Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant again flashes midseason form at Cowboys camp

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant hauls in a one-handed touchdown catch Thursday as cornerback Brandon Carr, center, and safety Byron Jones defend.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant hauls in a one-handed touchdown catch Thursday as cornerback Brandon Carr, center, and safety Byron Jones defend. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

1 Dez Bryant stole the show Thursday with a one-handed touchdown grab. He had Brandon Carr playing on his inside and Byron Jones on his outside, but Bryant extended his left arm and came down with Tony Romo’s pass in the back of the end zone. It’s the second one-handed catch Bryant has made this camp, and he appears to be getting closer and closer to returning to his All-Pro form.

 

2 Takeaways were hard to come by for the defense last season, but there are signs of a turnaround. Thursday was a particularly good day in that regard. Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford stripped the ball from Alfred Morris on a running play, and linebacker Kyle Wilber pried the ball from fullback Keith Smith on a screen play. Said coach Jason Garrett: “The defense has done a good job throughout camp, punching the ball out, making plays on the ball. We just have to continue that. My experience has been you play the way you practice. We have to keep emphasizing it as coaches, and it’s got to show up in practice in order to show up in games. I’m excited to see that on Saturday night.”

 

3 The defensive line struggled in the “compete” portion of practice with swing tackle Chaz Green handling Mike McAdoo, and reserve interior guard Joe Looney getting the best of Cedric Thornton. But the D-line showed up in team drills. Crawford had the forced fumble and Thornton batted down a Jameill Showers pass. The D-line hasn’t been as overmatched as people thought coming into camp.

 

4 Don’t expect linebacker Sean Lee to play during Saturday’s game. He didn’t go through team drills on Thursday, and the team only has a walkthrough on Friday. Garrett said Lee is “working through some things.” Lee underwent knee surgery this off-season, but has said multiple times he’s 100 percent. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick also didn’t participate in team drills, and is unlikely to play Saturday.

 

5 Kicker Dan Bailey missed a 40-plus yard field goal on Thursday, but responded a few series later by drilling a field goal. Bailey has had a good camp in Garrett’s mind. Said Garrett: “He hasn’t made every kick, but we put him in a lot of different situations and it really seems like he’s hitting the ball well.”

He said it

“The Irish. I don’t know how many they’re going to win by. They won 38-3 last year, so we’ll give them 38-14 this year.” — Cowboys right guard and Notre Dame product Zack Martin prediction on next month’s Texas-Notre Dame game in Austin

Injury report

QB Kellen Moore: Fractured lower leg, out 3-4 months

LB Andrew Gachkar: Thumb, TBD

DT Maliek Collins: Foot, PUP

RB Lance Dunbar: Knee, PUP

TE James Hanna: Knee, PUP

DE Benson Mayowa: Knee, PUP

RB Darren McFadden: Elbow, non-football injury list (NFI)

LB Jaylon Smith: Knee, NFI

LB Damien Wilson: Eye, NFI

DE Lawrence Okoye: Hamstring, day-to-day

S Jeff Heath: Concussion symptoms, day-to-day

DE Charles Tapper: Back, day-to-day

30 Days until the season opener against the New York Giants, Sept. 11 at 3:25 p.m. on KDFW/4

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