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. Thursday was one of the more competitive practices, evident by a wide range of players picked on both sides of the ball.
Lindsay Draper: Today's camp star for me is Terrance Williams. Speaking with wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal after practice, he said Williams "seems to consistently make downfield plays". And boy did he have one down the sideline today that wowed the crowd. The ball went through the defenders hands and Williams laid out falling toward the sideline and made a spectacular grab.
Mickey Spagnola: 'Bout time we hand out some love to the quarterback. If you've been following the scores from home, the wide receivers have received nine nominations going into Thursday's practice. Well, someone has to be throwing them the ball, and the majority of those have come from Dak Prescott. These last two days he's been spot on, hooking up with this bunch of receivers, the majority new, all over the field. Been really good, too, throwing on the run, as he did a couple of times in Thursday's practice.
Nick Eatman: I'm not the first one to pick Chido Awuzie in this space, but he seems like he's always deserving of a selection. He's really locked in right now and seemingly shuts down just about everyone who lines up across from him. Thursday he was swatting away several balls thrown to him. It's getting to the point where he needs to face some of the really good receivers in the league so we can get a better test.
Bryan Broaddus: When you talk about consistency at the running back position, Rod Smith has been that guy. It appears that he has picked up from where he was at the end of the 2017 season from a production standpoint. For a large man, I am always amazed of his ability to play as such a light footed guy. He has been in an out of holes making those cuts that we generally see from a much smaller back. I believe that he's also improved as a pass receiver. I can't recall a practice where I observed a practice where he has miss played a ball. He is giving me confidence he can in fact handle the backup role to Ezekiel Elliott and perform well.
Rob Phillips: Chidobe Awuzie has a friendly competition with Byron Jones over who can get the most interceptions in camp. Awuzie didn't get one today, but he continued to fly around and set the tone for what appears to be an aggressive young secondary. He knocked down a pass in team drills and did a nice job of staying on the receiver's hip and driving on the ball. In one-on-drills, he was able to high-point the ball near the end zone and force an incompletion despite giving up four inches to receiver Mekale McKay.
David Helman:I think Dorance Armstrong has been playing well to this point in camp, but I couldn't say for sure. I don't have access to the tape and it's hard to judge defensive linemen during live action. I didn't have to guess at what I saw Thursday. Jason Garrett called the rookie in front of the entire team to go against a four-year veteran in La'el Collins. Armstrong didn't look like a rookie, as he set Collins up to his outside shoulder, then dipped inside for a sack. It was impressive to see him deliver with everyone watching.
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