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Dallas Cowboys Injury News (Post Chargers Preseason Game): Starters Coming Back

Morris Claiborne returned from the Cowboys' long injury list to notch his first NFL snaps on Saturday.
Morris Claiborne returned from the Cowboys' long injury list to notch his first NFL snaps on Saturday.

From looking at Saturday's first team performance, you wouldn't have noticed that the Cowboys were missing a total of eight starters. WR Miles Austin, C Phil Costa, G Nate Livings and TE Jason Witten sat out on offense, while the defense played without DE Jason Hatcher, NT Jay Ratliff, OLB Anthony Spencer and OLB DeMarcus Ware.

In addition to the eight starters, another 11 players did not suit up on Saturday due to various ailments (WR Danny Coale, RB Lance Dunbar, LB Isiah Greenhouse, WR Saalim Hakim, C/G Kevin Kowalski, CB Mike Jenkins, S Matt Johnson, LB Caleb McSurdy, OT Jermey Parnell, RB Phillip Tanner, LB Kyle Wilber).

Thankfully, there were no further injuries in Saturday's game, and the number of walking wounded among the Cowboys players is decreasing almost daily. After the break, we look at the status of the injured Cowboys, including who's doing what at today's joint practice with the Chargers.

A significant number of previously injured Cowboys players showed up for practice today in full pads and ready to go against the Chargers:

  • Left guard Nate Livings is practicing in full pads for the first time since injuring his hamstring early in training camp.
  • The front seven gets a boost with Jay Ratliff, Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer all working out against the Chargers in full pads.
  • Also practicing in full pads today are rookies Danny Coale, Matt Johnson and Lance Dunbar, all of whom need to come back strong to secure a roster spot.

There are a number of injured players doing light running on the sidelines, an indication that they are close to joining practice again soon: Ware, Austin, Costa and Parnell are working off to the side.

Todd Archer from ESPN Dallas spoke briefly with Mike Jenkins on Saturday and summarized their talk as follows:

He said that his surgically-repaired right shoulder is feeling better and better every day. He is working through some scar tissue issues that have hampered his strength, but his range of motion is fine. He isn’t ruling out being available for the Sept. 5 opener at the New York Giants, but he will take another trip to Pensacola, Fla., to visit with Dr. James Andrews for a checkup.

Here's a summary table of all the injured Cowboys players, sorted by how far away from joining the team they are.

POS Player Injury Status
NT Ratliff Foot Practicing
OLB Spencer Hamstring Practicing
OG Livings Knee Practicing
DE Hatcher Hamstring Practicing
WR Coale Foot Practicing
S Johnson Hamstring Practicing
RB Dunbar Hamstring Practicing
OLB Ware Hamstring Running
WR Austin Hamstring Running
OC Costa Back Running
CB Jenkins Shoulder Running
OT Parnell Neck Running
TE Witten Spleen Shut down for at least another week
WR Hakim Finger Recovering from surgery on finger
RB Tanner Broken Hand Recovering from surgery on hand
OLB Wilberforce Broken Thumb Recovering from surgery to thumb, likely back by mid September
OG Kowalski Ankle Still in walking boot & crutches. Quick return unlikely.
ILB Greenhouse Broken Thumb No surgery required on broken thumb. "Not with the team but has not been cut."
ILB McSurdy Torn Achilles Successful surgery, out for the year

Of course, this is just a snapshot. In today's practice against the Chargers, Dez Bryant, Donovan Kemp and Andre Holmes walked off with the trainers. Donovan Kemp and Dez Bryant are getting MRIs on knees, while Andre Holmes is getting an MRI on his back. We'll see what their status is later in the day.

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