Cornerbacks Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins, and receiver Roy Williams, all returned to practice today. Newman has missed the past 11 practices and the preseason game against Oakland with a strained groin, while Williams missed the Sunday afternoon practice with a sprained left wrist. Head coach Wade Phillips expects both players to play against Tennessee this Friday.
Williams could have held back in practice today, but decided against it.
"Going in for treatment the trainer said, you're going to run cords with Britt (Brown) and I said. No I'm not" said Williams who sprained his left wrist going after a pass and landing on it in Sunday's first work out. Williams then opted to play through the pain instead of going through the rehab. "It's a good thing i did, my confidence level went sky high because thought the ball would take my hand and break my wrist. Thank God I have strong hands" Williams said.
He had a tough time sleeping with the soft cast last night and did practice with the wrist heavily taped and he thinks he accomplished his goal of leading by example by not missing the only practice of the day.
"I practiced not only for my teammates and coaches but also for the media side of it as well" said Williams. "If i miss camp , it's a big deal. I don't want to be the guy that doesn't practice because of this or that. I've come to far not to go through camp, we're almost done, so get it over with, go through the pain, catch the football and do what i do."
Newman returned to his starting LCB spot, but will not be returning punts yet.
While Newman participated fully with the defense, he is not expected to play a significant role as a punt returner, which is how he injured his groin in the first place. He's only someone to be used in certain situations, if at all, Phillips said.
"He's been kind of on the edge of punt return anyway," Phillips said. "He's not the returner. He's a guy that we're looking at as a backup or maybe a guy that if we get them backed up, we want more of a speed guy and we could utilize him."
More VRR after the jump.
"It's normal right now, just a little sore," he said of his ankle. "It's probably going to be like that through the whole season, but it's something I can work through."
Secondary coach Dave Campo said Jenkins might not be able to "do certain things" but that he didn't look rusty in his first day back.
"I thought he did a nice job," Campo said. "He moved around good. I was more looking at how he was moving than anything else. He looked fine to me."
Courtney Brown had a good practice today, making an interception and breaking up a couple of passes from his cornerback position. After the Raiders game, that should bode well for his confidence--something every CB needs. Here's what secondary coach Dave Campo had to say about Brown's practice.
"One of the keys with the younger guys, sometimes they can (get) beat down with us talking about things they're doing wrong. Sometimes they don't rebound from that. I thought he did today and did a nice job."
The Turk visited RB Alonzo Coleman and CB Michael Hawkins, today. Both players were cut by the team. That drops the roster down to 76. They don't have to get down to 75 until September 1, so there's a chance they can bring in another camp body to help fill a thin position.
Maybe the most surprising sight from today's practice came from five time pro-bowler Jason Witten. He and draft pick Stephen Hodge got in some good battles and when a red zone completion ended, Witten heaved the ball at the rookie out of TCU.
"The first time I grabbed his shoulder pads, since tight ends most likely push, so I grabbed his pads, and next go around and I guess he thought I was trying to tackle him" said Hodge who returned to practice this week after missing time with a knee injury. " I was just trying to get the ball out and he threw it at me but it's not a big deal" Hodge said.
Nick Eatman reports that Coach Phillips plans to give the starters more snaps in this Friday's game against the Titans.
"We haven’t finalized how long we’re going to play them but we’ll play our starters more than the last game obviously," said Phillips, who added that decision was not affected by the Cowboys opening up the new stadium in Arlington. "No, we have to evaluate guys and also have to get our team ready to play the first ballgame against Tampa so that's what we're going to do. I don't think anything changes there."
Phillips said he expected Terence Newman (groin) and Roy Williams (wrist) to play some against the Titans and added rookie linebacker Brandon Williams (bruised shoulder) could also return to practice and possibly play Friday night.
"It's frustrating when you're not running the ball as much you want to. But you've got to understand that something is going to be better, something is going to work out here or down the line so you've just got to take it in stride. You can't complain about the position you're in. You're still playing football."
Like Choice, Orlando Scandrick is taking a "team first" attitude and sounds like he's tired of being asked about the starting RCB position.
"I don’t really want to talk much more about the competition or nothing like that," Scandrick said. "I’m hungry, and I want more. I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue to make plays and, I mean, I don’t know what they’re going to do, but as long as I’m out here I’m going to continue to make plays."
Mickey Spagnola discusses Jason Garrett's options for spreading around the football.
While the Cowboys might not have a dominating offensive player, they have more weapons than you can shake a stick at, and they are now unencumbered to use them all at their discretion without having to worry about some verbal repercussion.
Just count them. You got two running backs now needing the ball in their hands, Barber and Jones, plus a third who can carry his own weight in Tashard Choice. They have a bevy of receivers capable of contributing in different ways, from Williams to Crayton to the emergingand .
And as I pointed out at the start of camp, you will fall in love with the two-tight end sets formed by Witten and Bennett, their dual ability to not only block like tight ends but run the field like power forwards.
Stars have to dance, right? Evidently, they do. Michael Irvin will headline the cast of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars".