OXNARD, California -- Rico Gathers, Noah Brown and Kyle Wilber were sent to a timeout of sorts during Sunday's practice due to a pair of scuffles in the Dallas Cowboys' fourth padded practice of training camp.
After about a 20-minute cool-off period, all three players returned to the field and spoke briefly with coach Jason Garrett during special-teams drills.
Gathers and Wilber were matched up in a one-on-one drill in which Wilber beat the tight end in a pass-protection set. Upset, Gathers pushed Wilber in the back setting off a minor fracas. A little later Wilber and Brown, a receiver, got locked in on a Darren McFadden run.
They were escorted off the field but returned.
"Some people need a breather, need a break, need time to calm down," said wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was yelling at Wilber after the scuffle with Brown. "Nothing wrong with that. It's not a big deal. We had a good day today. We had a great day actually."
Dak Prescott completed 12 of 16 passes in team and 7-on-7 drills to bring his total to 44 of 61 in four padded practices. He was intercepted once, giving him three in camp. In situational work he and Bryant were able to set up a would-be Dan Bailey field goal attempt with a long completion. In 7-on-7 work, he perfectly led RB Ezekiel Elliott on a circle route for a touchdown on LB Damien Wilson. He also found Bryant for a touchdown after a scramble on the next play.
CB Orlando Scandrick was called for a hold by the officials on hand in the first one-on-one snap against Bryant but got his revenge in the compete period. With WR Cole Beasley working to the outside and getting a snap on the corner, Scandrick was able to read Beasley's eyes as Prescott's pass floated in. He punched his hand between Beasley's and came down with the interception. He flung the ball in the air in celebration.
It wasn’t all bad for Gathers and Brown. After they returned to practice, they both caught a touchdown pass from QB Kellen Moore. With Moore flushed to his right, the 6-foot-7 Gathers was able to snatch a high pass for a score, spinning the ball in celebration. Brown made a tremendous adjustment to a deep ball from Moore after creating some separation from CB Chidobe Awuzie.
Awuzie saw the craft of a veteran in red-zone drills when TE Jason Witten was able to shield the rookie on a pass from Prescott. Exasperated, Awuzie threw his hands in the air looking for a flag, but none came. Welcome to the NFL.
RB Rod Smith, Jaylon Smith's older brother, bears watching in the preseason. He had two runs in a three-play script in which he left Joseph Jones in the dust and followed that up with another run up the middle, showing great vision once the hole opened.
Chaz Green will need some time off with a muscle strain in his shoulder, which will affect his ability to compete for the left guard spot. An MRI came back negative, but Green will be out at least through the Hall of Fame Game. Jonathan Cooper will get the first-team snaps in Green's absence.
LB Jaylon Smith took part in back-to-back full-padded practices for the first time. He appeared only to take eight snaps in team drills.
QB Luke McCown took four snaps in 7-on-7 in his first work since joining the Cowboys.