A new feature on DallasCowboys.com this training camp is to hand out some Cowboys-themed "gold stars" after each padded practice here in Oxnard. Sunday's scrimmage had plenty of stars on both sides of the ball.
Lindsay Draper: With Chidobe Awuzie having a slightly banged up knee from yesterday's practice, Anthony Brown got the start at cornerback. Brown had one of four interceptions by the Cowboys defense today. He patiently read Dak Prescott's intended pass to Cole Beasley on an out route, and ran it back to the end zone with a very fiery pack of blue jerseys following him all the way.
Mickey Spagnola: So many to choose from after Sunday's Blue-White practice. Today's Star could be Tavon Austin or Anthony Brown or Rico Gathers or Leighton Vander Esch or even Geoff Swain. But me, I'm going to Antwaun Woods, the first-year defensive nose tackle who has been playing so well, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli moved him up to first team in place of Jihad Ward. Even head coach Jason Garrett said before the afternoon practice of Woods, "He's showing up." And Woods continued his assault in the middle Sunday, making two stops of Ezekiel Elliott on the first two plays of team, and continued to be a menace to the offense in the middle – to the point I saw him doubled- or tripled-team at one point toward the latter part of practice. Let's see if he can sustain this type of play.
Rob Phillips:When you make the most spectacular catch in training camp, you deserve some recognition. Tavon Austin showed two things on his touchdown catch from Cooper Rush: terrific speed to separate, then outstanding recognition and coordination to pluck the ball off Charvarius Ward's helmet. Austin and Cole Beasley have gotten reps at the outside receiver spots, but jump-ball situations can be challenging given their 5-8 frames. Not this time for Austin.
Nick Eatman: It didn't matter if the defense was bringing guys to the ground or not, Ezekiel Elliott was ripping off a few big runs early in the team period. Those guys in the blue jerseys could've been trying to tackle them if they wanted to and it wasn't happening. The holes were so big and Zeke was scooting through them so fast that the defense couldn't even get a hand on him. He's a problem for defenses, whether they get to tackle or him or not.
Bryan Broaddus: Nice day for Rico Gathers catching the ball. Gathers worked himself free two separate times for scores. His first one came on a scramble of Dak Prescott as he mirrored Prescott moving to his left and presented himself as a target. His second one came on an out and up working against Kavon Frazier where Cooper Rush found him again in the back of the end zone. Both times, his athletic ability really stood out.
David Helman:Don't overthink this one. Tavon Austin did all of the things that make him an intriguing weapon in one practice. He took an end around from Dak Prescott up the field for 12 yards, he caught a slant over the middle of the field and he followed that up with a leaping, deep ball touchdown. Austin continues to showcase his athletic ability on a variety of levels.
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