IRVING, Texas – It's a different location, but the same problems for the Dallas Cowboys during this 2013 training camp.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett spoke to the media Monday for the first time since the team arrived home in Dallas. The topic of injuries, which Garrett is well-accustomed to, carried the day following the revelation that running back Lance Dunbar would be out three to four weeks with a sprained foot.
"He has a foot sprain, and it's really uncertain how long he's going to be out," Garrett said. "He's certainly going to be out for this week, and then we'll just kind of see it day-to-day beyond that."
Garrett said it's premature to discuss how Dunbar's injury affects the Cowboys' eventual 53-man roster. He did admit, however, that injury considerations do play a role in decision-making when the time comes to make roster cuts.
"All of those kinds of things factor into how you cut your team down," he said. "We certainly have a couple of weeks to go before we have to do that, and we'll just see what the landscape is at that time. Certainly injuries play a part – you have to have enough players at each position to play these games. So that could be a factor with him and with some other guys on our team as well."
Garrett said he was not positive when the injury occurred.
Here are some more notes from Monday's press conference:
- The Cowboys anticipate rookie safety J.J. Wilcox will return to the team "at some point this week."
- Guards Kevin Kowalski and Ray Dominguez returned to practice Monday. Garrett said the pair did individual work and will hopefully get some full-team reps before the game against Cincinnati.
- Asked about the potential return of guard Nate Livings, Garrett said the veteran is "getting closer."
- Garrett listed the Cowboys' energy and approach as positives from the Cowboys' loss to Arizona, and he said he felt good about a number of individual plays. But he acknowledged that the six team turnovers were the main impression from the 12-7 loss.
- Monday's practice started at 8:15 a.m. – a far cry from the typical 4 p.m. starts at training camp in Oxnard, Calif. Garrett said the first week back in Dallas will be key for the Cowboys to learn the new schedule and adjust to normal life.
- Asked if defensive tackle Jay Ratlif would return to practice this week, Garrett said "We'll see." Garrett said Ratliff "needs to start making strides pretty soon" in his recovery.
- Garrett said he has confidence in Kyle Orton as the Cowboys' backup quarterback, despite Orton's two-interception performance in Arizona.
- Garrett said the Cowboys' coaching staff will find ways to get rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman onto the field if he keeps making plays. Holloman has two interceptions, one of those returned for a touchdown, in three preseason games so far. [embedded_ad]
- Phillip Tanner didn't receive any carries against the Cardinals on Saturday, which Garrett said was a collective decision to get Joseph Randle some extra work. Garrett said Tanner "always responds the right way" to coaching decisions.
- It was revealed Saturday that linebacker Alex Albright's back injury would sideline him for the rest of 2013. Garrett said the loss was disappointing for Albright and the coaching staff. He said it remains to be seen how that loss will affect final roster decisions.