With a groin injury likely sidelining Terence Newman at least through the preseason, the Cowboys' defense resumed training camp Thursday without one of their two starting cornerbacks and their most tenured veteran.
Starter Mike Jenkins (stinger) returned to practice Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis. Slot corner Orlando Scandrick could move to Newman's left side, as undrafted rookie Mario Butler was the third corner during Thursday's walkthrough. Alan Ball, last year's starting free safety, is expected to move back to provide depth.
Injuries have plagued Newman, 32, for three of the past four seasons after he made 64 straight starts from 2003-06. He played 16 games last season but battled a painful rib injury. In 2008, he missed six games due to a groin/sports hernia injury.
"I'm always concerned because he has had a few injuries," secondary coach Dave Campo said. "He's really excited about this season. I think he will do what it takes to get himself ready. I don't think we're going to play him until he's ready and hopefully that'll be for the first ball game."
Head coach Jason Garrett said Newman reported to camp in top shape and was leading the defense's adjustment to Rob Ryan's new 3-4 scheme.
"He was practicing really as well as he had practiced in a long time," Garrett said. "We were really pleased with the start he was off to both mentally and physically. He really looked good.
"It's disappointing whenever you lose a player of his caliber, but the biggest thing he needs to do is stay engaged with what we're doing on defense and what we're doing throughout our football team. And spend a lot of time in that training room to come back as quickly as he can."