IRVING, Texas – The typical football adage is that a player needs to practice in order to play. If that's the case, it's going to a close call for several of the Cowboys' injury concerns on Thursday against Denver.
The Cowboys only have two practices days this week – Monday and Tuesday – before they suit up for their fourth and final preseason game. The preseason finale is typically reserved for fringe players and roster spot battles, but Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has said before he hasn't ruled out giving playing time to injured veterans.
The short week is going to test his willingness to do that, however.
"This week is going to go fast," Garrett said. "We are going to practice tomorrow and then we won't practice again until Saturday." The above quote was in reference to Terrell McClain, who has missed the vast majority of training camp with a high ankle sprain. The defensive tackle brought pads and a helmet out to practice on Monday, but it seems unlikely he'll be available Thursday night.
"My goal is to see how much I can practice my Saturday, so that will determine how much I practice next week," McClain said. "I might have some hope, but if I do get in there it would probably only be a couple of reps."
That seems to be the case for several Cowboys' starters this week. George Selvie left the loss to Miami with a shoulder issue, one that looks likely to sideline him until the season opener – which Garrett said he's hopeful about.
"We don't think it's too, too serious," he said. "We probably will keep him out of contact here for the next few days, but we don't think it's going to be too long for him." [embedded_ad]
Tony Romo was never a likelihood to play snaps against the Broncos, but it was unusual to see him miss practice altogether Monday morning, as he usually at least attends during off days. Garrett said Romo appears to be recovering well from the multiple hits he took Saturday against the Dolphins.
"Obviously, we played Saturday night and it's Monday morning. The idea was to give him the opportunity, in a light practice, to collect himself and take the day off," he said. "I think he's doing OK. He seemed to hold up fairly well throughout that ballgame." The same can probably be said for Morris Claiborne, who is still limited as he copes with a sprain to the AC joint in his shoulder. Claiborne looks likely to miss all four preseason games, and the focus could be on getting as prepared as possible for Week 1 against San Francisco.
"After a week or so, I don't think it'll be healed. It's definitely better, more range of motion in it, I can reach up now," Claiborne said. "So you know it's getting better each and every day, and it's going to be up to the coaches at game time."