Cowboy Football Practice: Day 4 Notes

The Cowboys went through a long special team period during Sunday's practice session. Head coach Mike Gundy had promised that more time would be spent on special teams in the coming practices and he held true to his promise.

On PAT/field goal work Jason Ricks missed his first try of the preseason, but they had to move back to the 45-yard line for him to miss from 52 yards. Ricks hit from PAT range, and also 36, 43, and 47 yards prior to the miss. Backup kicker Dan Bailey was four-for four with two PATs and field goals made from 29 and 30 yards.

Most of the special teams period was spent on the punt game as the first and second punt units got a lot of work on execution and protection. Matt Fodge was outstanding as he had 10 kicks for an average of 48.1 yards per kick. That included two 50-yard punts and two 61-yard punts, virtually all had good hang time and they were in to a decent breeze. Backup punter Cole Reynolds was not shabby as he had eight punts that averaged 42.2 yards per punt. Only one of those was under 4 -yards and Reynolds also had a punt he couldn't get off because of a bad snap.

Freshman Report
It's getting old, but it's not bad. Wide receiver Dez Bryant continues to make impressive catches and plays, and is seeing considerable action with the first team. Offensive linemen Grant Garner at center and Nick Martinez at tackle are seeing some time with the second team offensive line.

Running back Kendall Hunter made some nice plays in Sunday's team periods as he broke lose for good yards on a zone read and later caught a short pass from Bobby Reid that he turned up field for a nice gain.

"Kendall can make you miss," said Gundy. "I'd like to get him in the weight room for a couple of years and he should look physically like Dantrell (Savage)."

Hall of Fame Trip
As mentioned in our practice story, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy wore a blue Thurman Thomas Hall of Fame T-shirt during practice and said he was planning to tell his players about the trip in Sunday night's team meeting. Gundy briefed the media on the trip after practice.

"It was a great time," said Gundy. "I was really excited about going but after I got there, to experience that it wasn't one of those things that I would put in the category of Indy 500 or Kentucky Derby but it was that kind of ceremony. It was really neat, tailgating and everybody wearing the pro jerseys.

"We were able to get backstage and talk with Hall of Famers. I was like a kid in the candy store (getting) to talk with Lynn Swann, Marcus Allen, Troy Aikman and visit with Paul Hornung and Bob Lilly. To me that is a big deal to me. I was kind of starstruck. I had a good conversation with Michael Irvin and Thurman Thomas. It doesn't surprise me that those guys that get enshrined, (that) their speeches are very good. They say the right things because they are good people and hard workers."

Gundy counted and corrected media members that Thurman mentioned Oklahoma State four times in his acceptance speech.

"Four times, I counted," said Gundy. "I had a good conversation with Marv Levy and Thurman introduced me and was really good to us and he introduced me to Jim Kelly and said, 'this was my college quarterback.' Kelly said, 'so you dumped him on me.' I said, 'I really didn't dump him on you.' He said I know that. He was a good guy and it was great to meet him. I'm going to relay it to the team tonight, but I don't know if I can give it justice. I was starstruck for two hours."

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