One Step Up, One Step Back — Practice Report, Wednesday Afternoon, August 9th
By Rafael Vela
After two closely spaced full pads workouts the Cowboys took the field sans pads this afternoon. The emphasis was on teaching and timing. Special teams also got extensive work, as the Cowboys practiced blocking an oppositions gunners and later kickoff and punt returns.
With no blocking, the emphasis was on executing multiple packages and pass timing. And the timing was wanting today. All three offensive units looks sloppy. Passes were dropped. Passes were bounced in the dirt. Throws were high. Throws were late.
Parcells opened the passing sessions berating receivers like Sam Hurd who kept slipping on out patterns on the soft turf. The coach told them to get longer cleats to avoid the miscues. By session’s end, the coach grew quiet, folding his hands and fuming while the bad passes piled up. He vented after practice at line coach Tony Sparano. The content was unclear but Parcells was not happy.
– No afternoon T.O. drills. He made a brief appearance near the execise bikes with Jerry Jones but did not resume his morning runs.
– Marcus Spears is close. The injured defense end ran several full speed sprints between the practice fields.
– The offense continued with Monday’s promotions; Jason Fabini continues at RT, Sam Hurd at SE and Tyson Thompson at RB. FS Pat Watkins got lots of reps in the first team nickel defense.
– The Cowboys will play nothing but 4-3 teams this season and Parcells mentioned early on that Al Johnson’s game is better suited to the 4-3, since he works better in space than fellow center Andre Gurode. Yet Gurode has received all the reps with the first team this past week. It will be interesting to see the rotations against Seattle this week. The Seahawks also run a 4-3.