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Cowboys practice report: Day 8, Pt. 2

SAN ANTONIO -- The red zone offense continues to struggle and Tony Romo looks tired. We asked Jerry Jones if Romo was sick, and he said no. But Romo clearly wasn't himself on Saturday for the second practice. Also, the Cowboys got a few injured players back. Here are the highlights:

*There is a new injury to report. Guard Montrae Holland has a strained hamstring. His status for Sunday's two-a-days has not been determined. There is some good news on the injury front, however. Defensive end Jason Hatcher (elbow), nose tackle Josh Brent (hand) and linebacker Steve Octavien (hip) returned to practice.

"It felt pretty good in individual [drills]," Hatcher said. "I'm working my way in there. On Monday, I will get there and mix it up a bit and see how it feels and work my way into it."

Hatcher is wearing a brace which prevents him from extending his elbow.

"It helps a lot," Hatcher said of the brace. "The main thing is not letting it extend even more. It's just one of those things I have to work through and work through the pain. It's like an ankle sprain. You work through the pain and keep going."

Missing the practice was wide receiver Dez Bryant (ankle), safety Pat Watkins (knee), safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (shoulder), linebacker Sean Lee (strained quad), linebacker Stephen Hodge (knee), linebacker Brandon Williams (rest) and defensive lineman Sean Lissemore (groin). Keith Brooking, who missed the morning session, returned.

Bryant watched practice wearing a black walking boot and told reporters as he walked to the rookie locker room he's not disappointed but he's OK.

*Now for the action on the field. The red zone offense was worked, on again and Romo didn't fare too well. Romo failed to connect with Kevin Ogletree on a route in the corner of the end zone as Bryan McCann (SMU) provided tight coverage. On another pass, Romo threw to the corner of the end zone, but Sam Hurd was looking for the ball. Then there was Romo misfiring on a screen pass to Marion Barber. The throw was high, and if Barber had caught the ball, Jay Ratliff was there to smash him. What really summed up the day for Romo was when he couldn't find any receivers open, he just threw a pass away and slowly walked back behind the huddle with his head down as Jon Kitna came to work with his group.

*You can never say enough good things about David Buehler right now. The kicker, with no competition, went 5-for-6 on field goal attempts. He made kicks from 27, 35, 41, 45 and 51 yards. He was wide right on a 49-yarder.

*Wide receiver Manuel Johnson took advantage of not having Bryant in the rotation of receivers. Johnson had one of his best days of camp. On consecutive plays he beat Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman for touchdowns. Kitna, who had a good zip on the ball Saturday, found Johnson on a seam route where he made a one-handed catch with Newman draped on him.

*Things of note: Offensive line coach Hudson Houck telling Robert Brewster "way to drive" during a drill where the linemen had to hit a forearm pad. ... Jerry Jones watched the tight ends work with coach John Garrett. ... The fans in the end zone sung "Happy Birthday" to DeMarcus Ware, who turned 28 on Saturday. ... Inside linebacker Bradie James made a diving attempt at running back Herb Donaldson, who darted into the end zone for a touchdown. ... Former tight end Jay Novacek attended practice. ... There were 17,256 fans watching the afternoon practice.