Wed. Practice Recap: More DE Injury Setbacks; Butler Leaves Early & More

OXNARD, Calif. –Another day, another injury to the defensive line. More specifically, defensive end again, as rookie Taco Charlton sat out with tightness. Word around training camp is Charlton was dealing with some minor back issues. He did spend most of Wednesday's practice in uniform, but he was working on a side field with the associate trainers on the strength cords.

Charlton spoke briefly with the media, but only said "I'm fine" when asked multiple times to describe his injury. He didn't seem to be held out for long, but clearly it was enough to keep him off to the side.

The Cowboys got some good news in that Tyrone Crawford's ankle injury doesn't seem to be too serious, but it might hold him out for a few weeks -- and perhaps most of the preseason.

The Cowboys have both Damontre' Moore and David Irving in practices, but they will be suspended two and four games, respectively, by the NFL.

Charlton, the 28th overall pick in the NFL draft, has received plenty of reps, including in the Thursday preseason opener against the Cardinals.

-- Nick Eatman

Quick Hits

  • The injury news wasn't limited to the defense, unfortunately. Brice Butler skied for a jump ball during a pass skeleton drill early on in practice, and he came down hard with a foot injury. Butler consulted with the Cowboys' athletic training staff for several minutes, and he tried hard to walk the injury off. Ultimately, he walked gingerly off the practice field to the medical tent, and he left practice shortly after that. The severity of the injury remains to be seen, but it's a disappointing setback for a player who has been having a fantastic camp.
  • Ryan Switzer got his first significant football action of training camp on Wednesday, as he eased into the full-team portion of practice as a second-string receiver. Switzer had one of the best plays of the day, when he took a swing pass from Kellen Moore and rocketed around the corner for a sizable gain.
  • Switzer also worked on the field at the same time as Cole Beasley – which was another first for this training camp. It's worth pointing out that Jason Witten sat out for the afternoon, but it was still interesting to see both Beasley and Switzer crisscrossing the formation.
  • With Tyron Smith resting a tight back, the Cowboys rotated Kadeem Edwards and Emmett Cleary at first-team left tackle. Cleary also got some first-team left guard reps rotating with Byron Bell.
  • As he continues to work back into practice, second-year defensive tackle Maliek Collins showed nice explosion in one-on-one pass rush drills to get past All-Pro guard Zack Martin. Martin won the next rep.
  • Defensive end Charles Tapper said he's dealing with some tightness in his hip, unrelated to the back injury that sidelined him last year. The hip began bothering him after the long trip back from Ohio on Hall of Fame weekend.
  • After being rested in Tuesday's practice, Jaylon Smith got first-team reps at middle linebacker with Sean Lee taking a veteran rest day.

Notable Standouts

Stephen Paea –With Cedric Thornton sitting out of practice, Paea got first-team reps, and he did not disappoint. During full-team reps, Paea bullied his way through the line, blowing up the pocket and forcing Dak Prescott to throw incomplete. His best moments came in one-on-one drills, though. Paea faced off against Byron Bell on two-straight repetitions and won dominantly each time. On the first rep, he swiftly blew past the giant guard for an easy win. On the second rep, he simply bowled him over.

Ezekiel Elliott –Elliott always gets a lot of work as a running back, but Wednesday was an exceptional effort. Not only did he get all his first-team running back reps, he also featured heavily in the passing game. Dak Prescott checked down to him for sizable gains throughout the afternoon. On top of that, Elliott motioned out wide on several different occasions, showing off his versatility. In the four-minute drill, Elliott got two passes to help move the offense down to the goal line, then he plowed through the defense on an easy touchdown run.

Uzoma Nwachukwu – A week after catching a touchdown pass in the Hall of Fame Game, the first-year receiver continued to stand out. In team drills Wednesday, with his back pressed to the left sideline, he leaped and came down with a pass from Kellen Moore.

Play of the Day

Starting safety Byron Jones continued his run of takeaways in training camp, this time reacting to a Dak Prescott pass that bounced off Ezekiel Elliott's hands in the middle of the field. Jones snatched the ball for an interception and a potential touchdown return near the goal line.

Unofficial Injury Report:

Missed Practice:

OT Tyron Smith (back)
RB Darren McFadden (rest)
WR Dez Bryant (rest)
LB Sean Lee (rest)
CB Orlando Scandrick (rest)
DT Cedric Thornton (hamstring)
DE Tyrone Crawford (ankle)
CB Marquez White (hamstring)
LB Justin Durant (NFI)
OT Chaz Green (shoulder)
CB Jourdan Lewis (hamstring)
CB Anthony Brown (hamstring)
OG Joe Looney (toe)

Left Practice:

WR Brice Butler (foot)
DE Taco Charlton (back tightness)

Returned to Practice:

LB Jaylon Smith (rest)

Upcoming Schedule

Thurs., Aug. 10

10:45 am (PDT) – Practice

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