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Sat. Mid-Day Report: No Decision On HOF Game Playing Time


OXNARD, Calif. – Head coach Jason Garrett said at his daily press conference between Saturday's morning walkthrough and the late practice of the day that no discussions have taken place yet about playing time for the team's Hall of Fame Game.

Garrett said discussions will take place next week about how often each player will be out on the field, and with the bonus preseason game he doesn't anticipate starters playing often. That would include quarterback Tony Romo.

"We'll talk about how each of our 90 players will or will not play in those games next week," Garrett said. "That's typically a progression we have in the preseason. We haven't had those talks yet, though."

Here are some other highlights from the conference:

  • The Cowboys will participate in their first scrimmage Sunday. He said it will mostly be a situational day for veterans with a lot of red zone and two-minute work, and at the end he thinks it's a good idea for younger players to start tackling backs and receivers to "get rid of the cobwebs and understand what tackling feels like before the game in Canton."

  • Jason Hatcher and Miles Austin were both given the day off Friday to get some rest, which will continue to happen among the veterans. "We're trying to give different guys opportunities to get off their legs every so often throughout training camp," Garrett said.
  • Garrett said rookie tight end Gavin Escobar has a chance to be an on-the-line tight end and blocker because of his length, but he has to get stronger. He said Escobar's a natural pass catcher and has a good feel for route running, and now he's starting to play faster and more decisively.
  • Defensive lineman Ben Bass walked off the field Friday with an ankle issue, but Garrett doesn't expect it to be a real issue. Garrett called it a day-to-day injury.
  • Garrett wasn't pleased with one of the sloppier walkthroughs of camp Saturday, which featured a few false start penalties. He said the standard has to be much higher than what they demonstrated.
  • Learning the playbook can be a challenge for rookies, but Garrett doesn't anticipate that being a problem. He does understand it takes time for the transition. No one's in particular struggling with it, but it's a challenge for everybody," he said.
  • Guard David Arkin is once again getting a lot of work after injuries to the offensive line. Garrett said he's a great example of how injuries provide opportunities and he brings it every day in practice, he just needs to get better with technique.
  • The Cowboys don't just view linebacker Justin Durant as a run stopper. Garrett said he sees him as a complete linebacker and one of the best guys available at his price in the offseason. Garrett sees him as a versatile player and he's had a strong start to camp after a slower start in the spring. [embedded_ad]
  • Wide receiver Cole Beasley has the kind of feel at receiver that makes him quarterback friendly, according to Garrett. He has a knack to get open, and Garrett said he's also deceptively strong and explosive. Teams even started to double him occasionally last year.
  • Garrett said the challenge for Beasley after making an impression is that he doesn't want the receiver to be pigeon holed only as a slot player. He has to be able to block and play outside to become a complete receiver.
  • Rookie running back Joseph Randle missed the whole spring, but Garrett was impressed with how he stayed engaged and studied every day, which is difficult to do with no reps. Now, he just needs more snaps to demonstrate what he can do.
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