Dallas Cowboys

JUST CHILL: 10 Thoughts from Sunday’s Cowboys practice, scrimmage

1. Vice President Stephen Jones said he almost had a heart attack watchimng quarterback Tony Romo slide into the fence trying to chase down safety Barry Church following a Joseph Randle fumble at the goal line.

“It doesn’t make me comfortable. It doesn’t make anybody comfortable,” Jones said.

Said Church: “I definitely would have scooped and scored, there was no way in hell Romo was going to catch me over there.”

2. Joseph Randle’s dive over the goal line was ruled a touchdown. But it was a chance he and the Cowboys don’t want to take. Goal line plays are crucial. He must take care of the football. That is the biggest concern about this running back position following the departure DeMarco Murray. Who can they trust on short yardage and on the goal line? Randle is the guy who will get the carries. He will have to earn their trust.

3. If you don’t know it by now you haven’t been paying attention. But Cole Beasley is going to be a big part of the Cowboys offense. His package and route tree out of the slot is being expanded. He caught three passes in the 2-minute offense, including a touchdown grab from Tony Romo.

4. Safety Barry Church had a nice pass deflection on a pass from Romo to Gavin Escobar on the goal line. He was another example of the defense stepping up after getting embarrassed on Saturday.

5. Ron Leary has done nothing to lose his job at left guard. But he is now sidelined with a back injury, allowing heralded rookie free agent La’el Collins to get some run with the first team. Collins is improving every day and getting more comfortable. He has a ways to go to beat out Leary. But he could make a move over the next week or so.

6. Rookie cornerback Byron Jones will get a lot of time at cornerback with Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Tyler Patmon all sidelined with injuries. He is running with the starters opposite Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys love Jones’ size at cornerback but they also like his versatility. During the scrimmage he got reps at cornerback and safety on back-to-back plays

7. The battle between Dustin Vaughn and Jameill Showers for third quarterback or practice squad quarterback is heating up. Showers took reps before Vaughn in the practice but Vaughn got all the reps with the young players during the scrimmage. “We just wanted to make sure each of those guys got work,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We wanted to give them work in different situations. Showers has done a nice job. I think he’s moving around better. I think he’s understanding the system better. He’s getting the ball out of his hands better. We want to make sure we give him chances to continue to grow.

8. Linebacker Sean Lee was a full go in practice for the first time and it certainly made a huge difference in the intensity level on defense. Watching Lee on the blitz is a beautiful thing. He identifies things so well. He shot through the line and chased Joseph Randle into a tackle.

9. It was Lee who got after the referees for calling Randles fumble at the goal line a touchdown. “I said, ‘Next time let us know how much the offense is paying you because I’ll help bring a little more to the table,’” Lee said. “Joking. They’re great. They do a great job. It was just in fun.”

10. Two other highlights were an interception by linebacker Andrew Gachkar on a tipped pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden and 53-yard field goal Dan Bailey to end practice. Bailey has been perfect on all but two tries since the start of camp.

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