New IR Exception Not Applicable For Cowboys At This Time

IRVING, Texas –While the new agreement between the NFL and its Players Association to allow one Injured Reserve exception per team has to be considered good news around the league, it will not help the Cowboys right now.

The team has a few injured players, but none who are expected to miss extended time. Most would be considered possible to return by at least Week 2 against Seattle. One player who has been injured for almost all of training camp, giving him no way to prove he deserves a place on the team, is Matt Johnson, but it doesn't appear the Cowboys will use the IR exception to stash the fourth-round safety.

"I don't think it affects our team in that particular situation," Garrett said. "It's a real specific rule for a real specific kind of player, so he probably will not fall into that category."

Among other rule changes agreed to by labor and management on Thursday are a new trade deadline, moved from Week 6 to Week 8, and the removal of the three-day waiting period before a player can practice with his new team, beginning next year.

The final change will also be seen as a positive for the Cowboys, who were at times frustrated by being forced to wait to integrate a player into practice despite an immediate need caused by injuries.

For now, though, the injury situation at hand is massaging the roster for a week or two, in time for players like Johnson, Kyle Wilber, Jason Witten and Jay Ratliff to get healthy.

"When you're trying to figure out what your roster is going to be through the first week, sometimes you just have to manage those health situations," Garrett said. "You might be a little long at a position or a little short at a position, just to get yourself through Week 1, 2 or 3, depending on when those guys can come back. I think you do that all over your team. I think teams all over the league have to do that, and you just try to make your best judgments."

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