Mid-Day Report: No Claiborne In SD; DB Help On Way


OXNARD, Calif. – Morris Claiborne won't practice Tuesday or play in Thursday's game against San Diego, as he continues to work his way back from tendonitis in his knee.

"I won't be playing in the Chargers game. I won't be even be practicing today, I'll be doing the routine they have me doing on the field," said Claiborne following the Cowboys' Tuesday morning walkthrough. "I'll be doing some drills on the field, so I won't be practicing."

Claiborne is one of several hampered cornerbacks at a position that hasn't been at 100 percent capacity since the start of camp. Brandon Carr has been absent since the Cowboys arrived in California, as he copes with the death of his mother. Claiborne hurt his knee last week, and that was quickly followed by injuries to Sterling Moore and Dashaun Phillips.

To offset those losses, the Cowboys are bringing in several new faces at the position. The team is expected to give physicals to, and likely sign, two new defensive backs – Korey Lindsey and Johnny Thomas.

Lindsey was a seventh-round draft pick out of Southern Illinois in 2011, and he has spent time with six NFL teams in the past three years. Thomas, a safety, played for Oklahoma State, where he was ruled ineligible for the 2011 season. He went undrafted in 2012.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said at his afternoon press conference that the team wants to get the two into practice as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, their flight is delayed and they may not be available Tuesday.

In the meantime, Claiborne said he'll continue to work on rehabbing his knee during practice on Tuesday.

"I'm getting back – we're just kind of managing it," he said. "It is what it is. I'll be doing the same thing I've been doing every day and just rehabbing."

Claiborne said his hope going forward is to be ready to practice when the Cowboys return from San Diego, and to be ready to play for the second preseason game on Aug. 16 against Baltimore.

Coping with his third injury stint in as many training camps, Claiborne insisted he isn't frustrated with the situation.

"I'm at a good place right now, I'm good. I'm not stressed out over anything," he said. "I know this is like the third year that I'm missing time, but I'm in a better place right now than I was those last two years."

Here are some other highlights from Garrett's afternoon press conference: [embedded_ad]

  • Tony Romo isn't going to practice Tuesday, in keeping with the scheduled off days the coaching staff has given him during training camp. Romo practiced Monday, and he said after the Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday that he expected to practice either Monday or Tuesday, but not both.
  • Garrett said the Cowboys coaching staff will begin having conversations about playing time for the San Diego game on Tuesday afternoon. "As a general comment," he said he expects the first-team players to play a small amount, with the second team and the third team getting significantly more playing time. Romo said Sunday he doesn't expect to play against the Chargers, and he expects he'll see his preseason debut against Baltimore.
  • The Cowboys have worked a lot on different end-of-game and end-of-half scenarios, with a lot of that coming in two-minute situations. Garrett said he thought the team has handled itself well in implementing the gameplans, as the coaching staff has given out a lot to digest in the installation period.
  • With the focus on offensive line in recent drafts, Garrett said he thought the Cowboys have an opportunity to be a physical team for the first time "in a while."
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