Cowboys Practice Notebook: Day 7

While some of the receivers are looking better than they did a year ago after an offseason with Rob Glass and his staff, inside receivers coach Jason Ray has made a dramatic change in his diet and continued working out. The svelt and bearded Cowboys assistant gave Oklahoma State Athletic Media Relations his opinion on which receivers have been practicing well so far during camp.

"You know, I think Jhajuan [Seales] is doing really well, David Glidden is doing really well, and Brandon Shepard," Ray said refraining from the the newcomers. "It's just a number of guys that I could go down on a list who continue to get better.

"We preach to that group that they have to continue to get better every single day and give us great effort, enthusiasm and body language. If they can do those things and beat the heat, then the heat's not even a factor. From a separation standpoint, I think everybody has been pretty steady and has steadily been getting better. We look at it as a group effort and a group unit getting better, and I think they've all made progress in that way."

Of the newcomers, it has been reported over and over that James Washington has played really well in camp. As for what he would like to see improve, really simple, catch the ball more consistently.

"From the receiving core, just continuing to catch the ball consistently and make sure we make those tough catches," Ray added. "Right now, it's easy for us to catch the ball when there isn't anybody draped on us, but we've got to make those tough catches and make those catches that we call '50-50 balls,' where you're going up against a defender and you've got to come down with it."

Saturday's scrimmage will be a big day for the battles between the receivers and the secondary and making the bid on those 50/50 balls, while the quarterbacks will be trying to avoid throwing 50/50 passes.

2016 Runners Make the Cowboys Practice Scene
Two of the top Oklahoma high school running back prospects for the 2016 recruiting class were at Thursday morning's practice.

Tulsa Union standout Tyler Adkins was joined by 2016 quarterback prospect Brandon Burch. Burch has to battle an incumbent starter this season, but Adkins should be the bell cow running back for the Redskins coming off a season where he rushed for 1,340 yards and 20 touchdowns on 195 carries. Adkins is a 5-10, 180-pounder.

Tulsa Washington running back Justic Hill was also in Stillwater. Hill is one of the faster players in the state with a 4.4 time in the forty and last season the 5-10, 185-pound runner covered 776 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Hornets. He also caught 10 passes for 150 yards.

Lots of Black and Blue with a Little Green
The NFL scouts were allowed to watch OSU's practice for a third straight day. The Chicago Bears were back for the third straight day and they were joined by division rivals in the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. There was also a scout there from the Oakland Raiders.

Differing Viewpoints
The officials with the Advocare Cowboys Classic arranged a teleconference Thursday to promote the season-opening game at AT&T Stadium between the Cowboys and the defending national champion and top ranked Florida State Seminoles.

There is concern with the host Dallas Cowboys about ticket sales as just over 40,000 tickets have been sold for the game. Ticket prices have been dropped for selected seat locations and they are making a major push to sell tickets in the Dallas area, Oklahoma, and Florida.

The questions for both coaches were wide ranging, but one of the more interesting ones they were both asked they differed on. The question was whether each coach preferred home and home arrangements for season opening games or the new made-for-television matchmaking games at neutral sites.

"Me personally, I would rather play home games," Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy said. "There is always give and take. If you are going to play one of your larger schools then you are trying for a home and home and you are not going to get a two-for-one.

"I lean toward home and home because I hate to take a home game away from our students, our team, and our fans. There are a lot of ways to look at it. There are a lot of dollars to be made with these games and sometimes decisions are made in that area and not necessarily what the coaches think or want to do."

"I like how these (made-for-TV) games are set up," Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "I think it gives your kids a different place to go to and different atmosphere and environment. It gets the schools in a different place and areas they haven't been in.

"It is also kind of like a playoff or bowl game and the more you can put yourself in those situations then the better you should be when the come up again."

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