Cowboys wake-up call: Day 4

OXNARD, Calif. – Every day of Dallas Cowboys training camp, we’ll offer up a wake-up call that offers a quick review of the previous day and a preview of the current day.

Today’s schedule: Coming off their first practice in pads, the Cowboys will not have a walk-through this morning with their second full-padded practice scheduled for 3:45 p.m. PT.

More observations from Saturday’s practice:

  • Coach Jason Garrett likes to break up practice with some one-on-one drills between the offense and defense. After the first day in pads, the offense and defense have one win apiece. Orlando Scandrick won his matchup with Dez Bryant in part because the receiver pushed off and should have been called for a penalty. And the pass from Tony Romo was incomplete. The offense got its redemption when left tackle Tyron Smith smothered Jeremy Mincey in a pass-rush drill.

  • Romo completed 7 of 8 passes in seven-on-seven drills, with his only incompletion coming after tight end James Hanna floated too far to his left on a check-down. Romo pump-faked, which drew Hanna a little outside, but the pass went inside.

  • Wide receiver Cole Beasley had a good first day in pads. The defense could not stay with him in the slot. His best catch came after Romo had to throw around linebacker DeVonte Holloman. Beasley was able to adjust and make a diving catch.

What I’m watching: With Romo coming back from his first full practice since back surgery, he will be on this list for a while. How will he recover in Day 2 with pads? If Romo has some soreness, then he will make the call as to how much or how little he practices.

With how emotional Morris Claiborne was early in practice and how drained he was at the end, how will he recover in his second day? Claiborne understands how important this season is to him and came out fired up in one-on-one drills against Terrance Williams. But he expended too much energy and was cramping up by the end of the workout.

A big key to the Cowboys’ success this year will be the pass rush. Where will it come from? The Cowboys do not have a healthy pass-rusher with a double-digit sacks season to their credit. Sometimes the one-on-one pass-rush drills become unrealistic because of the paths the defenders take to the quarterback, but Mincey, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and George Selvie will be under the microscope.

They said it: “Life is about struggling. Life is about getting knocked down. You’ve just got to get back up. These things I’ve been going through, it’s no different than anything else I went through in life from a young age. So it’s just adversity. You learn to fight through it. Help you grow. Become a better man from it. I just learned you’ve got to take it for what it is. It’s a great opportunity. You just think about how many kids from your neighborhood say they’ve got a dream; they want to play in the NFL. I’ve got great God-given ability, football \-wise. I feel like I’ve got another talent, just being able to touch some younger kids with my time away. I realize I like coaching. I like being able to give back to the guys, just being around the university. I feel like I’ve got some knowledge and they want to listen. You want to be that person. You don’t want to be a distraction to any team.” – linebacker Rolando McClain