Dallas Cowboys

JUST CHILL: 10 Thoughts from Saturday’s Cowboys practice

1. Quarterback Tony Romo started his 7-on-7 work by missing on four straight passes. One was a drop by Gavin Escobar. Romo bounced back by completing three of his last four passes. The best sight was seeing him playing with kids during a break in practice and then after practice.

2. Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead muffed a punt but fell on it. This was a not a good look after the fumble against the Chargers. If he is going to earn a role on this team, he must care of the football.

3 First-round pick Byron Jones had a good day at cornerback. He had pass deflections against Deontay Greenberry and Terrance Williams.

4. The first-team offensive line in team drills was R.J. Dill at left tackle and John Wetzel at right tackle. That’s because Tyron Smith and Doug Free were out injured and Darrion Weems was given a break from playing so much Thursday. Weems didn’t play well against the Chargers. But he has not been passed on the depth chart at tackle by Dill and Wetzel.

5. Rookie Damien Wilson got a run with the starters at strong side linebacker in practice on Saturday. He had been playing primarily weak side linebacker behind Sean Lee. Wilson had a strong outing in the preseason opener against the Chargers and has seemingly been rewarded with a promotion ahead of Kyle Wilber and Andrew Gachkar.

6. Guard Zach Martin got work at center in practice and could be the primary backup. It’s about game-day flexibility. If the Cowboys take La’el Collins to the game instead of Mackenzy Bernadeau they will need someone to play center if Travis Frederick were injured.

7. Rookie La’el Collins had a strong game against the Chargers by all accounts. He was physical and improved throughout the game. He also made his share of rookie mistakes early. He is not yet pushing Ron Leary for the starting job at left guard. Leary had a very nice game himself to go along with what has been an impressive training camp. He remains with the first team at left guard.

8. Defensive end Greg Hardy has his issues off the field. But he has been everything the Cowboys hoped for and more on the field. During practice Saturday, Hardy helped coach the defensive line techniques in practice. They respect his football IQ.

9. Rookie defensive end Randy Gregory continues to make progress. He used a spin move to get around tackle R. J. Dill in a compete drill in front of teammates.

10. There is still no timetable for the return of receiver Dez Bryant, who has been sidelined since last week with a hamstring injury. He did do some rehab work on the cords on Saturday, but the Cowboys don’t plan to rush him back.

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

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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