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Garrett Talks Injuries, Romo's Shape After First Walkthrough

OXNARD, Calif. – Head coach Jason Garrett will once again need to deal with a battered group of offensive lineman to begin training camp after a couple players were lost following the conditioning test. Garrett said Sunday that offensive linemen Mackenzy Bernadeau, Ryan Cook and Demetress Bell won't be able to practice initially after running the test, while Ronald Leary and Nate Livings didn't run the test at all after previous injuries.

"A couple of those guys have to deal with the kind of conditioning they're in," Garrett said. "That's really why we do the test. We feel like it's a good indicator as to whether or not a player is football ready to practice at the pace the Dallas Cowboys are going to practice at.

"Each of those guys is out for a different reason. We have a plan for each of those guys to get them healthy and get them in the kind of condition they need to be in to practice as quickly as they can."

Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who's dealt with a plethora of injuries since the start of last season, also came out of the conditioning test with a hamstring injury. Garrett said Ratliff worked hard during his rehab and wanted to run the test yesterday to see where he was at and how fast he could practice. Ratliff will be getting an MRI and will be evaluated afterward.

Garrett said there are explanations and excuses as to why each of those players either couldn't perform the conditioning test or failed it, but he's more concerned about getting them back than focusing on what the problem was.

He said the team did an outstanding job overall during the conditioning test, which he called challenging. Garrett was particularly impressed with DeMarcus Ware's shape and his offseason work after various upper body and arm injuries held him back in 2012.

"He has a green light to go, but like with a lot of our players, we'll continue to monitor them, see how they do each and every day and look for spots to get them a break if they need one," Garrett said. "He was pretty impressive in that conditioning test yesterday. For a defensive lineman to run as well as he runs and be in the kind of shape he's in, outstanding, great example for the rest of our team."

The injuries will give other young offensive linemen the opportunity to run with the starters and backups and get more reps than they would otherwise have gotten. Garrett said Travis Frederick and Phil Costa could both get work at guard after spending the spring at center.

 "We have a long way to go," Garrett said. "We have a lot of football to be played before we play the Giants in the opener, and we have to do the right things as an organization to get these guys out there and practicing when they're ready to do that."

Garrett also was impressed with how Tony Romo looked after practicing for the first time with the team after his offseason back surgery. Garrett liked the way Romo stayed involved with the team during the spring, which he said can be difficult for a player when he's not playing.


"The first thing he needed to do was get himself in shape, and it's a hard thing to do when you come off a back injury because you've got to almost my definition be a little bit immobile," Garrett said.

Garrett didn't want to get into details about Romo's playing weight, but he said he's right around it. Romo's listed at 236 pounds currently.

"He's actually a pound over his prescribed playing weight right now," Garrett said. "He got his weight down. He'll tell you right now, he just has to continue to do the conditioning stuff necessary."

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