Cowboys wrap up 1st week of camp with scrimmage

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OXNARD, Calif. (AP)

DeMarco Murray showed he can run for the Dallas Cowboys in his injury-shortened rookie season. He can catch the ball down the field, too.

Murray had several strong runs and made a nice leaping downfield catch against linebacker Sean Lee during a two-minute drill Sunday, when the Cowboys wrapped up their first week of training camp with a scrimmage.

''We came out here as if it was a game. It did feel like a game to me, and I talked to Sean, and it felt like a game to him,'' Murray said. ''Guys had a little bit more juice, and it was good for us to come out and compete here, get into different types of situations.''

The controlled 2 1/2-hour session came exactly one month before the Cowboys (No. 15 in the AP Pro32) play their season opener Sept. 5 at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants (No. 3).

There was an overflow crowd the Cowboys announced at 9,008 people, the biggest for one of their workouts in Oxnard. More fans were turned away at the gate.

With 18 players injured and not playing, including receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) and first-round pick cornerback Morris Claiborne (sprained left knee), the scrimmage was more situational work for the starters, including red zone and two-minute drills. There were even 7-on-7 portions during the annual Blue-White scrimmage.

Dez Bryant had a couple of nice catches, including a sideline grab during the same two-minute drill after Murray's leaping catch. That drive ended with quarterback Tony Romo tucking the ball and diving into the end zone for a touchdown.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he likes what he's seeing in camp from Bryant. He said he's seen a more business-like approach from the young receiver.

''I'm seeing him do what you almost expect from him. What I want him to do is, and we want to do, is be able to do that all year long, all game long,'' Jones said. ''That hasn't happened. He's disappeared at the end of some ballgames, and then we haven't had at him because of injury in the season. I know he's in the best shape that he's been in since he's been in pro football. ... This season, he's really in top shape. I glad, it's exciting to see him make those plays.''

Training camp started about two weeks after Brant was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother. He could still face discipline from the NFL even though his mother, who called 911, has since said that she doesn't want authorities to pursue family violence charges against her son.

Jones has expressed his disappointment about what he has called a serious situation. He has talked extensively with Bryant, who hasn't spoken to reporters at camp.

''He's screwed around here and got his benefit of the doubt collateral down to nothing. And he's also very vulnerable,'' Jones said. ''Now you've got to act differently when you're in those shoes. He's got to gain a bunch of that back. He can do it, and he can do it right out on this football field. And I hope that he does.''

Murray last season ran for a team-record 253 yards in his first start last October, and had 601 yards in his first four - more than NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Cowboys, ever had over a similar stretch. And Murray finished as the team's leading rusher for the season (897 yards) even after missing the last three games because of a broken right ankle.

In a run portion of the session, the first two handoffs went to Murray. Later in a red zone 7-on-7 drill, there were consecutive plays when Romo dumped short passes to Murray. The longer downfield pass came in a later portion.

''I think he's continuing to show some of the signs (of growth). He's got a good burst. He sees it well,'' Romo said. ''As he continues to get better with all the football knowledge that comes with playing in the first few years, he's going to be a special back.''

Notes: The Cowboys will be signing RB Javarris Williams and WR David Little. The moves weren't official yet Sunday night because corresponding roster moves had to be made. ... Among the fans in the attendance was actor Rob Lowe.


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Tagged: Cowboys, DeMarco Murray, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant

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