OXNARD, Calif. – Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the media Tuesday, hours before his team is scheduled to practice against the Oakland Raiders
The bulk of Garrett's press conference concerned the suspension of Orlando Scandrick for the first month of the regular season and the problems that creates. But Garrett also addressed a pressing issue regarding one of his other key starters – defensive tackle Henry Melton.
Melton left practice Sunday with a groin strain, which Garrett described as a "tweak." The 2012 Pro Bowler won't be available for Tuesday's practice.
"We'll take him day-by-day and see how he does with the work he gets," Garrett said. "We don't think it's too, too serious – we'll just evaluate it as it goes."
In his place will be a rookie who showed up during the preseason opener against San Diego – Ken Bishop. The seventh-round draft pick is widely considered more of a one-technique, but Garrett said he'll have an opportunity to start at the more pass rush-oriented three-technique spot this week.
"He's just done a lot of good things since he's been here. He's a big guy, he's athletic. He's got a little snap to him, both in his upper body and his lower body." Garrett said.
Bishop drew a flag for a horse collar tackle during the loss to the Chargers last week when he chased down a San Diego running back and brought him down from behind. Garrett said it was a tough play to dissect, because of the negative of the penalty combined with the positive of the effort.
"That's the way he's played – he's been a guy who's been in the pack there with the rest of the defensive linemen, but somehow, some way he gets out of the pack and he's chasing the football," Garrett said. "That's kind of his temperament, his demeanor, and he's been that way since the start of it. So, that and his playmaking ability, I think warrants an opportunity."
Here are some more highlights from Garrett's press conference: [embedded_ad]
- The format for the majority of Tuesday's practice will feature the Cowboys' offense and defense split up against the Raiders' offense and defense on the two separate fields in Oxnard. Garrett didn't specify how much time the Cowboys' first-team will spend against Oakland's first-team.
- Wednesday's practice will be more scripted and scrimmage-oriented, with a focus on situational football.
- Tony Romo will get a full day's practice Tuesday against the Raiders. Garrett said Romo is "beginning to look more like himself," but he declined to comment on the quarterback's availability for the Ravens game on Saturday.
- Asked about Brandon Carr's availability against the Ravens, Garrett said he hasn't had that conversation with the coaching staff. But he added that it stands to reason Carr won't play this weekend if he doesn't practice during the week.
- Garrett said there will "absolutely" be repercussions for Cowboys players that get into altercations with the Raiders.