IRVING, Texas – Wearing a walking boot, Randy Gregory said Monday he was feeling better with treatment for his high ankle sprain.
That's good news, but the Cowboys still must adjust defensively with their rookie pass rusher expected to be sidelined Sunday against the Eagles.
"It's just the next man up," defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. "Randy did a really good job last week and he did his thing, he was rushing well. Unfortunately we couldn't get him a sack – we messed up a couple times. And hopefully when he gets back we can get him that first sack."
Before leaving with the ankle injury, Gregory did come close to reaching Giants quarterback Eli Manning in last Sunday's season opener, continuing the pressure that netted him three sacks in three preseason games.
But without their second-round pick, the Cowboys are even thinner on the right side of the defensive line behind starter Jeremy Mincey. They already are without Greg Hardy, who must serve the remaining three games of his four-game NFL suspension.
It seems logical that rookie Ryan Russell might make his NFL debut Sunday after being inactive against the Giants. Fourth-year veteran defensive end/tackle Jack Crawford also offers depth. He played primarily tackle in preseason but took some snaps at left end in relief of DeMarcus Lawrence against the Giants.
"Losing Randy hurts the line because he's a great pass rusher. He's a natural," Crawford said. "But we ain't going to worry about it, we ain't going to get down over it. We're just going to move up and next man up."
Mincey is accustomed to playing either side, as well as rushing inside in sub-packages. He led the defense with six sacks last season.
The eighth-year veteran knows pressure is a must against Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, who had 52 pass attempts in the season opener at Atlanta.
"He's an accurate thrower," Mincey said. "We've definitely got to penetrate and disrupt."