Dallas Cowboys

JUST CHILL: 10 Thoughts from Sunday’s Cowboys Practice

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) beats Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) on a short pass play during the Cowboys afternoon practice at their 2015 training camp in Oxnard, California, Sunday, August 2, 2015.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) beats Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) on a short pass play during the Cowboys afternoon practice at their 2015 training camp in Oxnard, California, Sunday, August 2, 2015. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

My thoughts/observtions from Sunday’s workouts

1. Dez Bryant was the talk of practice because of the fight with Tyler Patmon. It must be noted that Patmon threw the first punch. But what shouldn’t be overlooked is that Bryant was having a great day before the meltdown. There was only one time in which a ball from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant hit the ground and that was near the end of practice. Before that they connected on nearly everything in 1-on-1 to 7-on-7 to team drills. Bryant did most of his damage against Brandon Carr after wearing out Orlando Scandrick on Saturday.

2. Bryant is the best receiver on the team. Cole Beasley might be quietly making a move to being the second-best receiver on the team, although he is the nickel slot receiver behind Terrance Williams and Bryant. Beasley is a technician in the slot and he makes it look so easy. He and Orlando Scandrick are having a heck of a battle in the slot. Beasely is certainly the most consistent of the receivers behind Dez Bryant.

3. Speaking of Terrance Williams, he did not have one of his best days on Sunday. Brandon Carr out fought him for an interception from Tony Romo. Carr also had a pass deflection against him. Williams dropped an easy pass on a crossing route and he had a false start, prompting him to get replaced in the lineup and a yell from Tony Romo, “come on, Terrance.”

4. Lance Dunbar may end up being the team’s kickoff returner but he has a long way to go to handle punt returns. He just doesn’t look comfortable back there and is not making good decisions on which balls to catch.

5. Rookie defensive end Randy Gregory is continuing to grow and learn. He got the best of Tyron Smith on a play in 1-on-1 pass-rush drills, prompting a little trash talking from Hall of Famer Charles Haley. He also knocked Darrion Weems off balanced with “his heavy hands” that coach Jason Garrett bragged about during the press conference earlier in the day. Gregory might be slightly built but he has heavy hands and you feel it when he puts them on you. Not a bad trait for a pass rusher.

6. Second-year receiver Devin Street has had a strong start to camp and looks much better than he did as a rookie. He showed up by beating Brandon Carr for a pass from Romo in the compete drill in front of thee team.

7. Rookie cornerback Byron Jones flashed his play-making skills with a leaping interception off backup quarterback Brandon Weeden. He also got in with the starters when the Cowboys went to the dime defense.

8. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli cranked up the intensity Sunday with a cursing tirade throughout practice. The defensive line felt his wrath. It also shows that he has a lot of expectation for that unit which is markedly more talented than the bunch he played with a year ago.

9. Greg Hardy is a proven elite pass rusher but he gets handled regularly by left tackle Tyron Smith. Hardy is an energetic, whirling dervish, especially for a man his size. It is of no matter to Smith, who keeps him at arms length.

10. Rookie guard La’el Collins is just starting to show his stuff now that the pads are on and he can get physical. He buried rookie Ryan Russell on a pass rush drill.

Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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