Austin Has No Doubt; Witten Visits Doctor; Jenkins, Ratliff Update

ARLINGTON, Texas –The Cowboys' held their annual Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Happy Hill Farms, on Tuesday at Cowboys Stadium.

While it's always been a great event for a great cause, the Cowboys can't help but remember that they'll be on a plane a week from Tuesday headed to New York for the Sept. 5 opener.

Yes, there is still one preseason game to play – tomorrow against Miami at Cowboys Stadium (7:30 p.m. CDT kickoff) – but everything still points to the opener, especially when it comes to injured players.

A few of those issues were addressed Tuesday at the luncheon:

  • Wide receiver Miles Austin was asked if there was any doubt he'd play in the season opener against the Giants. Austin, who has been resting a tight hamstring for most of camp, firmly said "No." Austin hasn't pushed the hamstring injury this year, especially after missing six games with two separate hamstring issues last season.
  • Jay Ratliff remains on crutches with a high-ankle sprain. He attended the luncheon but didn't participate in the usual introductory walk from the tunnel to his table. Jason Garrett said Monday they are hopeful Ratliff can get back to practice this weekend. The fact Ratliff has had a high-ankle sprain on both ankles before is actually a positive when it comes to the healing process.
  • Cornerback Mike Jenkins told reporters he expects to visit Dr. James Andrews in Florida on Thursday to get another update on his shoulder. Jenkins had rotator cuff surgery in January and has had a lengthy rehab in trying to get back to 100 percent. Both Jenkins and the Cowboys seem hopeful Jenkins can get cleared to return to practice. Still, it's unlikely he will be ready to play for the Sept. 5 game against the Giants, seeing as he has not practiced all offseason. But the Cowboys haven't and likely won't rule out Jenkins at this time.
  • Tight end Jason Witten was in attendance at the luncheon after his scheduled meeting with his doctors Tuesday morning to check on his lacerated spleen injury. He was on the practice field doing some cord work with the strength coaches and athletic trainers on Monday.
  • Former safety Darren Woodson, the Honorary Chair for the event, predicted the Cowboys could finish 10-6 this season and compete for the NFC East, but said the biggest factor would be the health of the offensive line.
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