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Only 3 Missing From 1st Regular Season Practice


FRISCO, Texas – The off-field speculation about Ezekiel Elliott continues, but at least the Cowboys are getting some good news on the field.

Amari Cooper, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith all returned to action Monday as the Cowboys went through their first practice of the regular season. It remains to be seen just how big their workload will be, but all three Pro Bowlers are gearing up for Week 1.

"All those guys who have been out should do something in practice today," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "Some might be limited, but we do anticipate them getting some work in."

That's especially good news for Cooper, who has been nursing a foot injury for a full month. Cooper said two weeks ago that he was confident he'd be ready for the regular season, and that seems to be the case with Sunday's game against the New York Giants approaching.

All told, there were only three absences from the field as the 53-man roster practiced together for the first time. Two safeties, Donovan Wilson and Darian Thompson are currently sidelined by ankle injuries. Linebacker Luke Gifford, who is one of just two undrafted free agents to make the team, is also still sidelined by an ankle injury of his own.

Gifford's presence on the roster seems like a good sign, though. There had been speculation for the last three weeks that the injury might land him on injured reserve when the season started. But the Cowboys apparently feel good enough about his progress that they intend to keep him on the active roster for the time being.