FRISCO, Texas -- Jason Garrett changed up the practice script a little on Wednesday, putting his offense and defense through some conditioning work before their final 11-on-11 segment of practice.
In what was a first to the media during Garrett’s tenure as coach, he had the offense and defense line up on separate fields and simulate a hurry-up offense, driving the full length of the field up and back.
Quarterbacks Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush and Mike White made the calls at the line of scrimmage and the offense ran about six or seven plays before reaching the end zone. On defense, passing game coordinator Kris Richard served as quarterback, throwing passes to assistant coaches or interns.
“Everybody knows conditioning can’t hurt you,” Prescott said. “A lot of games in the NFL, most games in the NFL, are won in the fourth quarter, so the most-conditioned team from Quarter 1 to Quarter 4 wins the game. That’s what it’s about, getting ourselves in that position to win.”
On to more observations:
It was a rough day for the offense. At one point there were three straight drops. Rod Smith wasn’t able to hold on to a Rush pass near the sideline with Damien Wilson closing fast. Then rookie receiver Michael Gallup dropped a shallow crosser, followed by Bo Scarbrough dropping a check-down from White. Perhaps under replay the Scarbrough play would have been viewed as a catch and fumble.
The play of the day for the offense came in the situational work. Rush got out of the pocket with two defenders chasing him and threw deep to Cole Beasley, who got by Jourdan Lewis, for the touchdown. The defensive players say Rush would have been sacked in a game, but Garrett ruled it a touchdown. Beasley, who lined up outside at the snap, did a good job of turning up field once Rush broke containment and Rush was able to make a throw off one leg to the back of the end zone.
Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie both had good moments in team drills. Jones undercut a post route to Gallup from Dak Prescott for a pass breakup that perhaps should have been an interception and followed that up by breaking up another pass to Gallup on the next play. Awuzie made a nice adjustment on a deep ball from Prescott to Gallup at the front pylon and then was in a perfect spot to snuff out a bubble screen.
While he was beat on the touchdown, Lewis had a terrific interception of Rush in seven-on-seven work. While defending an outside receiver, Lewis saw Rush’s throw to Cedrick Wilson down the seam and quickly came off his man to pick off the pass that was a little high to begin with.
Rookie Dalton Schultz was able to break the ankles of fellow rookie, Chris Covington, a linebacker, in seven-on-seven work. Schultz took a hard step to the outside, forcing Covington to overcommit, and came back to the inside for a nice hook up with White.