OXNARD, Calif. -- A busy-filled return to practice for the Cowboys on Sunday featured two fights, an ejection and a solid day from wide receiver Terrance Williams in his return to practice.
Running back Phillip Tanner got into a scrap with linebacker Taylor Reed in which punches were thrown. Reed lost his helmet in the process. This is the second fight in training camp involving a running back -- Lance Dunbar stepped into the ring last week. Also, guard David Arkin and Jabari Fletcher slap-boxed for about 10 seconds.
In a strange play, cornerback Orlando Scandrick tried to make a tackle along the sidelines and pushed the head linesman out of the way. A flag was thrown and the head linesman said after practice if this were a game, Scandrick would have been ejected. Scandrick said he wasn't trying to touch the referee. Out of frustration he took himself out of practice and had a brief talk with defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin as he went to the sidelines. With Scandrick out, Sterling Moore took over.
Do you want to know why James Hanna is ahead of Gavin Escobar on the depth chart at tight end? On a tight end screen, Hanna made the catch and read his blocks well to get downfield and out ran Sean Lee to the end zone. Hanna also made a tough sideline catch on a back-shoulder fade. On several run plays, Hanna did a nice job holding the block to allow the runner to hit the hole or go off the edge. Escobar is a good pass-catching tight end and looked good in seven-on-seven and team drills, but he needs to work on his blocking to get more snaps.
Coach Jason Garrett talks about coming back from adversity, and wide receiver Tim Benford showed the head coach something. He dropped a pass over the middle after taking a hit in the back from safety Danny McCray. But Benford made two tough catches later in practice, including a leaping catch with a defender behind him.
Defensive end George Selvie had a good practice against the first-team offense with a sack and a quarterback pressure. Selvie, who performed well in the Hall of Fame Game, struggled in the second preseason game.
Safety Barry Church produced a strong practice with an interception on a deep pass. He could have blown up another play with a hard hit on the tight end.
In a hard-hitting practice, running back DeMarco Murray was the aggressor on several run plays. Instead of waiting for the contact, he lowered the shoulder -- and sometimes his helmet -- and ran into defenders.