With one practice left, Cowboys have home in their sights

Barry Church and the Cowboys are ready to get back home to Texas after spending much of the last month in Oxnard, California. Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

OXNARD, Calif. -- After 30 days in California, the Dallas Cowboys can finally see home.

The movers boxed up the team’s weight room equipment on Wednesday, and other equipment has been shipped back to the club’s Valley Ranch facility.

On Thursday, the Cowboys were in full pads for the 15th time since the start of training camp. They have had only two practices in shells. The Cowboys will hold their final practice in Oxnard, California, on Thursday, with only a walkthrough scheduled for Friday before they board a plane for home.

“I ain’t gonna lie, I’m ready to get the hell out of here and start this regular season going,” safety Barry Church said. “But we’ve got Minnesota first (on Saturday) and then Houston at the end and then we can start the regular season. But I’m ready to go home.”

On to the observations:

  • A day after being held out of one-on-one work on Tuesday, Dez Bryant was able to get two snaps on Wednesday. He scored touchdowns on both plays. First he made an acrobatic grab of a back-shoulder throw from Tony Romo while covered by Brandon Carr and he scored on a similar throw while defended by Robert Steeples. Bryant also was more involved in team drills. Unofficially, Bryant was involved in 10 11-on-11 snaps Wednesday after going through a handful Tuesday as he makes his return from a hamstring strain suffered on Aug. 6. Bryant did not have a catch in any of the team drills.

  • For the second straight day the first-team defense got the best of the first-team offense. At one point Romo was sacked on three straight snaps. Right guard Zack Martin was the only starting offensive linemen not to take part in practice. Nick Hayden, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory had would-be sacks of Romo. Later Greg Hardy had a would-be sack of Romo. On that play he completed a crossing pass to A.J. Jenkins that set up a Dan Bailey field goal attempt in situational work. Romo was 7 of 11 in team drills on Thursday. He was at his sharpest in the final session of practice against the scout-team defense, connecting on all five passes.

  • Darren McFadden returned to team drills on Wednesday. He was limited the previous day because of a sore neck. While he appeared to struggle in pass protection, he had his best run of camp, taking a Dustin Vaughan handoff to his left and bursting through the line for a big gain. The run earned him some dap from Garrett.

  • Jenkins continued his strong play of late, catching a Romo touchdown pass in the compete period after getting by Corey White. Church gave the defense a win on his snap against Escobar with good coverage that did not allow Romo a throwing angle.

  • It wasn’t good to be rookie defensive end Ryan Russell. He jumped offside in team drills and was smothered by Sean Lee and Church with expletives.

  • Undrafted rookie receiver Antwan Goodley had his first “wow” moment of camp with a diving grab on a go route from Vaughan. His development has been hurt by a hamstring strain but he has been working more in practice the last two weeks.