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Mid-Day Report: Corners Easing Back In; 2 Roster Moves


OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys look hopeful to add something they were missing Thursday night in San Diego – some healthy bodies.

The team has two practices this weekend before taking an off day on Monday, and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he hopes to ease several players into work before the Oakland Raiders come to town on Tuesday.

Most notable is the return of Brandon Carr, who missed the first two weeks of training camp to be with his ailing mother. But Garrett said he hopes to work several other cornerbacks into practice at the injury-depleted position, highlighted by Morris Claiborne and Tyler Patmon.

"We're going to try to work Mo into some individual stuff. We'll see about Patmon," Garrett said. "Hopefully we can get those guys back."

Garrett added that the same approach would be used for Sterling Moore, who has been absent for about a week with a groin injury.

"We'll try to ease those guys back in in individual stuff – I don't expect full practices for any of them," he said.

Even if the four returnees aren't available for the competitive portion of practice,  the overall health of the cornerback position is one of the biggest issues on the current roster. During Tuesday's practice, defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson had to take part in full-team drills because of a lack of available corners.

Photos from Saturday's morning walkthrough in Oxnard.

The Cowboys also played newly-acquired corner Korey Lindsey, who has yet to practice with the team, into the fray against San Diego.

"When you have such short numbers, sometimes it can be challenging to practice all the things you want to practice," Garrett said. "But we'll ease those guys back into it and make sure they're ready to go."

Here are some other notes from Garrett's afternoon press conference:

  • The injury to rookie running back Ben Malena doesn't appear good. The Texas A&M product went out of Thursday's game with what was classified as a quad strain, and Garrett said it looks like his preseason is done.

"We don't think it's good," Garrett said. "He hurt his quad and his tendon and probably a pretty serious injury. So he's going to be out for a little bit."

The Cowboys have brought in fellow rookie running back D.J. Adams to replace Malena, who they waived/injured. Garrett said the team "might want to give him a chance again" at some point, regarding Malena. [embedded_ad]

  • The Cowboys also released rookie punter Cody Mandell on Saturday. Mandell averaged 43.7 yards per punt on three attempts against the Chargers. He also handled some kickoff duty. Garrett said the plan is to add a kicker who can help spell Dan Bailey during the preseason.
  • Garrett said the coaching staff had conversations about playing Zack Martin for longer than the rest of the starting offensive line, given his inexperience. Ultimately, they decided one possession was enough. Garrett said Martin gets more reps than most of the starting line, given that he takes snaps as second-team center on occasion.
  • Rolando McClain is another injured player the Cowboys hope can work this weekend. Garrett said he wants to ease McClain back into practice for at least part of Saturday afternoon. Terrell McClain is still "at least a couple days away" from practicing.
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