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. Wednesday's practice was a good balance between the offense and defense, with a few picks going to the wide receivers.
Bryan Broaddus: I have never seen a defensive linemen do a pass rush drill and take a shot at the starting offensive line but DeMarcus Lawrence did just that. He started with Tyron Smith, beat him for a sack off the edge. Then against Connor Williams, he lost the first rep then came back and beat him on the second one breaking him down badly. He lined up wide against Travis Frederick and got pressure off a spin move. He took a little break from Zack Martin and then picked back up with La'el Collins getting him on another spin move. Collins was able to rally by sitting down on him in the final rep.
Rob Phillips: Rookie wide receiver Michael Gallup dropped multiple passes in practice this past Sunday, but the rookie receiver has been much more efficient since the players' day off. On Wednesday, he caught just about everything in sight. I spoke to him after that rough practice Sunday and he said he's just got to focus on finishing the play, because he's in position to do something with the ball after the catch. Receivers coach Sanjay Lal says Gallup is a naturally fluid and explosive receiver, and we saw that Wednesday.
David Helman: People love to dog on Terrance Williams, so let me take the time to give the man some credit. Williams eased back into the first-team offense on Wednesday while Allen Hurns sat out, and he played well. He made several nice catches, but none was better than when he broke away from coverage while Dak Prescott was scrambling and hauled in a one-handed, falling down catch for a chunk gain. It was arguably the best catch of camp so far.
Lindsay Draper: Star of the day for me was Tavon Austin. Not only did he have a couple of big catches, he just stuck out in a day where there were seemingly a handful of drops. It was rare for the offense to have a ton of catches in sequence, because of a strong defensive presence. But with Austin, he delivered when his name was called. Hey, maybe the speed caught my attention, too.
Mickey Spagnola: So this just might have been a little reminder, hey, I'm still here, compliments of Terrance Williams. As he slowly inches his way back into practice following off-season surgery to repair his fractured fifth-metatarsal, Williams is getting more and more snaps. And with Allen Hurns getting a day off with some tightness in his legs, T-Will got a few snaps with the first team early in practice. He made a wonderful, one-handed catch going across the field and then later another catch in a four-receiver set. He sure seems determined to me.
Nick Eatman: While I did see a great catch today from Terrance Williams, the guy I liked on a few plays was linebacker Joe Thomas. The veteran has been one of the those under-the-radar acquisitions this offseason but with Sean Lee sitting out of these early practices, Thomas is getting all of the first-team reps at weakside linebacker. He also showed up big time in the 7-on-7 passing drills, covering tight ends down the field and getting his hands on the ball several times for breakups.
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