Another day, another scuffleat Dallas Cowboys training camp.
It came as no surprise to see undrafted offensive lineman Dan Skipper in the middle of it. Skipper hasn’t ingratiated himself with the defensive linemen, doing things such as falling on their legs to irk them. This time, Skipper and Damontre Moore got into a brief scuffle.
Outside of that, coach Jason Garrett praised the team for a solid day of work. But they are clearly ready to go against another team and get that opportunity Thursday in the Hall of Fame game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Five takeaways from Tuesday’s practice:
1. The Cowboys worked on short yardage and goal-line drills, and the offense won those drills handily. In goal-line, the offense scored on six of eight reps. Dak Prescott and Jason Witten hooked up for a score. Darren McFadden took one in. Rod Smith burst into the end zone after Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli implored the defense to make a stop. As Garrett said, “We had some situations in short yardage and goal line where the offense got after the defense. And the defense has to respond to those situations. ... You don’t have a lot of goal line situations throughout the year, but when you have them, they’re big. They’re critical to the outcome of the game.”
2. The defense responded at the end of practice. In two-minute drives, the offense had to settle for lengthy field goal attempts all three times. Said Garrett: “The biggest thing you have to do is put what is behind you and leave it behind you and focus on what the task is. I thought our defense did a good job of that today.”
3. It was a good day for the Smith brothers. Jaylon Smith practiced in pads for the fourth time in six opportunities. Smith flashed in a short-yardage situation, making a stop on a close play at the sticks. Smith continues to show he could become an impact player for the Cowboys’ defense. His brother, Rod, looked solid in short-yardage drills too. Rod has moved up the running back depth chart and should get plenty of work during Thursday’s Hall of Fame game.
4. With Tyron Smith nursing a back injury, Emmett Cleary has worked at left tackle with the first-team. Cleary spent much of last season on the Cowboys’ active roster as the swing tackle with Chaz Green sidelined by injuries. Cleary started the season finale at left tackle, and has seemingly handled the work well early in training camp. Cleary won his ‘compete’ drill against Charles Tapper on Tuesday, and will get plenty of reps to prove himself during Thursday’s game. Cleary is by no means a lock to make the roster, but he will have opportunities to show he deserves a spot on this team.
5. In the first ‘compete’ period of practice, the offense got the better of the defense. Rookie wide receiver Noah Brown ran a nice route to beat Leon McFadden, and veteran running back Alfred Morris got the better of linebacker Darnell Leslie. But safety Xavier Woods won his contest by batting the ball away from tight end Connor Hamlett. That’s the first memorable moment for Woods, a sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech.
Quote of the day
“I’m in good shape ... with my time. Let’s put it like that.” — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on his Hall of Fame speech
DT Maliek Collins (hip flexor): Day to day.
LT Tyron Smith (back): Day to day.
OL Chaz Green (shoulder): Out a couple of weeks after Sunday injury.
WR Ryan Switzer (hamstring): Expected to be ready after HOF game.
CB Jourdan Lewis (hamstring): Day to day.
DE David Irving (ankle): Day to day.
LB Justin Durant (Non-football injury): Day to day.