Midnight Cowboys: Practice Sideline Report

What's the scoop on Rolando? ... How desperate is the Dallas D? ... Who was up and down at Monday's workout? ... Who wants to hear Jerry tell an off-color joke? ... We've got it all in 'Midnight Cowboys: The Practice Sideline Report':



- BRENT'S PROGRESS: It is no secret around the Dallas Cowboys: Josh Brent will be welcomed back with open arms.

Brent will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday and the Cowboys would create a roster spot for him, team owner Jerry Jones said Monday.

"Yes, yes we will,'' Jones said.

Brent retired in 2013 and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation in January after he was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the December 2012 crash that killed friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr. He has served his time and maintained a relationship with the Cowboys, who support him but are not pushing the commissioner for a decision.

“Good judgment tells you, let this happen on the commissioner’s time,” Jones said. “I don’t want to be presumptuous. ... I wouldn’t dare ask him to hurry up his judgment in that area.”

- COWBOYS CRUNCHTIME VIDEOCAST: At today's practice, Dallas was missing 14 defensive players. 14; not including Sean Lee. Will this madness ever stop?

Dont forget to check out the premiere edition of the Video Notebook: Young Guns To Keep An Eye On



- SLOPPY STUFF: Monday's practice was pretty sloppy. Dropped balls, bad passes, you name it. After a pretty productive scrimmage the day before, maybe the team was exhausted. Or maybe they're just ready to go against guys other than each other.

Which they will get to do in preseason Game 1 at San Diego on Thursday.

- THE INJURY SCOOP: DE George Selvie (groin), CB Mo Claiborne (knee) and S Barry Church (ankle) were among the 14 defensive guys who didn't go Monday.

But one other guy is an oddity.

LB Rolando McClain (hamstring/knee) left practice early and went to the med tent. Our understanding is that he was informed that his leg was fine and that it was up to him whether he should call it a day.

Which he did, returning to his dorm room.

We are insinuating nothing here, but are noting that McClain's level of want-to has been an issue that has haunted him in his pro career.

- WR JUMP OUTS: One of the players who contributed to the team's sloppiness was rookie WR Devin Street. Street has had a very solid camp, but had an off-day on Monday. He had two dropped passes, including one that went right through his hands and bounced off his face mask. Luckily, mistakes like those are not the norm for the talented rookie.

While Street struggled on Monday, such wasn't the case for a couple other WR's. Beasley and Harris had very good practices. Harris had back-to-back TD's in team red zone drills, one with the 1st team offense and one with the 2nd. Later, in team two-minute drills, Beasley beat Scandrick for a 40+ yard touchdown over the middle, causing Scandrick to throw his helmet out of frustration. No. 11 is more than just a one-trick pony.

- HAIL CAESAR: Last week, Caesar Rayford grabbed our attention with a solid practice. The next few practices that followed, he was relatively quiet. However, on Monday, Rayford showed up again. During 1-on-1 drills, Rayford beat John Wetzel and Ronald Patrick on back-to-back plays. For such a big guy, he has some surprising quickness and agility. Still raw but you can see his potential and why the Cowboys like him so much when he has this kind of practice.

- WILBER ON THE RUN: Kyle Wilber impressed coaches today. Showed great pursuit of DeMarco Murray during team drills. Ran from one end of the field to the other to make the stop for a minimal gain. The Cowboys can still put him at DE if they need to, but he's really making a nice name for himself as a LB.

- ROMO ON AND OFF: During the earlier portion of practice, Recently Tony Romo seemed a little off (but so did the rest of the team). Had a few overthrown balls that should've been completions. However, once he got into the team red-zone and two-minute drills, he looked like his usual self. Showed good accuracy on both short and long passes and made some really smart, quick decisions.

Romo won't work on Tuesday and the team travels on Wednesday. He won't play in the Thursday game at San Diego and the team is off again Friday. So, an alarmist headline might scream, "Romo Won't Practice All Week.'' But in context, the plan remains the same.

"I think he's doing a good job,'' COO Stephen Jones said. "He's coming along. He feels good and we feel good about him."

- JERRY JOKE TIME: Apropos of nothing, Jerry Jones told a joke.

"So the boyfriend says to the lady, 'I'm tired of playing second fiddle.' And the lady says, 'Given the size of your instrument, you're lucky to be in the band.'

- 1-ON-1: Tyrone Crawford stuck out on Monday during 1-on-1 work against the O-linemen. Crawford is such a strong guy and has some serious power. He was often able to push his guys back with ease. He seems to play/practice with a chip on his shoulder. One of the nicest guys you can meet in person but on the field, he's as mean as anyone.

When the D-linemen meet their match in 1-on-1 stuff, though? It's usually rookie Zack Martin who is jumping off the page as an athletic blocker.

- ONSIDE KICKS: Former Cowboys TE Jay Novacek and OL Nate Newton were at practice Monday. ... What's DeMarco worth? ... Stephen Jones tells us the Cowboys are in a mad search for CB help - and might even grab one who can play Thursday in San Diego ... From Jason Garrett: "I like the fight that we have. I like the competition. There's a lot of competition all over our roster."

- THE FINAL WORD: "That's one of the best little tit-for-tats that I've seen in 25 years.'' - Jerry Jones on the Dez Bryant/J.J. Wilcox fight on Sunday.



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