FRISCO, Texas – Despite so much uncertainty surrounding the Cowboys and the entire sports world, the team came together again on Friday and had another intense practice with competitive juices flowing on both sides.
While the defense seemed to have the upper hand on Thursday, it was more balanced on Friday with the offense showing out again, led by a bounce-back day from Dak Prescott.
Here are some of the highlights from Friday's practice:
- The Cowboys held another practice indoors at Ford Center. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed the Cowboys are in the process of replacing the grass field outside. The team still has a turf field that will be used, as well as the field inside the Ford Center.
- Productive day for the offense in a two-minute situation, needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the score. Dak Prescott drove the first-team offense 60 yards for a touchdown and conversion, finding Cedrick Wilson in the back of the end zone from about 35 yards out. Andy Dalton also got the required eight points with the backup unit, throwing a touchdown pass and conversion to Tevin Jones.
- Dalton Schultz continues to get plenty of work in the passing game. Considered as the third tight end behind Blake Jarwin and Blake Bell, Schultz had another busy day of work, catching several passes over the middle in team drills. The 2018 fourth-round pick out of Stanford, has 13 career receptions, but just one last season.
- After participating in individual drills Thursday, starting offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins worked into team drills for the first time together in camp. Collins' first practice was Thursday, while Smith had sat out a few days with a little hamstring tightness. Swing tackle candidate Cameron Erving also continued to work into team drills.
Views of the Dallas Cowboys during the eleventh day training camp at Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, TX.
- Looked like a lighter work day for wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Both took part in individual drills but didn't have many team snaps as usual – perhaps a chance for the coaching staff to evaluate other receivers, and perhaps a chance to manage Cooper and Lamb's workload with Sunday's upcoming scrimmage to feature a heavier diet of team work.
- Leighton Vander Esch said Thursday he embraces the responsibility of being the Mike linebacker this year, and the third-year veteran continues to be vocal with pre-snap communication on defense. He also made a nice would-be stop on a Dak Prescott scramble.
- With Jourdan Lewis still sidelined this week with an ankle injury, the Cowboys have given plenty of looks to rookie Trevon Diggs and he hasn't disappointed. On Friday, he had another pass breakup in a team drill to get the defense off the field on third down. His long arms and long stride also keep him in position on deep routes, something he did again on Friday running with Jon'vea Johnson down the field on a deep pass that fell incomplete.
- And with no preseason games, it's definitely not easy to evaluate the running backs, especially in how they can handle contact. But so far, rookie free agent Rico Dowdle is doing the best he can to impress the coaches. In a few inside-run drills on Friday, Dowdle showed not only his quickness and vision, but took a couple of hits from the linebacker and bounced off, keeping his stride. It would've been fun to watch both Dowdle and Darius Anderson get some carries in the preseason.