OXNARD, Calif. – At the start of Tuesday's afternoon practice, the Cowboys put their cornerback depth on display as the position looked to be at full strength for the first time in several weeks.
Now it appears that depth will be put to the test after Orlando Scandrick's knee injury.
While replacing Scandrick in the slot will be quite a chore, a spot likely to be field right away by Tyler Patmon, the Cowboys got a few other corners back on the field, including first-round pick Byron Jones.
After missing a week with a shoulder injury that required an MRI and second opinion, Jones was back in pads Tuesday and even got an interception in team period.
"Structurally it's fine. I'm not worried about it coming out or anything," Jones said of his shoulder. "It felt great. Going out there hitting people – I didn't think about it once. So I'm confident to go out there and play."[embeddedad0]
Along with Jones, the Cowboys also got veteran starter Brandon Carr back to full participation. Carr suffered a broken hand and has missed the first two preseason games but has slowly worked himself back in the mix. Carr not only practiced Tuesday but is expected to play Saturday in the third preseason game against Minnesota.
And the same goes for Morris Claiborne, who hasn't played in a preseason game since his rookie year of 2012 after missing these first two of 2015. But Claiborne said, "I should be a go this week. It's been very hard but I've channeled that energy. I haven't been worried about anything since I came back. I see no reason to start now."
At the end of Tuesday's practice, before even hearing the official prognosis of Scandrick's injury, defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson was already preparing for the worse.
"We have good depth at corner, at least we thought on paper," Henderson said. "But we like those guys and I guess now we're going to get a chance to see, possibly. We're going to keep moving with our plans in what we want to do. But we lost a heck of a player, possibly. If we have lost him, we have to put another guy in there and keep moving."
- Wide receiver Devin Street limped off the field during team drills with what might have been an aggravation of the left ankle injury that limited him earlier in camp.
- Dez Bryant (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis – he went through individual drills but was held out of one-on-one, seven-on-seven and team drills.
- The Cowboys' defense had three interceptions in practice: one each from safety Barry Church, defensive back Byron Jones and Scandrick.
- Quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten connected multiple times in practice, including a touchdown catch in the red zone.
- Wide receiver/returner Lucky Whitehead had a productive practice as a pass catcher but did drop a punt in special teams drills.
- With backup quarterback Brandon Weeden missing practice following his concussion against the 49ers, head coach Jason Garrett pitched in throwing passes during one-on-one drills.
- Latin Grammy winning artists Los Lonely Boys attended practice.
- The Cowboys honored men and women in the Armed Forces during Military Appreciation Day.
Notable StandoutsByron Jones –The first-round pick was active and competitive in his first practice back from a shoulder injury. He registered an interception and batted down two passes in one-on-one drills against Terrance Williams and A.J. Jenkins.
Greg Hardy –Hardy was extremely active on the defensive line throughout practice, on one play penetrating into the backfield to bat down a Romo pass.
Joseph Randle –Randle was back with the first-team offense Tuesday after leaving with an oblique strain last weekend in the final workout before the 49ers game. Randle showed good balance vision in team drills, cutting through a seam for a huge gain on a Romo handoff. Darren McFadden started against the 49ers but was reportedly held out of team drills Tuesday as a precaution due to neck stiffness.
Play of the Day
Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins continued to make plays over the last week of practice and games. After catching two passes for 40 yards against San Francisco, the team that drafted him in the first round in 2012, Jenkins made a spectacular one-handed catch behind his head in team drills.
Aug. 21 – Signed DT Carlif Taylor
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
Unofficial Injury Report:
Returned to Practice:
CB Byron Jones (shoulder)
DT Tyrone Crawford (back)
WR Dez Bryant (hamstring; limited)
TE James Hanna (knee; limited)
DT Terrell McClain (bone bruise/hamstring; limited)
DT Nick Hayden (ribs; limited)
CB Orlando Scandrick (knee)
WR Devin Street (foot/ankle)
QB Brandon Weeden (head)
RB Michael Hill (head)
WR David Porter (groin)
G Zack Martin (stinger)
LB Anthony Hitchens (foot)
G Ronald Leary (back)
DE Kenneth Boatright (neck)
OL Chaz Green (hip)
LB Mark Nzeocha (knee)
LB Rolando McClain (knee)
Wednesday, August 26
12:00 p.m. (Pacific) Coach Garrett press conference
3:45 p.m. Practice