OXNARD, Calif. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Dallas Cowboys training camp:
The offense brought it to the defense in team drills, especially in the running game, which has to be concerning. Running backs DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar were able to get through the line unscathed in team run and situational work. Guard Zack Martin flattened safety Barry Church while pulling to give Murray a big gain, drawing oohs and aahs. Dunbar was able to gain the edge against the second-team defense with his speed, racing by cornerback DaShaun Phillips. Ryan Williams took a toss for a long gain, too.
The Cowboys D stuck with a seven-man front against the offense, which might have accounted for some of the big gains, but the line was unable to get off blocks.
One play that Jason Garrett will assuredly show his players was the work of Dez Bryant in team drills. A Tony Romo pass to Bryant was deflected at the line of scrimmage with linebacker Bruce Carter in position for his first interception of training camp. Bryant quickly backtracked, jumped over Carter and flicked the ball away to prevent the turnover. That a player of Bryant's stature made that kind of hustle play will not go unnoticed with the way Garrett likes to use his best players as teaching points.
The defensive line was much better in pass-rush drills. Right tackle Doug Free struggled with power from George Selvie, Dartwan Bush and Caesar Rayford in three reps. Jeremy Mincey was able to put Mackenzy Bernadeau to the ground with a power move. Backup tackle Jermey Parnell did a nice job of handling Tyrone Crawford's power, staying low to absorb Crawford's momentum.
Garrett offered up play-by-play in the one-on-one drills between the receivers and corners. At one point he said the defense was being "bludgeoned." After an Orlando Scandrick pick, he gave the defense two extra points. Passing game coordinator Scott Linehan responded with, "Do we get two points for a touchdown?"
Wide receiver Dwayne Harris suffered a left ankle sprain in one-on-one drills with cornerbacks when he was rolled up by Terrance Mitchell. Mitchell was chastised by Dez Bryant and others for being too aggressive and not staying on his feet. The Cowboys don't believe Harris' injury is serious. Defensive tackle Ben Bass left practice early with a hamstring injury. The Cowboys are down five defensive linemen (Amobi Okoye, Bass, DeMarcus Lawrence, Anthony Spencer and Terrell McClain) and could be forced to sign a reinforcement to ease the load off the rest of the group. Cornerback Sterling Moore and guard Brian Clarke did not practice because of a groin injury. With only five healthy corners, practice was shorter than normal.
The Cowboys are off on Friday and will return to practice on Saturday.