Cowboy Clips: Day 3

Former Oklahoma State tight end and first-round NFL Draft choice Brandon Pettigrew is outside Detroit participating in his first NFL training camp and drawing good reviews when he isn't hung up with a bad hamstring. Back in Stillwater , the question is not who will pick up where Pettigrew left off but who will get the chore of moving into his old job at tight end?

Tight end has been a major offensive weapon for the Cowboys and is also relied upon as a major blocking force in the run game.

"Jamal (Mosley) will be the front runner, but Wilson (Youman) has grown up some and has changed his body," said Gundy of the tight ends. "He still needs to become more physical and he's still figuring out it's a tough, tough game out there.

"(Justin) Horton has made some plays and is coming along. Cooper Bassett is not as far a long as some of the other guys and he'll give us something in a third-team role as a third tight end, as a backside tight end in short yardage."

Scrimmages will serve as a telling tale for the tight end especially in blocking for the running game and even in pass protection which the Cowboys sometime ask the tight end to help with.

Last year's Ray Guy Award winner Matt Fodge was fairly consistent with his punts. They had a classic style, good height and hang time. It was a major reason the Cowboys net punt was so strong as the coverage had a chance to get down the field.

They could get down there again this season, but the punts from Quinn Sharp will look different. If Sharp was a pitcher you might say he is throwing a rise ball similar to a softball fast pitch hurler like Cat Osterman or Jenny Finch. His punts start out line drive and then rise up in mid flight.

"Sometimes, I tend to drop the ball lower and it will shoot up as it goes," said Sharp. "Every now and then I will have a line drive, but some of them do shoot up as they are going up because they kind of catch and nose will lift up a little bit and it will hang for awhile."

It's a unique punt and one that could give punt returners some trouble catching.

The Cowboys have a quick turnaround for practice coming off the field Friday evening at 7:15 p.m. and being back on the field for pre-practice drills around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Gundy said he expected the usual suspects, Zac Robinson, Andre Sexton, and Perrish Cox to be exhuberant and ready to go, but he has been strong on the freshmen class and he complimented the new pair from Tulsa Union.

"I'm really impressed with the two kids (Jeremy Smith and Tracy Moore) from Union and the way they are practicing," said Gundy. "We haven't hit them, really. I thought they would be a ways off, but they are doing well. It's early. The freshman class, the linebackers have done a nice job. Hopefully they will hold up."

WELCOME HARLAN, GOOD-BYE CREGG He was there barely long enough to get noticed but freshman walk-on offensive lineman Clark Cregg out of Plano (East), Texas, left after day one citing back pain. The way it works in preseason camp where you are allowed to have 105 players suited up and working, if one leaves then you replace them.

Apparently number 106 was in the special teams area as redshirt freshman kicker Wes Harlan was welcomed back. Harlan is out of Houston (Langham Creek), Texas, and is also a candidate to work into holding responsibliity on placements.

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