OXNARD, Calif. – Everything about this training camp has felt accelerated, and that continued Thursday at the Cowboys' morning practice.
In what was just the second padded practice of the summer, the team saw its first training camp fight. It actually saw several different scuffles, to be precise, as the offensive and defensive lines got after each other.
"It was a little spirited – particularly over there in the pass rush drill," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
That's a little bit of an understatement, given that the drill was interrupted on multiple occasions by a full-on scrum, with the Cowboys' entire offensive and defensive lines coming together in shoving matches. At the center of the whole thing was Tyrone Crawford, who said he might have brought too much attitude to the morning session.
"I just came out with maybe a little too much energy today, and I started some stuff I shouldn't have started," Crawford said. "Those are my brothers just like everybody else on this team is my brother. So I can't do that type of stuff."
Crawford took a veteran's rest day on Wednesday, which was the team's first day in pads. He said sitting out of the previous day's work probably contributed to his feistiness on Thursday. The interruptions shortened the pass rush portion of practice, which is something Crawford said he can't allow to happen.
"It's not a good thing, no. It's on me, man – and I took responsibility for our entire D-Line," he said. "We can't do that, we need reps. We need to get better together. At the end of the day we're all family, you know what I'm saying? We can bring that energy somewhere else, but we've got to get the reps in."
At the end of the day, Garrett probably agrees with his veteran pass rusher – he'd much rather have his team working than fighting. But he did allow that he'd rather have too much energy than too little.
"You like that. You'd rather have to dial it back than constantly have to light a fire under your guys," Garrett said. "Our guys are very passionate about football, they love to play and they love to work at it. Sometimes you get across the line, though, and you've got to make sure they dial it back and focus on what they need to focus on – which is the next play."
-- David Helman
- The Cowboys' second padded practice of camp took place in the morning, not in the afternoon like their first three days of work. With Friday being a day off, the players now have a little more time to get off their feet before putting the pads back on Saturday.
- Rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis rejoined the team for practice after a Michigan jury found him not guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence earlier in the week. Lewis did not take part in team drills but did take some punt return reps. "It's good to see him back out there," Garrett said. "He didn't do that much today; he was kind of working his way back into individual drills. We'll get a workout with him here in the next couple of days, and hopefully he'll be able to play practice more fully on Saturday."
- Fourth-round receiver/returner Ryan Switzer appeared to pull his hamstring midway through practice. He walked off the field without a noticeable limp, but he did not return. Garrett said the team was still getting details on the injury after practice.
- Newly-signed running back Ronnie Hillman dressed for practice wearing No. 37, but he did not take any reps.
CB Chidobe Awuzie –The rookie cornerback leaped up for a second interception in as many days near the end of practice. Even though his pick against quarterback Kellen Moore was nullified by a defensive offsides penalty, Awuzie has been active working mostly with the second-team defense. He also had a pass breakup in coverage against tight end Jason Witten.
CB Orlando Scandrick –After getting a veteran rest day Wednesday, Scandrick was productive in his first padded practice of camp. He had tight coverage on a high pass from quarterback Dak Prescott intended for Switzer in one-on-ones, and he broke up a pass to receiver Dez Bryant in the "compete" period.
WR Brice Butler – Butler's strong offseason has continued in the early days of camp. On Thursday he made two acrobatic catches that probably should've been incomplete: one reaching over his head again cornerback Leon McFadden, and other in team drills using his 6-3 frame to stretch out for the ball.
Play of the Day
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said quarterback Prescott hadn't thrown an interception in any of the OTA's this past spring. Well, maybe he was due – and it was second-year cornerback Anthony Brown who broke the streak. With defensive tackle Stephen Paea bringing pressure up the middle, Prescott's pass sailed out of Bryant's range and into Brown's hands, leading to a long return after the pick.
Unofficial Injury Report:
DT Maliek Collins (hip)
QB Zac Dysert (back)
RB Jahad Thomas (hamstring)
LB Jaylon Smith (rest)
DT Joey Ivie
LB Justin Durant (NFI)
DT Richard Ash (PUP)
Returned to Practice:
CB Jourdan Lewis (not injury related)
RB Darren McFadden (rest day)
WR Dez Bryant (rest day)
TE Jason Witten (rest day)
DE Tyrone Crawford (rest day)
LB Sean Lee (rest day)
CB Orlando Scandrick (rest day)
LB Mark Nzeocha (knee)
WR Ryan Switzer (hamstring)
Friday, July 28
No practice; players' day off