Garrett confident in Bailey, offense's progress so far

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey boots a field goal with a hold by punter Chris Jones against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter in December at Oakland Coliseum.Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys coach said he's not concerned with defense winning battles, errant kicks early in camp.

The media members at training camp have had a week’s worth of watching practice and brought their observations to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett prior to Sunday evening’s blue-white scrimmage.

Garrett deflected concerns about the offense losing competitive battles versus the defense and kicker Dan Bailey’s perceived inconsistencies.

Bailey missed four games with a groin injury last season. After making 89.5 percent of his field goals in the first six seasons in the NFL, Bailey’s percentage dropped to 75 with the injury. Some onlookers have noticed that dip in his automatic status seems to be continuing in training camp.

Garrett’s response was that it’s too early to assess how well Bailey has recovered, but the coach sees the kicker striking the ball well. Garrett said he has complete confidence in Bailey.

As to the offense’s apparent slow start, Garrett countered that he likes the way the team is competing in practice.

“(Saturday’s) practice was a great example of that,” Garrett said. “If you look at the early part of practice when we did one of those challenge periods, there was an interception right at the outset. Big reaction by the defense. The offense came back and won. The offense, in short yardage, won eight straight plays.”

Garrett added that 1) he wants to see each unit continue to battle and 2) it would be more of a problem if one side of the ball was winning all the time.

EXTRA POINT: Garrett said cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is dealing with a minor knee injury. The Cowboys coach said the team would be cautious with Awuzie, but he didn’t seem concerned that the defensive back would miss much action.