IRVING, Texas – Defensive end Sean Lissemore is only entering his third year, but he is kind of like the old guy at the Cowboys’ pre-training camp workouts at Valley Ranch this week.
The only defender with more experience is linebacker Dan Connor, who is in his fifth season and first with the Cowboys.
Lissemore is practicing only because of a rib injury suffered earlier in the offseason. While rushing the passer, Lissemore and an offensive lineman got tangled up and the lineman’s knee ended up in Lissemore’s ribs, separating some cartilage.
“It was pretty painful,” Lissemore said. “When it happened, I thought I got the wind knocked out of me and I finished up practice. The pain set in over the weekend and, when we came back in, I thought I could practice. I’m just jogging and it felt like I had a sharp knife in my rib cage.”
Lissemore did not practice again until Wednesday’s workout.
“I think this is great because I need the work I think to get back up to speed,” Lissemore said. “It’s frustrating missing some of the OTAs and mini-camp but to get back out here, I think, evens the playing field a little bit. I get to work back in, learn some things and come to training camp with everything fresh in my mind.”
Lissemore played in every game last year with 39 tackles and two sacks as a backup. He also had two tackles for loss, five quarterback pressures and a pass deflection. There’s a chance he could get into the conversation to be a starter in 2012.
“I don’t say anything,” Lissemore said. “I just do what they need me to do. If they give me more opportunities I’ll just try to take advantage of them the best I can.”