ARLINGTON, Texas– Lance Dunbar won't need to walk around in the boot he wore Thursday at the Silver and Blue Debut much longer if all goes to plan.
The speedy back who had a nice start to camp said he expects to be out of the boot in three days and still believes he can get back for the opener against the Giants.
"I'm actually ready to get out of it now, but they want me to keep it on," he said.
Dunbar sprained his foot in the preseason game against Arizona, but the injury doesn't appear to be as bad as the sprained foot DeMarco Murray suffered last year, which kept the starting running back out six games.
"I'm already walking on mine," Dunbar said. "It's getting better. It felt a whole lot better than yesterday, so I feel like it's healing pretty fast."
Dunbar had a strong start to camp, and if he can get back for the opener, should figure to have a role in the offense.
"I am disappointed," Dunbar said. "It's a setback. I've been working hard to showcase my skills, and the injuries set me back."
Dunbar stood on the sideline alongside injured receiver Cole Beasley for the majority of the Silver and Blue Debut. Here are some other notes from that practice:
- Orlando Scandrick practiced with the team, one day after missing practice with a groin injury. Head coach Jason Garrett said it's still up in the air whether or not the corner, who's taken first-team reps in place of the injured Morris Claiborne, will play against the Bengals.
- Speaking of Claiborne's knee injury, Garrett said last year's first-round pick ran again Thursday and started working on changing direction. Garrett doesn't anticipate Claiborne playing this weekend, but he could return to practice next week. Claiborne also sounded confident after practice about his recovery.
"I've been feeling good with the cutting," Claiborne said. "I feel like we've made some big strides this week to get me back on the field."
- Doug Free once again lined up and took reps at right guard with Jermey Parnell at right tackle as the offensive line adjusts for injuries. Garrett said the team is still in the midst of having discussions about which players will play in which spots this weekend, but the team will play different combinations.
- Along with that switch, Mackenzy Bernadeau also moved from right guard to take reps at left guard. Garrett said Bernadeau's versatility made him a more attractive player in free agency, and the stance at left guard doesn't seem to be an issue for him.
- Garrett reiterated that Jason Hatcher's flexibility allows him to play the nose tackle and the under tackle positions on the line. He can even play defensive end as well in this scheme, so the Cowboys will work out different combinations of players once Jay Ratliff returns to see what works best.
- Linebacker Sean Lee, fresh off signing his new extension, said he likes the new turf installed at the stadium, which he said isn't as thick and has more grip.
"This is more like what I've played on since I was young," Lee said. "It's really nice."
- Garrett said when Sterling Moore joined the team after practice on a Friday from New England's practice squad last year and played on a Sunday, it was the first time Garrett had ever heard of such an occurrence. He sees Moore as an instinctive player who can play inside and outside, but seems to be better as an inside nickel player because of his knack for being around the ball. Garrett said Brandon Underwood is bigger and longer, so he's more apt to play outside and has played outside most of his career, but Underwood has the athletic ability to move inside as well. [embedded_ad]
- The Cowboys will continue to use B.W. Webb as an inside nickel cornerback as well as the outside, according to Garrett, who said the rookie needs to learn both spots.
"One of the things we've been pleased with (Webb) is how he's come back," Garrett said. "He didn't have a great game at Oakland. I think he learned a lot from that experience. That's really an important trait for everybody, particularly for guys that want to play corner in the NFL."