Thurs. Practice Recap: Randle Exits Early; Many Return To Action

OXNARD, Calif. – Running back Joseph Randle returned to practice this week after a strained oblique kept him out of the Cowboys' preseason opener, but he exited Thursday's practice early following individual drills.

"Same thing I had earlier. It just flared up on me again," Randle said afterward. "We'll get it right. We've been working real hard. We'll get it right."

Darren McFadden took the first-team reps at running back in team drills. The Cowboys have one more practice in shells scheduled for Friday before Sunday's preseason game at San Francisco.

Given the Cowboys' measured approach to injuries throughout training camp, Randle's availability for the game is uncertain at this point.

"Of course I always want to be out there with my teammates," he said.

Quick Hits:

  • Brandon Carr returned to the first-team defense during Thursday's practice for the first time since he broke his hand in practice two weeks ago. It remains to be seen if the veteran corner will participate in Sunday's preseason game, but he said his hand was virtually pain free. "I didn't really feel it today," he said. "It felt pretty good. I'll just keep doing more and more with it each day, get it back stronger and get ready for game time."
  • Several other Cowboys veterans returned to the full-team portion of practice – although it wasn't a fully-padded afternoon. Tyron Smith and Doug Free worked with the first-team offense, and Orlando Scandrick returned to do some full-team work with the first-team defense. The Cowboys have been cautious with all three injured starters, but none of them are thought to be serious issues.
  • After taking two days off with a sore Achilles, Cole Beasley returned to practice and was able to do a full workload. "It's only going to improve. I didn't have any setbacks today, so I'm good to go," he said. Beasley sat out of Tuesday's joint practice against the Rams, and he rested during the Cowboys' off day before returning to the field.
  • With Randle limited on Thursday afternoon, Darren McFadden saw an uptick in his workload with the running backs. The Cowboys have gradually increased his workload since he returned from his hamstring injury on Saturday, but McFadden said he doesn't yet know if he'll play Sunday against San Francisco.

Notable Standouts

A.J. Jenkins – Two weeks ago, it would have been considered a major surprise that three receivers would be released and Jenkins would not be one of them. The former first-round pick didn't do much to impress in his early days at camp, but he has continued to improve in recent practices. In the latter portions of Thursday's practice, he made several nice catches, highlighted by a touchdown in seven-on-seven drills.

Lance Dunbar – Just like McFadden, Dunbar continues to up his workload in recent practices after returning from a sprained ankle. The limited nature of the practice allowed him to showcase his skillset, as he was continually motioning out of the backfield to make open catches. 

Tyrone Crawford – It wasn't so much that Crawford made any amazing plays, but it was encouraging to see him back in practice after sitting out several days with a back problem. Nick Hayden and Terrell McClain have both been hampered by injuries for the past two weeks, so it was nice to have one of the team's primary defensive tackles back in the mix.

Play of the Day

Terrance Williams showed some fantastic separation on Brandon Carr during the full-team period, where he received a lot of attention from Brandon Weeden. Williams matched up with Carr on the outside and immediately broke left on a shallow crossing route. Carr's coverage was close at first, but Williams eventually pulled away for an easy catch. After securing the ball, he broke away from Carr and Andrew Gachkar and turned it upfield for a touchdown.

Transactions:

Aug. 20 – Signed LB Dakorey Johnson, WR Phil Bates, WR Edmond Gates
Aug. 20 – Claimed CB Rod Sweeting
Aug. 20 – Released CB Brandon Smith, WR Reggie Dunn, WR Deontay Greenberry, RB Lache Seastrunk
Aug. 16 – Signed WR David Porter
Aug. 16 – Released WR George Farmer
Aug. 15 – Signed RBs Ben Malena, Michael Hill
Aug. 15 – Placed S Ray Vinopal on Waived/Injured

Injury Report:

Returned to Practice:

WR Cole Beasley
WR Antwan Goodley
OT Tyron Smith
OT Doug Free
CB Brandon Carr
CB Orlando Scandrick
DE Tyrone Crawford

Left Practice:

RB Joseph Randle (oblique)

Missed Practice: 

G Zack Martin (stinger)

TE Gavin Escobar (head)

DE Lavar Edwards (back)

CB Morris Claiborne (rest)

LB Sean Lee (rest)

CB Byron Jones (shoulder)

LB Anthony Hitchens (foot)

G Ron Leary (back)

TE James Hanna (knee)

RB Gus Johnson (shoulder)

DT Nick Hayden (ribs)

WR Dez Bryant (hamstring)

DE Kenneth Boatright (neck)

DT Terrell McClain (bone bruise/hamstring)

OL Chaz Green (hip)

LB Mark Nzeocha (knee)

LB Rolando McClain (knee)

Upcoming Schedule

Friday, August 21

10:30 a.m. (PDT)                Practice

12:00 p.m. (PDT)                Coach Garrett Press Conference

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