OXNARD, Calif.– The Cowboys continued their 2013 training camp Tuesday evening with an intense practice. This year, Jason Garrett's new schedule gives even more time between the lighter morning walk-through and the afternoon practice.
Each night, DallasCowboys.com will feature the second practice of the day with the big news, the highs and lows and notable standouts.
The Cowboys just can't get through a practice without some kind of injury. The latest setbacks include players expected to battle for a starting job.
Jermey Parnell sat out of Tuesday's full-padded practice with a hamstring strain. Parnell was supposed to compete for the starting right tackle position with Doug Free, who consequently has played well in the first few days of practice.
Matt Johnson, who had three different hamstring injuries last season, sat out most of practice due to cramping. It left the door open for rookie J.J. Wilcox, who had some head-turning plays in the team period, including a vicious hit on running back Phillip Tanner in the open field.
The injuries are alarming because they've been consistent from the start of camp. Tyrone Crawford is out for the season with a torn Achilles injury while Anthony Spencer is headed to Dallas later this week to undergo arthroscopic surgery for a left knee that also has a nagging bone bruise.
- The first padded practice of training camp was the first time to implement a new NFL rule, forcing players to wear both thigh pads and knee pads. Tight end Jason Witten, who appeared to have the thinnest pads possible to keep him light on his feet, said "it's probably been since college or maybe my rookie year (2003) since I've worn them."
- Kicker Dan Bailey said he was told the league isn't forcing the kicking specialists to wear the pads. "That's good news for me. I wasn't sure what the rule was on that, but they told us we're good."
- After the first handful of plays in the team period included two offside penalties and a dropped pass by Dez Bryant, coach Jason Garrett huddled the entire team for a quick meeting, likely drilling the team to stay focused and concentrate on the little things. After that, both sides of the ball came through with big plays, especially in the 1-on-1 drills. Anthony Armstrong and Eric Rogers each had big catches, while cornerback Sterling Moore made two nice plays guarding Terrance Williams.
Doug Free– The spotlight has faded on Free since he took his paycut to remain with the Cowboys. But there's no doubt the team is counting on the veteran to pull his weight this year. Free looked spritely and aggressive during individuals and team workouts, as he held off pressure from Ben Bass and Monte Taylor with relative ease.
Orlando Scandrick– This is a product of three full days of work from Scandrick. In individuals Tuesday, he was one of a select few corners who won the majority of his battles. He shut down Dwayne Harris on multiple occasions and even held his own against Dez Bryant when given the opportunity.
J.J. Wilcox– Definitely the rookie who is making the biggest impact to this early point in camp. Wilcox is getting plenty of work in individuals as a second-string safety. On Tuesday he made the hit of the practice when he laid the wood on Phillip Tanner in the defensive backfield. It brought the team and the crowd to attention.
Play of The Day:
It's been a talking point around this team all offseason that Dez Bryant vs. Morris Claiborne is absolutely must-see action and one of the highlights of any Dallas practice. That maxim held true Tuesday afternoon, when the pair went at each other in one-on-one pass reps.
Bryant took off on a deep route down the left-hand sideline, and Claiborne followed suit with blanket coverage. The two worked their way down toward the goal line, with Claiborne obstructing Bryant's view of the ball.
No matter. Bryant turned himself around and adjusted his body to make a falling catch, despite Claiborne's perfect positioning. The second-year corner looked absolutely exasperated that Bryant still managed to make the catch.
"That's Dez," Claiborne said. "If the ball is near him anywhere and you don't have great enough coverage on him, he's going to catch the ball."
G/C Ryan Cook (conditioning test)
S Matt Johnson (cramps)
OT Jermey Parnell (hamstring)
DE Anthony Spencer (knee)
WR Danny Coale (knee swelling)
TE James Hanna (hamstring)
DE Tyrone Crawford (Achilles)
DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring)
G Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring)
LS L.P. Ladouceur (calf)
G Nate Livings (foot)
WR Lavasier Tuinei (conditioning test)
OT Demetress Bell (conditioning test) [embedded_ad]
Signed T Demetress Bell, QB Alex Tanney and Lavasier Tuinei. Placed G Mackenzy Bernadeau and DT Jay Ratliff on the active/physically unable to perform list and placed the following players on the active/non-football injury list: T Demetress Bell, C/G Ryan Cook, LS Louis-Philippe Ladouceur, G Ronald Leary, G Nate Livings and WR Lavasier Tuinei.
Wednesday, July 24
10:30 a.m. (PDT) Walk-Thru
12:00 p.m. (PDT) Coach Garrett press conference
4:00 p.m. (PDT) Practice
Thursday, July 25