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June 11, 2008

OTA observation deck

Here are some tidbits for you Cowboys fans from Wednesday's OTA practice at Valley Ranch. This is the last week of the OTAs before next week's minicamp....

* Star of the day: WR Miles Austin. The man some consider to have shaky hands at times during his young career made some nice catches today. His highlight came when he toasted former OTA star CB Pacman Jones in the end zone on a long pass from Tony Romo. Austin's leaping catch during team drills was impressive.

* Had a bad day: CB Pacman Jones. Beat by Austin for a touchdown, dropped a punt and Austin was separating on him on his routes. Jones got a lot of reps on Wednesday but did not stand out.

* Bobby Carpenter sighting. The much-maligned linebacker had a good practice highlighted by a diving pass breakup on a short pass to rookie RB Tashard Choice.

* Speaking of Choice...he has a nice little burst to the outside.

* No one on this team looks smoother catching punts than CB Terence Newman. But it's just too risky to use him there full time.

* Wade Phillips was at it again. He slapped hands with Newman and starting shaking his hand like it hurt. Maybe it did. But yes, it's the same thing he did with Tony Romo on the sideline during a game and the TV camera caught it.

* WR Terrell Owens gave the young safety Courtney Brown a lesson, burning him on a long TD pass during 7-on-7 drills.

* RB Keon Lattimore, the younger brother of Ravens LB Ray Lewis, made a nice catch against LB Kevin Burnett in the flat during 7-on-7 drills.

* Odd moment of the day: RB Marion Barber slapped QB Tony Romo on the rear during drills so loud you could hear it from the sidelines.

* One-hand Witten: TE Jason Witten made a nice one-handed catch toward the end of practice.

* Marion Barber may have a hard time with the new Marion Barber Rule, which will not allow him to put his hand in an opponent's face mask. After catching a screen pass, he put his hand up in the face of CB Evan Oglesby.

* NT Tank Johnson is playing like the beast that he calls himself right now. He had PBU on a pass that hit him in the chest during the two-minute drill.

* Where's Roy Williams? Not on the field during the two-minute drill. CB Anthony Henry now covers the TEs in his place on the dime package.

* Big day for the Frog: TCU-ex CB Quincy Butler intercepted Brad Johnson who underthrew (shocking, right?) receiver Mike Jefferson on a long pass.

* Good and bad: TE Martellus Bennett had a nice catch against Anthony Henry from Richard Bartel but also had a drop.

* Bad sign: FB Deon Anderson, who has put on some serious pounds in the offseason, had a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in his hands at his locker after practice. Some guys prefer energy drinks, Deon prefers glaze.

-- Rick Herrin


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Nice informative post, Rick...keep 'em coming.

Regarding the supposed Marion Barber rule: I thought they only voted to remove the ticky tack 5 yard face mask, with the 15 yard variety being called for grabbing and twisting the helmet. I thought it should be illegal to punch someone's helmet like that, but from what I have read that isn't the case.

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