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Scout's Notebook: Swaim's Strong Camp, Rodney Smith Shows Up; More

OXNARD, Calif. – From my perch above the practice fields, here are some of the top notes I took during the Cowboys' Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday afternoon.

  • For those of you that were concerned about the mobility and arm strength of Tony Romo, I hope you had a chance to see the throw he made to Jason Witten during Run/Play Action period. Witten was lined up inline to the left, released and came all the way across the field, ending up between Sean Lee and Byron Jones. Romo play faked to his left and then rolled right with David Irving right in his face. Romo had to go up on one foot to get enough on the ball to fit it inside to Witten and between the two defenders. Witten never broke stride as he was able to adjust his hands belt high to make the reception and then turn up the field.
  • Creative design from Scott Linehan to get Terrance Williams the ball inside the five yard line. Williams lined up wide right and came in motion to create a bunch look with Cole Beasley and Jason Witten. Dez Bryant was lined up tight left and came underneath, running hard to his right. Alfred Morris was the lone back and he sprinted to his right to draw the defense with him. Williams and Witten worked to the left, crossing with Bryant. It appeared that the defense was drawn to the crossing Bryant -- which allowed Williams to sneak behind the coverage and become wide open over the ball. Romo saw what was happening in the development of the route and fired the ball inside for the easy score. Pretty design that was well-executed.
  • Sometimes a player just needs to make a play in camp in order to get him going the rest of the way. During scrimmage portion of the practice, Rodney Smith made that type of a play. Smith hasn't had much success to this point, but a catch on a slant from Jameill Showers was a step in the right direction. Smith was able to separate from Dax Swanson off the line, but Showers delivered the ball so far up the field that it caused Smith to go into full extension to pull it in. It was the first time that I had seen Smith use his body along with his reach in order to secure a pass.
  • While I was broadcasting the scrimmage for, Dak Prescott threw a ball over the middle to Geoff Swaim that I had no idea how he caught it. On the play, Prescott fired a pass in Swaim's direction while he was running up the field from left to right with Jeff Heath in coverage.  Instinctively, Swaim reached his right hand behind him and to the ground. Somehow the ball ended up in his hand and he quickly brought it to his body. It should have resulted in a first down – except, on the play, David Irving had beaten Rod Smith around the corner and Ed Hochuli ruled it a sack. It was the second time in this camp where Dak Prescott threw a pass down the field to Geoff Swaim that ended up being overturned for a sack.
  • David Helman loves when I do this, so this one was for you, T.J. After the scrimmage, I walked over to Dez Bryant as he was playing catch with his son and yelled "Stutter-Go?" He replied with a smile -- "Yes sir." Going back and taking a look at the play, it was an outstanding job by Bryant of selling the route against Brandon Carr. Bryant lined up on the left side and came off the line with some pace. Carr had to respect that, but it wasn't until Bryant went for the stutter that Carr sank his hips. Once Bryant had him in that position, he was able to once again burst up the field, leaving Carr in a trailing position. Romo laid the ball in a perfect position out front of Bryant and away from a driving Barry Church, who was late to the scene helping with Cole Beasley. It was a well-executed route with an outstanding throw against a cornerback that had been giving Dez Bryant fits in these practices.


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