OXNARD, Calif. – The music shut off and the video towers came down a full 30 minutes early on Monday.
Given the state of the Cowboys’ roster right now, it’s understandable that Jason Garrett cut things short.
Coming out of Saturday’s preseason game against San Francisco, the Cowboys are sporting the look of a team that has been through a spirited training camp. Taking a head count prior to practice the Cowboys were without 18 of their 90 players for one reason or another – and that was before rookie receiver Jon’Vea Johnson injured his shoulder during drills.
For the most part, these injuries aren’t drastic. Guys like Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are day-to-day with knee and ankle injuries, respectively, while veterans like Amari Cooper and Sean Lee are gradually working their way back to the practice field.
Jaylon Smith sat out of the afternoon’s practice, but that was a veteran’s rest day and not injury-related.
Still, with so many absentees from practice, it makes sense that it’d be difficult to work through a full, two-hour practice – especially with a trip to Hawaii and another preseason game already looming on the horizon.
The Cowboys have two more padded practices this week, with an unpadded session on Thursday morning before the flight to Honolulu. It will be interesting how they manage them as they try to get healthy in time for another game.
Here are some more notes from Monday evening’s practice:
- Quarterback Dak Prescott and the starting offense settled for a field goal in their lone series of work against the 49ers, but they found the end zone in a hurry-up situation near the end of practice. Prescott quickly led the group down the field and finished up the drive with a touchdown throw to Randall Cobb in the back left corner.
- Brett Maher’s 35-yard missed field goal attempt against the 49ers has been a hot topic this week, but he followed up with a perfect kicking performance in Monday’s practice, making 6-of-6 attempts with the longest from 48 yards.
- Alfred Morris hasn’t been a high-volume receiver from the running back position through this career, but the veteran showed he’s capable of helping in that area by getting behind the second-team defense for a 20-yard catch. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush lofted a perfect over-the-shoulder throw.
- Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ricky Walker followed up a productive preseason opener (three tackles, one for loss, quarterback hit) with a pair of would-be sacks in team period.
- The fullback position is definitely something to watch for in Kellen Moore’s offense. Jamize Olawale has already enjoyed a larger role during this year’s training camp, and he flashed again Monday. During 7-on-7 period, Dak Prescott found Olawale on a wheel route for a 15-yard touchdown.
- With Jaylon Smith on a rest day, a new face got some playing time. Second-year linebacker Chris Covington took his spot with the first group.
- Another indicator of Connor Williams’ added bulk and strength: The second-year left guard stood his ground on three straight power rushes by rookie defensive tackle Trysten Hill in the “compete” period.