OXNARD, Calif. – A few notes from the Friday morning walkthrough, highlighted by the return of a player Cowboys fans should be familiar with from last season.
- The pro scouting staff worked out three players this morning with one of them being former team member Keith Smith, who was signed shortly after lunch. In having the opportunity to watch the workout, Smith is in good condition and his movement skills were similar to how he looked while he was last with the team. What you worry about when you bring players in off the street is their level of conditioning, and in this case it appears that Will McClay and the staff have found a player that is ready to plug in and go to work with.
- When we usually talk about blitz pickup for the running backs, Lance Dunbar is not the name most used, but to his credit, he had two pickups in the morning practice that were textbook. One was during team period against Sean Lee that allowed Tony Romo to have an extra second to get rid of the ball. The second was versus a double "Guts" blitz where Anthony Hitchens tried to fold behind Lee, and Dunbar was right there to stick his face right in his chest. On both reps - Dunbar was right where he needed to be to handle the pressure.
- Greg Hardy managed to battle through some cartilage soreness in his ribs and practice without much difficulty. His explosive was there and there were a snap or two where he tried to use a spin move on Tyron Smith while working up the field. It was the first time in this camp that I also noticed where he played inside as a nickel tackle. Normally he is paired with Randy Gregory on the right side, but in this particular snap he was to the side of DeMarcus Lawrence and came off with some nice push.
- Catch of the morning practice had to come from Dez Bryant out of the slot while working against Morris Claiborne. Bryant was working hard to the inside with Claiborne trying to cut him off. Once Bryant felt Claiborne move inside, he broke to the sidelines. Claiborne adjusted his hips and managed to rally to the sidelines. Romo threw the ball in the only spot that he had a chance to complete it -- high. Bryant went vertical with Claiborne underneath, careful not to get tangled up. Bryant snatched the ball out of the air and landing with both feet in bounds.