in the flat that led to a touchdown. Rookie Malik Davis was also very active in the passing game, catching the ball and running with power after the catch.
  • The practice ended with an easy touchdown by rookie Jalen Tolbert, who found himself wide open in the middle of the field for a score, leaving the corners and safeties looking at each in an obvious coverage breakdown. Tolbert made a few tough grabs throughout the day, but the final play was definitely his easiest.

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