Gardner To Have Surgery; Dixon & Claiborne Updates


OXNARD, Calif. – Thursday marked the final formal press conference for Cowboys coach Jason Garrett during the team's time in Oxnard.

The Cowboys have one final practice Thursday evening and a team walkthrough on Friday morning before they return to Dallas for Saturday's preseason game against Baltimore.

Chief among the news of the day is that Morris Claiborne looks like a likely scratch for the next few days -- including the Ravens game.

"We'll see – Mo probably won't practice today, and I don't know that he'll be available for this game on Saturday. We'll see how he is day-to-day," Garrett said. "He actually hurt his other shoulder the other day in practice."

The play in question saw Claiborne go to the ground with an Oakland receiver during the teams' joint practice Wednesday. Garrett said the injury is Claiborne's AC joint, but the prognosis isn't a bad one.

"I'm not sure how we're describing it. It's some kind of an AC joint separation, but we got good news about it yesterday, better than the initial reports thought it might be," Garrett said. "We think it's going to be more of a day-to-day, within-the-week type of thing."

Garrett also updated several other injury issues, namely those that have troubled some Cowboys rookies. Ahmad Dixon has not practiced since he suffered a concussion last week against San Diego, but he was cleared to play Thursday afternoon.

"We're hopeful that he can do something this afternoon and hopefully play in this game Saturday," Garrett said.

It's also been confirmed that rookie defensive end Ben Gardner will be unavailable this season, as he'll undergo on the surgery on the shoulder that's been troubling him during training camp. The Cowboys expect to place Gardner on injured reserve when they make the first roster cuts from 90 to 75.

"He just has to reset his mind. He's going to get that shoulder taken care of, it's going to be like a long offseason," Garrett said. "I'm excited to get in him back in spring time and get back to work and continue his development."

Finally, Garrett had some good news for Matt Johnson's prospects of returning to a football field sometime soon. The third-year safety has been missing since late July with another hamstring issue, but Garrett said Johnson is going to see a specialist about the problem.

"Matt is going to see a back specialist in Dallas today to see if that relates at all to his hamstring situations," he said. "We feel like he's making progress and hopefully we can get him back soon enough where he can show us what he can do in a game."

Here are some more highlights from the Thursday press conference: [embedded_ad]

  • The final practice in California won't be fully padded. Garrett said it'll be a scaled-back, shorts and shirts practice, much like the two that opened camp.
  • To that end, Tony Romo won't have a full practice Thursday, after two-straight days of work against the Raiders.
  • Garrett said he's hopeful Brandon Carr can be full-go next week, though he expects the veteran to participate a bit more in practice Thursday. It seems unlikely Carr will play against the Ravens.
  • In the same vein, Garrett said Sterling Moore hasn't suffered any setbacks – the Cowboys are just being careful easing him back in to practice.
  • NFL teams have been using electronic tablets during preseason games – a development Garrett said was beneficial during the San Diego game. "They have the whole sequence of the game in there, so you can go back to previous series," he said. Garrett said he wants the coaching staff to become more familiar with using them during games this preseason.
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