FRISCO, Texas – As much discussion as the Cowboys generate, it's easy to forget that Wednesday marked the first time they've held a public practice since January.
Obviously, OTAs are a far cry from the regular season – or even training camp. But this week is the first time the Cowboys have held a real practice in several months, which is good cause for a refresher.
The roster sits at 90 players right now, and several of those players are not practicing right now as they work through a variety of different injuries and concerns. In the interest of catching up, here's a breakdown of where the Cowboys are.
- Ezekiel Elliott won't practice this week after experiencing soreness following a minor car accident on Sunday evening. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said there are no major concerns about Elliott, and he is expected to practice during next week's OTAs.
- Cole Beasley has not participated in OTAs yet, as he is nursing a sore hamstring. The issue isn't seen as serious, but the Cowboys intend to be cautious with him. "We're taking it day by day. We're going to be deliberate bringing him back," Garrett said. "Hamstrings can be tricky. He's had a really good offseason up to this point, but this has just been bothering him. Good opportunity for the younger guys to get some work." Lucky Whitehead also left Wednesday's practice with some soreness in his hamstring.
- Jason Witten and Sean Lee are two guys who can probably expect a specified timetable during these offseason practices. Both All-Pros practiced on Tuesday but were held out of team activities on Wednesday. Garrett said they will likely return to work Thursday, and that they will likely work on this alternating schedule throughout the spring, in an effort to keep them fresh. "We're doing this to help them and to help our football team," Garrett said. "I think they understand that and they can have a really productive day even when they don't practice."
- Chaz Green is another guy working on an alternating schedule as he comes back from the back injury that sidelined him toward the tail end of last season. Green practiced on Tuesday but was not working on Wednesday. Joe Looney suffered a minor back injury on Tuesday and will likely miss the remainder of the week, though Garrett said he hopes he can return next week. Emmett Cleary was the beneficiary of some of the shuffling, as he played first-team left guard on Wednesday.
- Benson Mayowa and Stephen Paea spent Wednesday's practice working the Cowboys' athletic training staff but did not participate in practice. Garrett said both players are dealing with knee injuries and did not specify their current timetables for return.
- As has been detailed elsewhere, the Cowboys have a specific plan for how they'll be working with Jaylon Smith during OTAs. Smith participated in Tuesday's practice and sat out Wednesday, as he works on his own alternating schedule. But Garrett confirmed that Smith was an active participant in Tuesday's activities. "Yeah, he's been involved," he said. "He's been doing the individual stuff and then competing in the 7 on 7 and the team stuff."
- Tyrone Crawford sat out of the team portions of practice, as he continues to recover from the shoulder injury that has hampered him in recent years. "My shoulder still needs a little bit of healing, but everything else feels good," Crawford said. "That's what they're holding me out for, is my shoulder. When they feel like it's time to get going, I'll get going." Crawford added that he'll be ready in time for training camp.
- James Hanna and Geoff Swaim are both absent from OTAs while they work back from injuries. Swaim broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot earlier this spring during team workouts and isn't expected back until training camp. Garrett said Hanna is making good progress recovering from the knee injury that sidelined him all of last year, though he likely won't be back until training camp. "We don't anticipate him probably doing anything for the next couple three weeks," Garrett said of Hanna. "We might not even see him here in the offseason program. But he's really made some strides."