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Notes: Harris’ Pain, Brown’s Smoothies, Weems’ New Spot
IRVING, Texas – Calling Dwayne Harris’ injury “minor hip pain” would be putting it lightly.
Harris has found himself on the injury report every week since the Week 3 tilt against the Rams with a hip injury. He said the pain he’s fighting through is actually a tear.
“I’m still battling the injury from the St. Louis game,” Harris said. “I’ve got some torn muscles in my lower ab, so I’m still battling that.”
Harris was out of practice immediately after the injury against the Rams, but he never missed time on Sundays. He’s gone from a non-participant in practice to a limited participant in past weeks and is now a full practice participant this week.
Since the injury, Harris has still managed to return a punt for a touchdown and return a kickoff 90 yards against the Redskins. He then took his lone kickoff return against the Eagles a week later for 39 yards and has averaged at least 37 yards per kickoff return in each of his last three games.
Despite playing through pain, Harris is second in the league in kickoff return average and third in punt return average.
“It happened way back in Week 3, and I’m still playing,” Harris said. “It doesn’t limit me from practice or nothing. I just go out there and fight through the pain.
He’s also the Cowboys’ top coverage man, leading the team with eight special teams tackles.
“I just ran back a punt return against Washington and a 90-yarder, and I’m still returning punts and kickoff returns, and I’m out there making tackles, Harris said. “So it doesn’t limit me at all.”
The smoothie business will have to take a backseat to football now for defensive end Everette Brown.
Players who join an NFL team midway through a season typically have an interesting story to tell about where they were earlier in the year. Brown, who was signed by the Cowboys this week, is no exception.
Brown was at home working out and praying for an opportunity in the NFL when he and his fiancée decided to start up a smoothie business in midtown Charlotte.
“A little bit of what I was doing there when I was in Charlotte was working to open a franchise that I have opening in Charlotte called Tropicle Smoothie Café,” he said. “It’ll open about two and a half weeks out.
“I had a chance to be a little more hands on there and see progress, so it kept me busy all during the day, which was good because I didn’t just stress and start to get down on myself because I’m not playing football. But I kept football a priority so that when I did get a call, I’d be ready.”
Brown said his fiancée is also his business manager, and she’ll be running the business while he’s in Dallas playing football.
“We’ve been together for seven years, so she’s handling the day to day things, and she relays information over to me. She’s a great note taker, better than I am, as far as relaying information.”
Though Brown may be doing some entrepreneurial work, he leaves no room to wonder where his real passion lies. He said this scheme fits him well as a speed rusher on the outside, and what he does best is get to the quarterback.
“My real job is right here as defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, and I’m looking forward to it,” Brown said.
Working In Weems
The injury to Brian Waters means more mixing and matching as the Cowboys develop various contingency plans to prepare for any scenario on the line.
The immediate plan is to put Mackenzy Bernadeau in Waters’ place at guard, but they’re trying out other possibilities as well, including tackle Darrion Weems at guard. Weems has never played the position before.
“At guard, it’s a different animal,” Weems said. “At tackle, you get to be more patient and kind of wait for things to happen a little bit, more or less. But at guard, everything happens quicker. It’s like boom, in your face. It’s not so bad though, I kind of like it.”
Thursday was the first day Weems took any reps at guard. He said it was fun to get in and compete at a new position.
Offensive line coach Bill Callahan used a variety of looks in training camp, including moving Doug Free from tackle to guard and starting Jermey Parnell at tackle. Weems was never involved in those experiments, but he’s getting involved now.
David Arkin and Phil Costa will also get looks as backup guards to help spell Bernadeau and Ron Leary.
“We continue to develop David Arkin,” Callahan said. “We’re glad he’s back and he’s done good things. We’re still utilizing Ron and Mackenzy Bernadeau. We looked at even putting Weems into that spot as well. We’re moving everybody we can to try to get reps and try to build the depth, so to speak.”