Dallas Cowboys: minicamp

Recovering Tony Romo is throwing passes

June, 11, 2013

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is still recovering from minor back surgery, but things are going well and he's started throwing passes.

ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.

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Romo threw passes during the walk-through sessions prior to the start of the just-completed organized team activities and on Tuesday, before the start of the mandatory veteran minicamp.

"It’s a progression that takes shape, and I'm to the point where I feel pretty good about it," Romo said. "If we had anything next week, I'm sure we would be going full, but obviously we don’t. But I’ll be doing that on my own in some other areas."

Romo had a cyst removed in April. He said the cyst wasn't cancerous, and he didn't know its size; team officials described it as minor. The recovery time was supposed to be three weeks, but it's taking longer.

"He has made a lot of progress, but like with a lot of the guys, we are erring on the side of caution," coach Jason Garrett said. "He has been involved in the meetings and on the field, he just hasn’t gotten the physical reps. He is working on the side and making progress in rehabbing that back. He feels good. He has certainly taken a lot of reps in this offense and at this level, so he is staying in it mentally and will catch up physically."

Romo hasn't thrown passes in front of reporters during the offseason. He has watched practice or done rehab work in the weight room. He said he hasn't had any setbacks from a physical standpoint.

"I think, more than anything, I feel ready to go," Romo said. "I was running; we're pushing on the treadmill good last week and I was pretty amped up, ready to go. I think as a player you're always just trying to push through, but at this time of year, it's intelligent to be patient with it. Anytime you go through something like that and be smart and make sure you don't do anything dumb."
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer missed Tuesday's veteran minicamp practice because of a hyperextended left knee.

Spencer suffered the injury in last week's organized team activities and underwent an MRI afterward.

ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.

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Spencer said he also has a bone bruise and that he will try to practice Wednesday.

"It could have been a lot worse," said Spencer, who walked around the Cowboys' complex with no limp. "You can't play football without having contact."

Spencer said he suffered the injury when he bumped knees with another player.

Numerous other players missed Tuesday's minicamp practice. Among the notables:

*Tony Romo is out the rest of this week as he recovers from back surgery to remove a cyst. Romo said he's throwing and should be ready for training camp.

*Morris Claiborne missed Tuesday's session with a migraine.

*Joseph Randle won't return to the practice fields until training camp. Randle has a cast on his thumb and it won't be removed until later this summer.

*Lawrence Vickers will miss the veteran minicamp as he recovers from back surgery.

*Nate Livings has a knee injury and should be ready for training camp.

*Mackenzy Bernadeau did some individual work in Tuesday's session and is out of team drills with a shoulder injury.

*Jermey Parnell has a hamstring injury.

*DeMarcus Ware (shoulder) participated in individual drills. He's going to miss the veteran minicamp but should return for training camp.

*Dwayne Harris suffered a sprained right ankle during a running play Tuesday. Harris said he's fine and will try to practice Wednesday.

W2W4: Cowboys veteran minicamp

June, 10, 2013
The Cowboys conclude their offseason work with a three-day mandatory veteran minicamp that starts Tuesday.

ESPN senior NFL analyst Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss another busy week for the Cowboys at Valley Ranch.

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Who will participate: It's mandatory, so if you don't have an excused absence, players will be fined. So expect 89 players in attendance. Why 89? Defensive tackle Josh Brent is on the reserve/non-football illness list and didn't attend any of the organized team activities this offseason. Brent is awaiting trail for an intoxication manslaughter charge resulting in the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown. Fullback Lawrence Vickers (back surgery) will be in attendance, but will be limited to rehab work. Quarterback Tony Romo (back) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (shoulder) are not expected to practice as they continue to heal. Several others might also be given some time off, including WR Miles Austin, DT Jay Ratliff and guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. RB Joseph Randle, the team's fifth-round pick, has a cast on his thumb and is out.

Who needs the minicamp? Center Travis Frederick was getting first-team reps over Phil Costa during OTAs and that might continue this week. Frederick is projected as the starter, and the more practice time he gets, the better. Safety Matt Johnson, who missed all of last season with hamstring injuries, got first-team reps with Barry Church during OTAs over veteran Will Allen, who was getting some rest. Johnson has to prove he can become the playmaker the Cowboys thought they had when he was drafted in the fourth round last year. With Ware out, DE Kyle Wilber needs snaps as he was moved from outside linebacker to end this offseason to add depth. Wilber's ability to play end will dictate how much playing time he receives in 2013.

So the playcaller is? The biggest offseason secret was revealed last week when Bill Callahan confirmed he'll call the offensive plays. One problem: Coach Jason Garrett hasn't confirmed it, despite owner/general manager Jerry Jones implying it last week. Garrett most likely will be asked about the play-calling situation again this week. It will be interesting to see if he confirms anything.

Players worth watching: Guards Ronald Leary, Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin; wide receivers Danny Coale, Eric Rogers and Cole Beasley; running back Phillip Tanner and tight end Dante Rosario; right tackles Doug Free and Jermey Parnell.
IRVING, Texas -- Civic responsibility delayed Jason Witten's arrival at the Dallas Cowboys' minicamp.

Witten was selected for jury duty and was not at the start of Tuesday morning’s workout. The defendant, however, pleaded guilty and Witten arrived at Valley Ranch around noon. He will not be subject to a fine.

Witten, who is entering his 10th season, has not missed an offseason practice in his career. He is almost obsessive about getting his work in the voluntary portion of the offseason and coaches have raved about his conditioning and attention to detail.

Rookie safety Matt Johnson was hoping to attend the full minicamp after missing the organized team activities because Eastern Washington was still in school, but he will not be able to take part until Thursday.