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Tues. Practice Recap: Rookie WR Held Out; Iffy For Friday
OXNARD, Calif. – Despite being overly excited to see rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams make his preseason debut, the Cowboys will be even more cautious regarding his head injury he sustained last Friday, exactly seven days before the upcoming preseason game in Oakland.
The Cowboys are not officially calling Williams’ injury as a concussion but he was treated for concussion-like symptoms. Williams made the trip to Canton for the Hall of Fame Game but did not practice Monday.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Williams has a 50-50 shot of playing this week.
“It’s really close right now,” Jones said of Williams’ availability. “We’re going to be smart about it.”
Williams has been working as the No. 3 receiver and gets first-team reps in certain packages with three and four receivers. The rookie said Tuesday he’s itching to get back out there with his teammates.
"It's frustrating, because it's hard for me to go out and just watch football without playing,” Williams said. “But I'm just going through the steps and the coaches are taking me day by day. I've just got to stay patient and take mental reps."
- Cornerback Morris Claiborne said he’ll be fine after he appeared to injure his left knee during full-team scrimmage drills at the tail end of practice. Claiborne, clearly limping, attempted to remain in the scrimmage but eventually left the field and was tended to by trainers. Hereturned and watched the end of practice from the sidelines. Claiborne said he’ll be fine to practice Wednesday, however.
- It took two weeks, but the Cowboys had their first fight of 2013 training camp. The scuffle came between running back Lance Dunbar and linebacker Ernie Sims during the full-team portion of practice. Sims popped Dunbar well after the whistle on an off-tackle carry, and the undersized back took issue with it. “I’ve got to protect myself, and I can’t let him sling me around like that,” Dunbar said. “The whistle blew, and he just kind of slung me down. It always happens, and I just got tired of it.”
- The dispute turned into a full-fledged ordeal between offense and defense, as both sides rushed to their player’s defense. DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant jawed with defenders, while Tony Romo and several others defused the situation.
- Probably the best part of the entire situation was when DeMarcus Ware ducked into the huddle, not to fight, but to scoop up the football Dunbar had dropped in his anger. Turnovers are the priority for Monte Kiffin, after all.
- Bryant had an uncharacteristically off day on Tuesday. He failed to come down with several balls, including a long fade that would have been the best gain of the day. Claiborne also got the better of Bryant several times during one-on-one drills, prompting Bryant to call for holding flags. Claiborne joked that Bryant always complains when he doesn’t make the catch.
- Grammy award-winning band The Los Lonely Boys and actor Dennis Haskins attended practice.
- Sterling Moore and Orlando Scandrick split time at first-team corner in place of Brandon Carr, who missed practice as his fiancée was giving birth.
Sean Lee, LB: Lee looked like a guy who was ready for live action after he sat during the Hall of Fame Game. Lee made multiple big hits during full-team drills, including what has become a customary big pop against Murray, who had turned upfield with a swing pass. Aside from the hitting, Lee also nabbed a big interception of Romo that killed the first team’s drive during two minute drill.
Dan Bailey, K: Here’s guessing people are going to be angry if Bailey has the audacity to miss a kick this season, with the way he’s performed in Oxnard. Bailey made kicks of 35, 38, 41 and 44 during field goal drills. He initially missed from 44, but he asked for a re-kick and nailed it. Bailey later missed from 50, but he redeemed himself during two-minute drill by making a (wind-aided) 60-yarder.
Tim Benford, WR: Practice was marked by a series of almost catches, but Benford came down with a couple of nice catches during full-team drills. The first was a long-gaining crossing route across the middle of the field. The second came from Kyle Orton down the near sideline. Benford almost made the play of training camp when he laid out for a deep fade on the far sideline. He reeled the ball in and pulled it to his chest, but the ball popped out as he hit the ground.
Play of the Day:
It’s already been mentioned, but the mix up between Dunbar and Sims has to be considered the highlight of Tuesday’s action. Even better than the fight itself is that Dunbar was continuing his strong form from early in the Miami game, running decisively and with good power. It’s interesting that one of the smallest members of the roster would instigate a fracas, but Dunbar said he was only concerned with standing up for himself and wasn’t going to wait on his teammates.
“I don’t worry about all that – I knew they was coming, but I don’t worry about all that. At the time I was kind of mad,” he said.
Dunbar said he hadn’t talked to Sims about the fight yet prior to entering the locker room, but he wasn’t worried about any lingering issues – all in the game.
“It’s over with, you know. It happened, but we’re teammates. We’ll move on,” he said.
Returned To Practice:
C/G Ryan Cook (back)
G Jeff Olson (concussion-like symptoms)
CB Morris Claiborne (knee)
CB Brandon Carr (non-injury)
WR Terrance Williams (concussion-like symptoms)
LB Alex Albright (back)
G Kevin Kowalski (leg)
G Ray Dominguez (shoulder)
T Jermey Parnell (hamstring)
DE Anthony Spencer (knee)
DE Tyrone Crawford (Achilles)
DT Jay Ratliff (hamstring)
OT Demetress Bell (conditioning)