Notes: QB Signed; Ratliff Misses Practice

The Cowboys have signed two more players on Sunday, including quarterback Tom Brandstater, who was recently cut by the Dolphins.

The club also claimed wide receiver Dominique Edison off waivers from the Seahawks.

Brandstater will replace Zack Eskridge, the rookie free agent who was cut on Saturday. The Cowboys also waived defensive tackle Billy Blackard.

A sixth-round pick of the Broncos in 2009, Brandstater has been with Denver, Indianapolis and Miami over the last two seasons. At 6-5, 220, he's got the ideal size for the position and was a productive college quarterback at Fresno State.

Ratliff MissesPro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is one of a handful of veteran with surprise absences in Saturday's practice here at the Alamodome.

Ratliff is out with a slight hip contusion. It's unclear if the Cowboys will clear him to participate in Sunday's Blue-White scrimmage that includes portions of live contact.

With Ratliff out, the Cowboys are using Josh Brent as the first-team nose tackle.

Other players not practicing Saturday include cornerback Alan Ball, who is out with a blister. Ball only returned to practice Thursday night after sitting out the first week because of the CBA restrictions. Ball did work with the first-team reps on Friday to replace Mike Jenkins, who returned to practice Saturday with a nagging neck strain.

WR Manny Johnson had a mild head injury on Friday and isn't practicing Saturday as well.

Two ReleasedThe Cowboys waived a pair of rookie free agents following Saturday's practice, including Midwestern State quarterback Zack Eskridge. That drops the quarterback depth chart to just three, however the club will likely add a fourth before the end of the preseason, just for practice purposes.

The team also waived defensive tackle Billy Blackard from Northeastern State.

Eskridge had the interesting story with his grandfather Jack being the first Cowboys equipment manager and actually creating the design of the current blue star. And with Jason Garrett's decision to remove the stars from the helmet for all rookies, Eskridge never could wear that star that his grandfather created.

Ready To HitThe Cowboys will finally "crank it up" as Bradie James says, with a full-contact scrimmage on Sunday at the Alamadome.

Jason Garrett is bringing back the intra-squad scrimmage during camp and James is one player who seems ready to get after it.

"We need to crank it up and hopefully start taking people to the ground," James said. "We have to be smart about it. We can't just be careless and get people hurt. But at some point we have to start playing real football and I'm excited about it."

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