Takeaways continue for Cowboys defense at training camp

OXNARD, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys' defense showed feistiness with perhaps over-the-top aggression in pass-rush drills at training camp Thursday, but it also showed feistiness with its play in team drills.

The defense intercepted three passes (Anthony Brown, Mark Nzeocha, Chidobe Awuzie) after forcing three fumbles in Wednesday's practice. The defense won the three "compete" periods as well.

With the skill players, only Jason Witten was able to get a win when he was able to draw a flag on safety Byron Jones. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Damien Wilson came up with pass deflections to win their reps.

With the line play, David Irving and Tyrone Crawford won their one-on-one pass-rush battles against Chaz Green and Dan Skipper.

The second-team defense forced a Kellen Moore scramble and a pass breakup. Moore was intercepted on the third play by Awuzie, but in a real game the play would have come back because of an offside penalty.

  • RB Ezekiel Elliott should be a bigger part of the passing game than he was as a rookie. Here's why: In one-on-one work, Elliott was able to adjust to a floater from Moore over LB Joseph Jones, timing his jump perfectly.

  • LB Sean Lee was a little cranky after he was not allowed to practice in the first day of pads, but he made his presence known quickly, stopping Elliott on the first play of the play-action period.

  • In addition to the interception, Brown was able to break up a deep over-route from QB Dak Prescott to Dez Bryant.

  • Wilson had the biggest hit of the day, popping TE Connor Hamlett on the sideline.

  • The Cowboys have used the Jet sweep twice in two days. On Wednesday, it went to WR Ryan Switzer. On Thursday, it went to WR Terrance Williams, who quickly gained the edge and turned up field for a nice gain. Williams looks quicker at the start of camp.

  • Prescott completed six of 12 passes in team and 7-on-7 drills. He was intercepted twice. Through two padded practices he is 17-of-27 with two picks in team and 7-on-7 work. Backup QB Kellen Moore is 15-of-21 in the same situations.

  • P/K Sam Irwin-Hill had a busy day. With Dan Bailey and Chris Jones not kicking Thursday, Irwin-Hill had to kick and punt. He made all six of his field goals ranging from 34-45 yards, although most came on a lower trajectory than Bailey's kicks, and he had 11 punts ranging from 3.66 seconds of hang time to 5.23 seconds. Regular LS L.P. Ladouceur also had the day off.