OXNARD, Calif. – Tony Romo knows what rookie Dak Prescott is about to experience Saturday night against the Rams: his first opportunity to lead an NFL huddle in game action.
Romo's preseason debut in 2003 against the Cardinals certainly wasn't perfect. Driving the offense in the fourth quarter, he tried a shovel pass that bounced off an official and got intercepted.
"I can remember (Bill) Parcells meeting me at about the 30-yard line on the field when I made a mistake," Romo said. "I don't think he liked that at the time."
Romo probably won't play much in his 14th preseason opener. Prescott and Jameill Showers are likely to get the bulk of the work with Kellen Moore (fractured fibula) injured. Romo has seen both young quarterbacks improve with the increased practice reps they've gotten over the last week.
"I think you guys can tell that they're getting better," he said. "Now we've got to see them with the lights on. I'm excited for them to go out there and play. If they can continue to keep getting better like they are, they've both got a bright future.
"Anytime you can pass on your knowledge and help, especially good people – guys that you see a little of yourself in with the work ethic – you're excited to see them succeed and compete. I want them to be successful. The hope and goal is to one day to pass that on and to let these guys run off and play, Kellen included."
Prescott said he's already learned plenty from Romo -- through advice and from simply watching him run the offense.
"He's like an offensive coordinator behind the center," Prescott said. "He's got a lot of wisdom and experience. It's great being in the same (meeting) room with him."
- Michael Irvin visited training camp with the NFL Network on Wednesday afternoon, stopping to chat with both Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant after practice. Irvin routinely visits with Bryant during training camp, and made note of the fact that the All-Pro receiver is surprisingly entering his seventh season in the NFL. Speaking on the NFL Network, Bryant took time to stop and acknowledge those that doubted he'd have a lasting career. "I think the most beautiful thing about it is – I'm not going to jump too far into it, but I done killed a lot of them doubters," he said. "A lot of them expected me to be out here three, but I'm seven and running."
- For his part, Elliott dutifully told Irvin that he was taking himself "day-by-day" with his lingering hamstring issues. But the rookie offered up a solid quote to Irvin when the Hall of Famer asked him what he visualizes when he thinks about the coming season. "I find myself waking up drooling, seeing all those big holes that will hopefully be there this season," Elliott said. "I've just got to get back healthy, that's what I'm working to do."
- Sean Lee was none too pleased with how easily the first-team defense gave up a touchdown to Alfred Morris during the two-minute drill. Tony Romo moved the offense into the red zone with several timely passes, and then he completely caught the defense off guard with a quick handoff inside to the veteran running back. Morris scored from 10 yards out, prompting a harsh round of criticism from Lee – none of which can be reprinted here.[embeddedad0]
- Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was briefly shaken up in coverage against receiver Terrance Williams in team drills. After a few moments down on the field with team athletic trainers, Hitchens walked off under his own power and eventually returned to practice.
Dez Bryant – He doesn't often get credit for his speed, but Bryant has plenty of it – which he showed Wednesday. According to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, one of his goals for the day was to work on advancing the ball from deep in the offense's own territory. Bryant proved pretty effective at that, as he caught a short crossing route on his own 20-yard line, turned upfield and was gone. Bryant went the distance, not even needing to ward off a tackler in the process.
La'el Collins – The left guard continues to show his strength and athleticism in his second training camp. He stood up defensive lineman Jack Crawford in a one-on-one pass rush drill, and he helped pave the way for a Terrance Williams touchdown in team drills.
Geoff Swaim – As has been noted, Dak Prescott has a clear affinity for Geoff Swaim, and he showed that much at practice. The second-year tight end is Prescott's go-to target on the vast majority of snaps, including two contested catches in the two-minute drill.
Play of the Day
Receiver Terrance Williams made a clever move on a bubble screen in team drills. He faked inside, then with a wave of blockers occupying linebacker Sean Lee and others, he bounced back outside and raced down the left sideline for a 20-yard touchdown.
Unofficial Injury Report
RB Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring)
LB Andrew Gachkar (thumb)
QB Kellen Moore (fibula)
DT Maliek Collins (foot; Active/PUP)
DE Benson Mayowa (knee; Active/PUP)
RB Darren McFadden (elbow; Active/NFI)
RB Lance Dunbar (knee; Active/PUP)
LB Jaylon Smith (knee; Active/NFI)
LB Damien Wilson (eye; Active/NFI)
TE James Hanna (knee; Active/PUP)
Returned to Practice:
QB Tony Romo (rest)
A look at training camp practice through some of our favorite photos from August 10 in Oxnard, California.