Nicked-up Gerald Sensabaugh showing versatility

IRVING, Texas -- There's been plenty of discussion about tough guys on the Cowboys roster in recent weeks.

From Jason Witten returning from a lacerated spleen, Dez Bryant playing with a broken finger, DeMarcus Ware fighting through nagging shoulder and elbow problems, the Cowboys, like most NFL teams this late in the season, have players who are banged up.

Safety Gerald Sensabaugh can be added to that list. The veteran safety has his own issues, including a bothersome hip injury he continues to play through.

"Around this time I think everybody is nicked up," Sensabaugh said Friday. "One of my philosophies is if it’s not structural damage I should be able to get out there and play in a little bit of pain. I'm not taking medications or shots. I feel a lot of the pain side is mental for me. Everybody has a different feel for it, but I just try to play. If I can run and if I feel like I can still be effective and not be a negative part of our team, I feel like I can get out and play. I just feel like our team needs me."

Sensabaugh has also taken on a new role because of injuries. Sensabaugh, along with Anthony Spencer, has had to relay the defensive calls with Bruce Carter and Sean Lee out for the season.

Sensabaugh's value increased in the eyes of the defensive coaches because he's adapted to playing with various partners at his position. Since Barry Church was placed on injured reserve with a torn Achilles on Sept. 25, Danny McCray, Brandon Carr, Eric Frampton and Charlie Peprah have joined Sensabaugh in the back of the secondary.

It has forced Sensabaugh to change his game from deep safety to an in-the-box safety, depending which player is in the back end with him.

"I just try to get in position to put those other guys in whatever their comfortable in," he said. "Every guy has different styles of play. Some guys like to play deep middle more, some guys like to play down in the box more. I just try to base my game on being as versatile as possible to where I can play wherever needed.

"We do have a lot of versatile guys who can play both sides or play different types of techniques. We're just trying to make it as easy for the guys that are coming in new so they can play fast. If that makes me take on a more complicated role, I take pride in doing that. As long as we win and guys are making plays, I'm comfortable with that."