Camp observations: Cowboys DBs compete

OXNARD, Calif. -- And you thought it never rained in southern California.

A steady rain hit the Cowboys’ practice field Friday and temperatures dipped into the middle 60s.

“We need a bubble,” executive vice president Stephen Jones, who could not remember it raining in any previous camp stop on the West Coast. “That will be our next request for Oxnard.”

The rain did not stop the observations, so on to the notable plays from Day 4 of Cowboys training camp:

** By far the biggest hit of camp came on kick coverage when RB Phillip Tanner knocked out FB Jamize Olawale, sending the rookie’s helmet flying on the loud thud. Olawale appeared woozy as he went to the sideline but did not miss a snap.

** The most surprising knock of the day came when LB Dan Connor knocked RB DeMarco Murray to the ground. Murray flipped the ball away in a little bit of a huff. Connor, who took the first-team snaps in the base defense, had an active day.

** The best route runners are subtle. WR Dez Bryant showed some subtlety with a slight stutter and go that froze CB Orlando Scandrick just enough to create separation for a Tony Romo deep ball.

** One thing to like about the Cowboys defensive backs this year more than in the past -- they are fighting for the ball. If they are beat, they are still in position to poke free or rip away a completion from a wide receiver. CB Brandon Carr made a nice recovery on a double-move from Miles Austin to break up the throw from Romo.

** Dan Bailey missed his first kick of training camp, pushing a 42-yard attempt wide to the right. The snap was low and threw off the timing of the kick. Bailey is 13-of-14 in camp.

** WR Andre Holmes had a slow start to his first practice of camp, fighting the ball on catchable passes and hitting the ground, but he found his stride later with back-to-back catches from QB Kyle Orton. The first was a rope from Orton just over LB Bruce Carter and the second was on a comeback near the sideline.

** The replacement officials made their first appearance at practice and Romo was not pleased with the umpire during the two-minute drill. Attempting to fit a pass in the middle of the field to Austin, the umpire was caught in the action, leading to a tipped ball and a Victor Butler interception to end the first-team offense’s run.

** The first mini-scrum of camp belonged to C Phil Costa and DE Clifton Geathers. It didn’t last long but it ended with Costa losing his helmet.

** LB Aston Whiteside came up with an interception of QB Rudy Carpenter in one-on-one drills, pulling down a tipped pass by Olawale.

** OL David Arkin is taking a ton of snaps and is new to the center spot so he should be cut some slack, but he and Orton had one fumbled exchange.