OXNARD, Calif. – Just one week can change quite a bit for a team, even at specific positions.
After the Cowboys sat out their top three running backs last week in the preseason opener in San Diego, those same three are expected to play Sunday in San Francisco in the second exhibition contest.
And that includes veteran Darren McFadden, who just returned to practice this week. Owner/GM Jerry Jones said he expects to see McFadden against the 49ers, even for a limited amount of time.
"Yes he will," Jones responded to McFadden playing. "And now I don't want to imply that he's going to play a lot because I don't want to imply anybody's going to play a lot. But you'll see him up there. You'll see him take some snaps."
McFadden said the decision to play isn't his call, but he's looking forward to it, especially after spending the first seven years across the Bay Area in Oakland.
"I want to play," McFadden said. "But we're trying to be smart. Whatever they want is good with me. But I feel good out here running around with my teammates."
Jones expects the same out of Joseph Randle, who has been limited this week with an oblique injury. But the owner did say that could change depending on his rehab here in the next two days.
"I expect him to play. Based on what I'm hearing right now, and that's all we've got," Jones said of Randle. "I'm talking about how he looks injury wise, he'll play, if that's the issue. And he should play because he's in the rotation."
[embeddedad0]Third back Lance Dunbar is also expected to get some carries as well.
Both of the Cowboys' backs last week in San Diego won't be playing against the 49ers. Starter Gus Johnson, who scored the club's only touchdown, suffered a shoulder injury later in the game and has been held out of practice this week.
His replacement in the game last week was Lache Seastrunk, who was waived by the Cowboys on Thursday. Look for backups Michael Hill and Ben Malena to get plenty of carries in the second half, if not sooner.
The Cowboys added defensive tackle Carlif Taylor (Southern Connecticut) after a workout Friday. The club waived guard Cody Clay. Taylor was one of two DTs working out, along with Darius Cummings (Florida).
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens continues to wear a protective boot on his injured foot, which he says is improving. "I've just got to keep getting treatment and try to get out here as soon as possible," he said. Rookie Damien Wilson has been working in Hitchens' place at first-team strong-side linebacker.
- Jerry Jones said he's not worried about Byron Jones' shoulder injury and said if the second opinion he received was problematic, he "would've heard" by now. Jones did say Byron Jones will get more looks at safety when he returns.
- NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, who is from the Dallas area, attended practice Friday morning.