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Practice Points

Practice Points: Washington Hurt; First Pads Day


OXNARD, Calif. – Observations and standouts from Monday's first padded practice of training camp:

  • The Cowboys are hoping for the best as it relates to the status of veteran wide receiver James Washington. The former second-round pick was carted out of practice on Monday - the first padded practice of training camp -- after going down with an apparent injury in 7-on-7 drills. He is currently being evaluated by the Cowboys training staff, and it is currently unknown if he'll miss time going forward.
  • Immediately after practice, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told reporters he was concerned about Washington's injury but did not know the exact severity. Reports say the team believes it could be a foot fracture, which would sideline Washington multiple weeks, but further tests will officially determine the injury.
  • The 26-year-old Washington was signed this offseason as a potential insurance measure following the trade of four-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper and the loss of Cedrick Wilson to free agency, but Washington has had an up-and-down camp thus far. He dinged his shoulder on Day 1 after diving for a deep pass from quarterback Dak Prescott and, less than one week later, is now potentially facing a more worrisome injury.
  • Not long after Washington left the field on a cart, the Cowboys got another scare when Jayron Kearse walked off the field and into the locker room momentarily. A big ovation came from the fans when Kearse ran back onto field and continued practice. Kearse said he stepped awkwardly during a drill and tweaked his knee but was never overly concerned. Kearse is in his second season with the Cowboys, flourishing in a hybrid role that has him playing both safety and linebacker.
  • It's becoming more and more evident that CeeDee Lamb is ready to take on the role of WR1 going forward. It's been an offseason filled with affirming statements from players and coaches alike regarding Lamb's ability to step into the role for 2022 -- including from the former first-round pick himself -- but it's now manifesting in a real way in Oxnard.
  • The connection from Prescott to Lamb is beginning to steal the show on a regular basis, the former routinely making the difficult throws look easy while the latter rewards him with acrobatic catches, yards after those catches and touchdowns. Given the trajectory of their chemistry, Lamb is possibly en route to a career-best season.
  • Tyler Smith got his first taste of NFL action with full pads on Monday. He didn't waste much time getting into a physical brand of football, flattening Trysten Hill on a run play during team drills. He was known as a strong run blocker during his time at Tulsa, and he showed signs of that in Oxnard.
  • While Trysten Hill was on the wrong side of Tyler Smith's pancake block, he put together another solid practice. His speed and hands at the line of scrimmage helped him win battles in the pass rush and some positional drills.
  • The competition at kicker is well underway now for the Cowboys. After a first week that saw little in the way of testing both Jonathan Garibay and Lirim Hajrullahu, head coach Mike McCarthy promised the second week would be chock full of reps for both, and that came to fruition on Monday. The day was owned by Hajrullahu, who made multiple long-distance kicks in situational two-minute drills, while Garibay (who was mostly accurate in individual drills) struggled to split the uprights, including a miss off of the left post in one of McCarthy's "Mojo Moments" of practice.
  • Quiet as it's been kept to this point, Noah Brown has been consistently reliable over the first five practices of training camp. This means he's apparently ready to roll over his positive momentum from 2021 into the 2022 season, and the Cowboys would love nothing more than for that to be the case given the potential loss of Washington. Brown re-signed with the team on another one-year deal, which means he again has to prove himself to the coaching staff, but he has an inside edge in having done so last season and in knowing the scheme of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore so well, along with jumping out early in his practice performances at training camp.
  • The cornerbacks were active in passing lanes again Monday. Nahshon Wright intercepted a jump-ball throw by Will Grier intended for T.J. Vasher. Anthony Brown got his hands on a Dak Prescott pass intended for tight end Jake Ferguson, but it landed in the hands of Simi Fehoko for a sizable gain.
  • Rookie running back Aaron Shampklin was not at practice on Monday. No official word came from the Cowboys on his status.

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