OXNARD, Calif. – Defensive end Greg Hardy participated in Friday's morning walkthrough and will practice this afternoon despite a minor rib strain that appeared to cause him discomfort during part of Thursday's opening camp practice.
"Nothing major at all," head coach Jason Garrett said.
Hardy is working with the first-team defense at right defensive end, the position he's projected to play when he returns from a four-game regular-season suspension for conduct detrimental to the league.
Hardy can participate in all of training camp and preseason before his suspension begins Sept. 5.
There has been no update on whether Hardy will further challenge for a lower suspension after an independent arbitrator reduced the number of games from 10 to four in early July. The Cowboys have not been involved in his appeal process.
But team coaches, teammates and executives have praised Hardy's work ethic since signing a one-year deal in March.
"I think from Day One he understands where he is and the opportunity that he has here," Garrett said. "He's been very straightforward and honest with us about his past. And he's come in here and come to work.
"To be honest with you, with Greg right from the start, he was actually going too hard. He was going too hard in the weight room and too hard on the field early on in the offseason. So he's a guy that is really committed to being the best that he can be. And I think he wants to be a part of something special."
- In search of linebacker depth with Keith Rivers retiring and Rolando McClain (knee) starting camp on the Active Physically Unable to Perform list, the Cowboys worked out two linebackers Friday: Keith Smith, who spent time on and off the Cowboys' roster as an undrafted rookie last season; and Ashlee Palmer, a six-year veteran with the Bills and Lions. The other workout was tight end Gator Hoskins, who appeared in 11 games for the Dolphins last year as an undrafted rookie. (UPDATE: Smith signed after the morning walkthrough.)
- Garrett said the Cowboys have had discussions with veteran defensive end Jeremy Mincey, but he is still absent from camp while seeking an adjustment to his contract. "We're really focused on the players that we have here in camp and trying to build our football team," Garrett said. "That's really where our attention is, that's really where our focus is." Rookie Randy Gregory will receive additional reps at right end in practice.
- The Cowboys are sporting T-shirts with a new "We Do" slogan. Garrett said the inspiration comes from U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch's message that no one can define a person but themselves.
- The Cowboys won't conduct their first padded practice until Saturday, but players are clearly ready to compete. Garrett reminded the team dial down the intensity during the no-contact walkthrough after a competitive play on the ball between Mo Claiborne and Dez Bryant. "That's just two guys competing," tight end Jason Witten said.