IRVING, Texas – Members of the media aren't allowed back into Organized Team Activities until next week, but I've been asking around the facility here at Valley Ranch. Here are some Thursday thoughts from the Cowboys' final OTA of this second week of practice.
- I've been hearing that Bruce Carter has been doing a much better job of playing in coverage. I was told that he is playing with more confidence and looks comfortable. In Thursday practice, while in a red zone period, he knocked the ball away from Lance Dunbar on an underneath route and had an interception against Brandon Weeden during 7-on-7 when he played in front of Jason Witten along the goal line, stepping outside to make the play.
- In going back through my notes from Monday's practice, I told you about how these guards like Mackenzy Bernadeau, Tyronne Green and Brian Clarke have all taken snaps at center, as well. I would not be one bit surprised, with how quickly Zack Martin is picking up things at right guard, that he might also try a little position flex and take a rep or two. I really do like what Bill Callahan and Frank Pollack do in practice, having these players work all along the line at different spots. This is the time of year that you can see how those combinations work without getting ready for a game.
- When tackle Darrion Weems works his way back into practice, he will most likely see action on the left side with Jermey Parnell on the right. Parnell has lined up mainly on the left side so far, but the right is his more natural position. Weems is not as strong as Parnell, but he plays with much better feet so that's a better fit for him. Weems has missed five practices, so his return is vital in his attempt to put himself in position to be that swing tackle. From the practices I have been able to study, Parnell has done a much better job of getting himself ready to play where as in 2013, I didn't feel like that was the case.
- I wrote earlier about how the offensive line is shuffling its players for different combinations to take a look. Jerome Henderson and Joe Baker are doing the same with the corners. Morris Claiborne is taking every third rep with the first defense while Orlando Scandrick takes the other two. There have been some snaps where Claiborne and Scandrick have been on the field at the same time other than in the nickel, giving Brandon Carr a rest. The reason that these coaches can get away with this is that Scandrick, by playing in the slot, is used to lining up on either side. The other two cornerbacks in the rotation have been Sterling Moore, Tyler Patmon and Dashaun Phillips.