OXNARD, Calif. – Next time the Cowboys practice, it'll be a bit more intense.
With Saturday's practice wrapped up, the Cowboys now turn their attention to the Blue-White Scrimmage, which kicks off Sunday evening from the practice fields in Oxnard.
Strictly speaking, the scrimmage functions the same as a regular practice. But at least for a brief moment, the Cowboys coaches will allow their younger players a chance at some full contact.
"We give the young guys a chance to tackle," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "The veteran players who have been here and played in the NFL will not be in that tempo, but the younger guys will. We won't do it long, but we think it's important that they feel the physicalness of the game."
Garrett said it's important to establish that physicality because of what's coming in the next week. After an off day on Monday, the Cowboys will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – and then it's off on Friday to prepare for their first preseason game.
"Four or five days later, we're playing in a real game," Garrett said. "So we feel it's the right time to do it, and it's always been pretty beneficial for us."
The scrimmage should afford an interesting look at the younger side of the roster – before the lights come on for real next weekend at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
- The compete period featured three one-on-one pass rush and three receiving matchups. Defensive end Mike McAdoo beat offensive tackle Ryan Mack with an outside move; center Jake Brendel blocked defensive end Zach Wood; offensive tackle Bryan Witzmann blocked defensive end Charles Tapper; cornerback Anthony Brown broke up a back-shoulder throw to receiver Vince Mayle; tight end Rico Gathers pushed off against safety Jeff Heath; and fullback Keith Smith caught a pass in the flat against linebacker Mark Nzeocha.
- The Cowboys are dealing with injuries along the defensive line. The first-team group on Saturday: Ryan Russell, Jack Crawford, Wood and DeMarcus Lawrence.
- Oscar-winning actor and longtime Cowboys fan Denzel Washington and his son, HBO's Ballers actor John David Washington, visited training camp for the second straight year. Denzel Washington spoke to the team after practice. Also in attendance was Gossip Girl actor Chace Crawford.
- Lawrence Okoye appeared to injure his elbow during the full-team portion of practice. After consulting with team athletic trainers, he didn't leave the practice field – but he did not re-enter drills for the rest of the day.
- Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson returned to practice Saturday after a short absence. Wilson said he had a minor procedure on his right foot, and he was sporting a walking boot on the practice fields.
Anthony Brown –The rookie cornerback did not allow a completion in four one-on-one reps, including a pass breakup against Cole Beasley working from the slot. Minutes later he won his rep in the compete period.
Brice Butler –The fourth-year receiver's comfort level with the offense seems to grow as camp continues. He caught multiple passes in various drills, including a touchdown from Dak Prescott in seven-on-seven work.
Morris Claiborne –It only seems fair to keep acknowledging Claiborne's strong camp as long as he can keep up the momentum. He's not going to win every single rep, especially not in 1-on-1 drills. Dez Bryant once again beat him on a back shoulder fade. But overall, Claiborne continues to excel. He flew around the field in full-team drills, including a jumping interception of Tony Romo on a long ball.
Play of the Day
Dez Bryant gets all the credit, but Cole Beasley showed off some pretty fantastic hands of his own on Saturday evening. In the full-team portion of practice, Beasley lined up in the slot, opposite Anthony Brown – and proceeded to put the rookie in his dust. With no help over the top, Tony Romo saw Beasley breaking down the seam and lofted him a pass right near the end line. Beasley didn't have much real estate to work with, but he reached overhead to bring down a fingertip catch – and he tapped both feet down in the end zone for six points.
Video of the play:
Unofficial Injury Report
CB Orlando Scandrick (rest)
CB Brandon Carr (rest)
OT Doug Free (rest)
DT Cedric Thornton (illness)
WR Devin Street (back)
LB Andrew Gachkar (thumb)
DT Tyrone Crawford (back)
DT Terrell McClain (toe)
QB Kellen Moore (fibula)
LB Kyle Wilber (back)
DT Maliek Collins (foot; Active/PUP)
DE Benson Mayowa (knee; Active/PUP)
RB Darren McFadden (elbow; Active/NFI)
RB Lance Dunbar (knee; Active/PUP)
LB Jaylon Smith (knee; Active/NFI)
LB Damien Wilson (eye; Active/NFI)
TE James Hanna (knee; Active/PUP)
DE Lawrence Okoye (elbow)
Returned to Practice
OT Tyron Smith
LB Sean Lee
S Barry Church
Aug. 2 – Signed LB James Morris (Iowa).
Aug. 3 – Signed DE Gerald Dixon (South Carolina); waived/injured OT Darryl Baldwin and S Rolan Milligan.
Sunday, August 7
TBD Coach Garrett press conference
2:30 p.m. (PDT) Blue/White Scrimmage
Monday, August 8
Players day off
Tuesday, August 9
12:15 p.m. (PDT) Coach Garrett press conference
3:45 p.m. (PDT) Practice