IRVING, Texas – The increasing number of limited and hampered Cowboys was quickly noticeable at the start of Week 2 OTAs on Tuesday.
If the expanding injury report was alarming to Jason Garrett, he didn't show it during his post-practice press conference. Garrett spoke with the media following the Cowboys first practice of this week and fourth overall team practice of the offseason, and injury status was a chief topic of concern – particularly that of his starting running back, DeMarco Murray.
"I just think, with all the guys with any kind of hint of injury this time of year, we're very cautious," Garrett said. "We don't want to take any backward steps. They're all progressing well in their rehab, they're all working hard, so we just want to keep them moving forward, and (Murray) falls into that category as well as a number of other guys."
Murray was the most prominent player among those who were limited during practice – particularly because he also missed the first week of practice. But the running back was joined Tuesday by fellow potential starter Will Allen, who sat out of the safety competition, as well as backup tackle Jermey Parnell, who injured his hamstring in the first week of practice.
"He hurt his hamstring last week," Garrett said of Parnell. "We're going to take him day by day and hopefully he can get back out here and get some work."
All told, the count came to 10 missing players with the added injuries of Anthony Hargrove, Joseph Randle, Justin Durant, Tim Benford, Jakar Hamilton, Lawrence Vickers and of course Tony Romo.
That injury report is easily a troubling one, especially with the way injuries derailed the Cowboys in 2012. But Garrett reiterated the necessity for caution at this early point in the year and said it's important to not rush the recovery process with so much time until the start of the season.
"You want to keep injuries to a minimum, obviously – any kind of injuries. If you look around the league, there's probably a lot of teams that are going through the same kind of things we're going through, and you've just got to manage them the right way," Garrett said. "If we were playing on Sunday we might handle these things a little bit differently. But again, you want to err on the side of caution this time of year, and we have to do everything we can as an organization to keep these guys healthy."