Monday Notes: Hamlin Back to Practice

Position: Running back Height/Weight: 5-9, 202
Age: 23
College: Hampton
NFL Exp: R
How Acquired: FA-'07
Hometown: South Boston, Va.

Fitting In: The Cowboys' top three running back spots appear set with Julius Jones, Marion Barber and Tyson Thompson all returning in 2007. Coleman's slim chances of cracking that rotation have gotten slimmer after the rookie free agent missed the first 15 days of practice and the preseason opener with a sprained ankle he sustained on the first day of mini-camp.
So Far: Coleman practiced for the first time in training camp Saturday and is working with the third-team offense. The former Hampton standout said his ankle is about 80 percent after suffering what he called the worst sprain of his career.
Best Asset: Quickness. Coleman attacks holes with great burst, though the ankle injury has probably limited his speed.
You Should Know: A Hampton rookie has made the Cowboys' 53-man roster before. Wide receiver Zuriel Smith, a sixth-round pick, returned punts for the Cowboys in 2003.
A Mouthful: "I never really fell off. It was just me getting out there and needing to get the rhythm down of the offensive line, the plays. But it's going to be what it's going to be. Just keep working hard." -Rob Phillips

Dog Days

The Cowboys no longer have the Alamodome providing shade from the unforgiving Texas heat. The conditions for Monday's afternoon practice: 102 degrees with a heat index of 110.

Cowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones retreated to their new air-conditioned VIP suite, located directly on the track that overlooks the practice fields, for the final 15 minutes of practice.

Jones compassionately invited the baking members of the media inside the wood-paneled suite for the final team drills session.

Roster Move

The Cowboys increased their training camp roster to 84 players Monday by signing offensive tackle Jason Hilliard, who practiced wearing No. 74.

The 26-year-old Hilliard (6-6, 321) has spent time with the Giants, Packers and Rams and most recently played with the AFL's Columbus Destroyers.

The Cowboys still have one open spot on their 85-man camp roster, having released guard Steve Franklin on Saturday.

Injury Update:
OT Doug Free, sprained knee, 2-4 weeks (8/9)
CB Quincy Butler, pulled muscle - day-to-day (8/5)
WR Jamaica Rector, knee - day-to-day (7/31)
WR Terry Glenn, knee scope - 2 weeks (7/30)
DT Jason Hatcher, hamstring - day-to-day (7/30)
LB Greg Ellis, heel - day-to-day (7/25)

Missed Practice:
OT Doug Free (knee)
CB Quincy Butler (pulled muscle)
WR Jamaica Rector (knee)
WR Terry Glenn (knee scope)
DT Jason Hatcher (hamstring)
LB Greg Ellis (heel)

Returned to Practice:
S Ken Hamlin (head)

Short Shots

Cowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones and former Cowboys Ron Springs and Everson Walls are scheduled to make a special announcement Tuesday following Phillips' news conference. Walls donated a kidney to his ex-teammate Springs in March . . . Rookie receiver Isaiah Stanback looked impressive in his second training camp practice, catching a touchdown pass in team drills. He dropped a punt earlier in practice, however . . . Tight end Tony Curtis made a nice over-the-shoulder touchdown grab from Richard Bartel . . . Rookie fullback Deon Anderson got into a brief scuffle with Burnett following a play . . . The Broncos have a busy week ahead, first playing their preseason opener Monday night at San Francisco, then traveling on Tuesday to Valley Ranch for joint practices with the Cowboys on Wednesday and Thursday and finishing up with Saturday's preseason game at Texas Stadium.

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