Dallas Cowboys: Dez Brant

OXNARD, Calif. -- We are through two weeks of training camp practices, so it's time to look at what players are on the rise and who's heading the opposite direction in the latest stock report.


Terrance Williams. The rookie wide receiver won't play in Sunday's preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins because of a concussion, but he's improved his route running and is making catches in traffic. The mental mistakes are still slowing him down, but he's No. 3 on the depth chart and gets off the jam while running from the slot. Tony Romo is also trusting him more in the offense.

Dez Bryant. Enough can't be said about Bryant. He did miss four days of practice with a sore hip and quad, but when he returned he made a tough end zone catch against tight coverage from Brandon Carr in a one-on-one drill. Bryant continues to run solid routes from different parts of the line of scrimmage and is catching all sorts of balls. He did have one drop, but you give him a pass because he's been so good.

J.J. Wilcox. He's the personal protector on the punt unit, the only rookie on the special teams and he's making plays on the ball at safety. Against the run, Wilcox continues to display toughness and isn't afraid of contact. When receivers and tight ends run around after catching a pass, Wilcox is bringing them down.

Ernie Sims. It's easy to forget about one of the top backup players on the Cowboys. Sims can move into a starting role if necessary and play weakside linebacker if needed. Sims has been physical and is playing with a quiet confidence.

George Selvie. Stephen Jones said it's hard for players to come off the street and make an impact. Well, Selvie is getting snaps with the first team at defensive end and has at least three sacks over a 48-hour period. Selvie has to play well in the preseason to make a case for the 53-man roster, but there's a chance he just might.


Eric Rogers. We praised Rogers' spark after a week of camp, but he's slipped. He's been chastised for some mental mistakes and is still learning how to run routes. Rogers has great hands, but his lack of speed and the mental mistakes are hurting him.

Kevin Kowalski. It's not that he's playing poorly -- because he's not -- it's just that knee surgery is putting him behind for one of the backup guard spots. If the Cowboys don't start Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard, David Arkin and Kowalski were competing for the first team. With Kowalski out and Bernadeau returning from injury, Kowalski is falling behind.

Gavin Escobar. When James Hanna was out with a hamstring injury, it was an opportunity for the second-round pick from San Diego State to emerge. Well, he didn't. Escobar hasn't made any standout plays in the time Hanna was out and he's still struggling with his blocking. Maybe Escobar will get better after he plays against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Nate Livings. The left guard is out for about a month recovering from knee surgery, but in the handful of practices he was on the field, he struggled. Yes, he was rusty, as Jason Garrett pointed out, but Ronald Leary moved up the depth chart shared snaps with him on the first team.

Kyle Wilber. He moved into the starting lineup at defensive end with Anthony Spencer recovering from knee surgery. Wilber lost the gig to Ben Bass and is on the second team. Asking Wilber to move from outside linebacker to defensive end might have been too much.

Injury report: Austin and Spencer nicked up

September, 14, 2011

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys added some new names to the injury report Wednesday, and wide receiver Miles Austin was listed with a knee injury. Austin had his right knee wrapped, although he was a full participant in practice. Austin was on the report last week with a hamstring.

Starting outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is on the injury report with a shoulder injury and he was limited in practice. Starting left guard Bill Nagy was on the injury report with a neck problem and he was limited in practice. That would explain why Derrick Dockery got some reps with the first team during Wednesday's practice.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant did not practice with a thigh injury. He was a little gimpy as he walked through the locker room on Wednesday afternoon.

Cornerback Terence Newman, who was expected to practice on Wednesday as he recovers from a groin injury, did not practice.

Also, Mike Jenkins who is battling a bruised shoulder, was limited in practice, but said he would do more work on Thursday. Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) fully returned to practice.

Right tackle Tyron Smith (knee) and center Phil Costa (knee) practiced with no issues on Wednesday. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick didn't practice as he recovers from a sprained right ankle. Scandrick, who is wearing a protective boot, hopes to return soon.

"I'm trying to stay upbeat and listen to the trainers and stay off it," Scandrick said. "The biggest thing is staying in it mentally."

Scandrick said he injured the ankle on the second play of the New York Jets game Sunday night and tried to play through it, but couldn't after the second defensive series.

Losing Scandrick and possibly not having Newman makes for a thin secondary.

"It's very frustrating," Scandrick said. "I was looking forward to getting Terence back and all of us playing together."