Tuesday Mini-camp P.M. Insider

IRVING, Tex. - The Cowboys re-convened for the afternoon practice session after lunch and the traditional media gathering, in the locker room and at Wade Phillips' press conference.

Although the rain had subsided, clouds lingered and the wind (thankfully) blew some cooler air through Valley Ranch, and the team headed to the indoor facility adjacent to the practice fields for the afternoon session.

Water? Protien shake? Single-malt scotch? Margarita? As it turns out, the decision to head inside for the afternoon practice session probably had very little to do with the desire to keep the team from having to work out in any recurring rain, or to keep the water off Wade Phillips' head. Just as the morning session was marked by the appearance of a large tent with tables and chairs, large fans and misters, and catered food, media entering the indoor facility were treated to the appearance of something never seen on the practice field: a table of hors d'ourves and a full bar. Turns out neither spread was for the media … dammit. Owner Jerry Jones had 40 to 50 representatives from sponsorship partner companies (and their families) visiting Valley Ranch, and they were treated to an afternoon of mingling with Jones and other team officials. At one point, the sponsors were escorted by Jones to a better vantage point than the media, which was restricted to the south end zone of the indoor practice field, often meaning the media's view was blocked by players who stood and watched drills.

Catch of the Day: After a fairly highlight-free morning, rookie wide receiver Danny Amendola turned in easily the catch of the day early in the afternoon session. The first-year wideout started in the right slot and ran a crossing route over the middle. Brad Johnson's pass was slightly behind Amendola, who calmly looked over his left shoulder and reached back behind with his right hand, snatching the ball out of the air with one hand and without breaking stride, eliciting howls of approval from his teammates.

Interception of the day: Just moments after Amendola's snag, rookie cornerback Orlando Scandrick dropped into coverage, only to burst forward as Tony Romo threw his pass on a deep our route. Scandrick jumped the route so perfectly Romo's pass hit Scandrick right between the numbers on his jersey. Teammates chased Scandrick down the sideline, lauding him for his effort.

Some oil for the rust, please? Adam "Pacman" Jones was out on the field with his new teammates Tuesday. He did little in the morning session — and was not made available to the media — but got more involved in the afternoon. In coverage, he looked pretty sharp, staying with receivers all over the field, on our routes, deep patterns and over the middle. When he dropped back as one of the team's punt returners, however, it was a different story. Jones dropped at least three punts, letting two slip off his hands and another bouncing off his shoulder pad.

Mano a mano: One of the more enjoyable drills to watch — for media and players alike — is when a defensive lineman goes one-on-one with an offensive lineman in pass rushing drills. Some of the highlights from Tuesday afternoon's battles:

• One of the more impressive blockers in the drill was Cory Proctor, the fourth-year veteran from Montana. Proctor dominated defensive end Marcus Smith, and held his own against defensive tackles Junior Siavii and Tank Johnson.

• Another standout was defensive end Jason Hatcher. In his first round, he blew right past guard Joe Berger for a free ride to the quarterback. His next time up, Hatcher was steered well out of the play by free-agent tackle Cory Lekkerkerker, but when the two tangled again moments later, Hatcher popped Lekkerkerker in the chest so hard he (Lekkerkerker) rocked back on his heels, and had to grab Hatcher in a blatant hold in order to save the quarterback.

• The loudest reaction from the players can when rookie linebacker Erik Walden lined up against Pro Bowl offensive tackle Flozell Adams … who is five inches taller and 98 pounds heavier than Walden. But despite the difference in résumés, Walden started outside with a speed rush, and then turned back inside and raced past Adams … who then heard it from his teammates, who were nice enough to remind the 11th-year veteran that he had just been beaten by a small-school (and physically smaller) rookie.

• If nothing else, Adams respects speed rushers. When he lined up against Pro Bowl pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, teammates gathered around to watch. Adams figured out one way to get set quickly against the speedy Ware … jumping offside before the assistant coach was halfway through his call. Again, Adams heard it from teammates.

• Defensive end Marcus Spears is a big man (6-4, 305), but he proved that there's more to playing on the line than mere size when he lined up against guard Leonard Davis (6-6, 354). Spears took one step toward the inside, and then slammed his hand into Davis' shoulder — actually moving the mountainous guard — and cruised by him on an easy stroll to the quarterback.

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