IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys know better than any team how injuries can affect a playoff push late in the season.
In an effort to keep the players fresh, head coach Jason Garrett and the coaching staff held multiple veterans out of certain drills Tuesday, as Organized Team Activities (OTAs) begin to wrap up. Miles Austin, Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff all worked out off to the side as a precautionary measure.
"That's the approach with everybody this time of year, really," Garrett said. "Guys have worked really hard in the offseason program. We've had near 100 percent attendance since the offseason program started. We've had that with our OTAs. So it's our jobs as coaches to make sure that we put those guys in the right situation. We want to make sure they learn all the instillation necessary, but also you want to keep them fresh, healthy, ready to go, as we finish up the offseason and go into training camp."
Other players were resting for actual injury purposes. DeMarcus Ware and Mackenzy Bernadeau are both easing into OTAs coming back from injuries, while various injuries kept out Nate Livings, Anthony Spencer, Will Allen, Jermey Parnell, Jakar Hamilton, Danny McCray and cornerback Malik James.
Garrett said none of the injuries are serious, and the coaches just want to be cautious at this time of year. Hamstring injuries in particular have been a problem for the Cowboys dating back to last season. Allen, Parnell and Hamilton are all dealing with that right now, while DeMarco Murray is back on the field practicing after a hamstring tweak limited him early in OTAs.
"We're always very in tune to the injuries we have on our team," Garrett said. "Miles has been a guy since he started his career he's had some hamstring issues, even coming out of college. So you want to monitor him and watch what he's done. You really try to do it specifically with each of the guys and know what their history is."
A familiar nametag could be seen in the locker room after OTAs finished Tuesday, as safety Eric Frampton gets set to rejoin the team.
Frampton played in 13 games last season for the Cowboys, starting the final two games of the year at strong safety as the team adjusted for injuries. He was also a valuable special teams commodity.
"Officially, he's not back on the team yet, but he will be," Garrett said. "He should work in some capacity tomorrow. He's been in transit, and he's back in town now. Excited to have him back. Did a really good job for us in opportunities he got on defense last year and also in the kicking game."
Garrett didn't announce the corresponding move, but it appears the spot will be opened by placing defensive tackle Robert Callaway on the waived/injured list after he had microfracture surgery on his knee.
Jason Garrett has kept in touch with Gary Brown as he tends to a family matter. He told the running backs coach to take as much time as he needs to deal with a family member's illness, but he does anticipate Brown returning this week.
In Brown's absence, the rest of the coaches are combining to help out the running backs. Special teams coach Rich Bisaccia was also absent for Tuesday's practice to tend to a personal matter.
A team's draft board typically doesn't get revealed, as scouting departments across the league work diligently to put one together and devise a private plan.
That wasn't the case this year for the Cowboys, whose board was leaked weeks after the draft had ended. Owner/general manager Jerry Jones didn't seem concerned, though. He said he can appreciate the sensitivity of a draft board during the draft, but he doesn't look at it as a sensitive issue at all after the conclusion of the draft.
"I don't see the negative aspect of that information," Jones said. "We won't make it a practice of publishing it, but still I don't think it's an important detail."