IRVING, Texas – Tuesday was the first of three-straight practices as we wrap up the Cowboys' offseason program, so this will be the first of three-straight reports during the week.
Just like last week, I've got several thoughts from what I saw on the practice fields. The Cowboys also made two new additions to their secondary in Isaiah Frey and Dax Swanson. I've got small scouting reports on those two below, as well.
Here's some brief thoughts on Tuesday's work:
- Tip of the cap to Terrance Williams and the type of practice he had on Tuesday. Williams made the play of the day on a beautiful, adjusting catch on a fade from Tony Romo. On the snap, Williams broke hard to his left, which gave him enough room to get past Brandon Carr and up the field. Romo held Byron Jones in the middle of the field and by doing so allowed Williams to only have to deal with Carr one-on-one. Romo put the ball in a position where all Williams had to do was extend his hands to make the catch over the top of Carr, who had lost the ball. Williams came down with the ball and both feet in bounds just inside the pylon for the touchdown.
- For a guy that doesn't get much credit for his pass protection, Alfred Morris saved Kellen Moore from a sack by Jack Crawford during team period. Crawford beat guard Jared Smith right off the snap and was on a path to grab Moore before Morris stepped up and rode him past his quarterback. With the assist, Moore was able to slide to his right and hit Vince Mayle in the middle of the field for a sizeable gain.
- Quick scouting report on newly-signed cornerback Isaiah Frey. I studied games from Tampa Bay in the preseason of 2015. He mainly played in the slot, and he is a physical tackler. Very aware to what is going on around him. Does a nice job of rallying to the ball when he sees the play. I thought he reacted well -- good effort to close on the ball. Frey can be a little tight when he has to change directions, so he is not the smoothest player moving. He will jump routes, but I would not call him a guesser. He's used as a blitzer but not able to get home. Doesn't really play with much of a burst. Speed and quickness are good but not great. Knows how to defend with his off hand. Bigger, thicker build and square. You can tell that he gets the mental side of the game.
- Some good work between Ryan Russell and Tyrone Crawford on a late twist stunt to give Zack Martin and Doug Free some trouble. Russell would have had a clean shot on Romo had he not pulled back, considering that he came untouched. Crawford was able to work quickly up the field and by doing so, it caused Martin to have to carry him inside, which picked Free off. Russell delayed just enough -- which allowed him to come untouched.
- I noticed some solid snaps from Charles Tapper on the right defensive end spot. The majority of Tapper's work has been from the left side, but with Benson Mayowa out with a knee scope, Tapper was in the mix in his spot. Tapper had a tackle for loss on an inside charge in the running game and later put some pressure on Charles Brown to handle him off the edge as a pass rusher. It was the first practice where I really noticed him.
- Another quick scouting report on another newly-signed cornerback, Dax Swanson. I was able to study his tape from New England in the preseason of 2015. He's got a small frame, and he will line up inside and out. He works really hard to not get bullied on the edge. Can be physical in coverage and has the ability to stay with his man. Not the quickest with his footwork but you don't see receivers get away from him. This is a feisty player. Can open his hips, turn then run. Likes to undercut routes. He was beaten over the top in the New Orleans game on a crossing route where he tried to play from underneath. Does a nice job of getting to the ball, but size limits his ability to really tackle. Tends to go low – needs to do a better job of wrapping up when he gets in position.
- I like what Scott Linehan is doing with Ezekiel Elliott by splitting him out of the backfield and putting him in routes. Linehan is creating opportunities for Elliott to get the ball one-on-one in space. On one particular play, Linehan had Elliott come across the formation through traffic but Romo just missed by throwing the ball high and behind him. If Romo gets the ball in front of him, it's a serious gain. From what I have seen so far with Elliott and his hands, Romo is not afraid to throw the ball to him even when he has other options open down the field. We're starting to see some signs of developing trust.
- Dak Prescott hasn't been getting many chances to take snaps, so when he does he has to make it count. The majority of his reps have been opportunities where the pocket has moved. There haven't been a great deal of throws where the ball has been going down the field. His passes have been short and underneath. I have yet to really see him rip one since the veteran players started working with the rookies. Last week, Prescott had a nice completion in the red zone where he showed outstanding touch to get the ball to Darius Jackson on the screen that went for a touchdown. On Tuesday, Prescott had a chance to hit the same screen play to Alfred Morris, but his pass was way too high and up the field. Morris had no chance and Prescott was lucky that the ball wasn't picked off.