As the Cowboys finished their first day of training camp practice inside the Alamodome, executive vice president Stephen Jones discussed the business side of the team: free agency and signing the rest of the 2011 draft class.
*Six of eight draft picks, including first-round offensive tackle Tyron Smith, were signed in time for Thursday's afternoon practice. Jones said their two remaining unsigned rookies, second-round linebacker Bruce Carter and third-round running back DeMarco Murray, could be signed by the end of Thursday. The Cowboys have a walkthrough scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, and barring a setback in talks, it seems likely Murray will be ready for the 2:30 p.m. practice.
*Once signed, Jones said Carter will likely start on the Non-Football Injury list (NFI) as he continues to rehab the torn ACL he suffered last December at North Carolina.
*The Cowboys wanted to keep defensive end Stephen Bowen, but the Redskins' five-year, $27.5 million deal was out of their price range. "Obviously Stephen is another player that played really well for us," Jones said. "He gave us a lot of good snaps and was a really good football player. I wish him nothing but the best of luck. But his numbers got to that point and it really didn't make a lot of sense."
*As of late Thursday, Jones said the club didn't have any free-agent visits scheduled. Any signed free agent can't practice until the start of the New League Year (next Thursday), but that's not the reason. The Cowboys are staying patient -- active, but searching for the right deals.
*The Cowboys must sign one, and possibly two, defensive ends. They've had discussions with starter Marcus Spears and backup Jason Hatcher but neither have been re-signed yet. Hatcher reportedly will visit the Broncos on Friday. Cullen Jenkins is the most prominent free agent left at the position. Ex-Cowboy Kenyon Coleman, who played for Rob Ryan in Cleveland, is another possibility.
*Safety is another target position, with strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh an unrestricted free agent and last year's free safety, Alan Ball, moving back to corner. "It's a work in a progress," Jones said. "Until we get it done, it's obviously something that's a priority for us." Two ex-Ryan players, Abram Elam and Michael Huff, are still available.