Mid-Day Report: Cowboys Ending Joint Practices

You Should've Seen:
As the Cowboys continue to search for adequate help on punt returns, it's unlikely Marcus Spears will get his try. But the 6-4, 305-pound defensive end fielded a few punts after the morning practice, along with Stanback and Quincy Butler. Spears is considered a good athlete for his position, but using him to return punts . . . now that would be a stretch. "The more you can do, the longer you can stay around," he joked after practice.

Who's Hot:
Denver's offense was rather efficient in the morning practice, both in 7-on-7 and team drills. Quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Patrick Ramsey completed several passes down the field to open receivers. Even the Cowboys' first-team defense had some problems containing the Broncos' passing game. Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall had at least three nice grabs in the morning practice.

Who's Not:
Second-year wide receiver Jamaica Rector hasn't practiced since July 31 because of a knee injury. And with Stanback returning to practice, Rector is falling further behind a crowded receiving corps.

Quick Shots:

  • Wide receiver Terrell Owens took the field a few minutes after practice started and stretched with strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek before joining his teammates. Asked the reason for Owens' late arrival, Phillips only said, "We had a player late for practice and it's been handled. I don't discuss who is or who isn't." * Fullback Oliver Hoyte participated in individual drills, then sat out the rest of Thursday's morning practice because of a left shoulder stinger. Phillips said Hoyte should be available on Saturday. Hoyte missed most of Wednesday afternoon's practice also. * Nose tackle Jason Ferguson was excused from the morning practice because his wife gave birth to a son. Working in his place with the first-team defense was Remi Ayodele. * Seventh-round pick Courtney Brown seems to be making a nice transition from cornerback to safety in his first training camp. The former Cal-Poly standout had a nice practice Thursday, getting two interceptions, including one in team drills where he outfought a Denver receiver to haul in the pick some 40 yards downfield. * Isaiah Stanback looked smooth returning punts with Patrick Crayton, Terence Newman and Jerheme Urban. The rookie receiver did muff a short punt, however, after racing some 10 yards up the field to make the catch. * Quarterbacks Tony Romo and Matt Moore each fired touchdown passes during 7-on-7 drills. Romo found Owens deep over the middle, and Moore squeezed a short completion to Patrick Crayton in between two Broncos defenders. * Starting offensive tackles Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo again were held out of the morning practice but will return for the afternoon session. Phillips has practiced both players only once a day following their return from arthroscopic knee surgeries but still says both will play in Saturday's preseason game. * Former Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders arrived for the morning practice, continuing the parade of ex-Cowboys in attendance this week.

    Injury Update:
    OT Doug Free, sprained knee, 2-4 weeks (8/9)
    CB Quincy Butler, pulled muscle - day-to-day (8/5)
    WR Jamaica Rector, knee - day-to-day (7/31)
    WR Terry Glenn, knee scope - 2 weeks (7/30)
    DE Jason Hatcher, hamstring - day-to-day (7/30)
    LB Greg Ellis, heel - day-to-day (7/25)

Missed Practice:
DT Jason Ferguson (child's birth)
OT Flozell Adams (rest)
OT Marc Colombo (rest)
OT Doug Free (knee)
CB Quincy Butler (pulled muscle)
WR Jamaica Rector (knee)
WR Terry Glenn (knee scope)
DE Jason Hatcher (hamstring)
LB Greg Ellis (heel)

Returned to Practice:

P Sam Paulescu, signed (8/14)
G Steve Franklin, waived (8/9)
TE Andy Thorn, waived (8/8)
LB Khari Long, signed (8/3)
P Sam Paulescu, waived (8/3)
LT Pete Lougheed, signed (8/1)
RT Jim Molinaro, placed on IR (8/1)
QB Matt Baker, waived (7/26)
RT James Marten, signed (7/26)
LB Anthony Spencer, signed (7/26)
LT Flozell Adams, placed on active PUP (7/25)
RT Marc Colombo, placed on active PUP (7/25)
RB Alonzo Coleman, placed on active PUP (7/25)
WR Isaiah Stanback, placed on active/non-football injury (7/25)
WR Isaiah Stanback, signed (7/25)
G Doug Free, signed (7/25)
K Nick Folk, signed (7/25)
FB Deon Anderson, signed (7/25)
DB Courtney Brown, signed (7/25)
DB Alan Ball, signed (7/25)

Wade's Best:
"I've always been honest with them in that I've always told them if you want to know where you are, you can ask me. And I haven't had many of them ask me because I'll tell them if it doesn't look like they're going to make the team." - Phillips when asked if bubble players ever try to massage his ego in hopes of earning a roster spot.

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