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Mid-Day Report: Dez, Spencer Return; New Role For Wilcox?


IRVING, Texas – All of the Cowboys' injury concerns were present and accounted for Thursday, as the Week 3 clash with St. Louis draws closer.

Anthony Spencer and Dez Bryant both reported to the morning practice, which was conducted without pads. Ernie Sims was once again at practice, working separately from the rest of the Cowboys' defense. DeMarcus Ware and Morris Claiborne also participated.

Bryant and Spencer are obviously the main concerns among that group, and each player took on a different work load during practice. More notably, Bryant did not join the rest of the offense in position drills and one-on-one reps against the defensive backs. Instead, he joined Sims and the Cowboys' training staff in isolated rehab work. Bryant seemed to be moving deliberately yet cautiously with his sore back. He ran some routes for the trainers toward the tail end of the open portion of practice, but he was not going full speed.

Spencer participated fully with the defensive line after taking a rehab day on Wednesday. [embedded_ad]

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in his Thursday morning press conference that he was hoping to see both Bryant and Spencer do some work in uniform, after both players missed the padded Wednesday practice.

"Hopefully they can do a lot and really get into the flow of practice, and continue to progress as the week goes on," Garrett said.

Here are some more notes from Thursday's practice and Garrett's morning press conference:

  • J.J. Wilcox paired alongside Barry Church with the starters during the early portion of practice, although there were no reps between the full team. Veteran Will Allen ran with the second team.
  • Garrett said he didn't think age was a factor in Bryant's back spasms, which have happened before. He said Bryant should be able to fight through the issue.
  • With just a week to prep for games, Garrett was unsure how much Claiborne would be able to recover from his shoulder injury. "It's not bad enough to give him time off, but you'd like to give him a chance to heal up a little bit more," Garrett said. "A lot of guys have that, and you've just got to deal with it. Hopefully in time it gets better and better."
  • Feisty cornerback Cortland Finnegan will be lining up across from Cowboys' receivers this week. Garrett was asked if he has talked to his players – particularly Bryant – about not being baited into confrontations. "Getting into jawing matches or shoving matches with anybody in defense isn't a good idea, you've just got to get focused on the next play," Garrett said.
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