Monday, August 25, 2008
Two hurt as Pro Bowler Newman returns to Cowboys' practice
IRVING, Texas -- Terence Newman participated in practice with the Dallas Cowboys for the first time in four weeks Monday, an indication that the Pro Bowl cornerback could be ready to play in the season opener.
While Newman returned to practice, the Cowboys were without two other players because of injuries.
Guard Kyle Kosier needed crutches to get around the team's facility because of the large cast on his sprained right foot, and receiver Isaiah Stanback couldn't lift his arms very high because of a separated left shoulder. Both were hurt Friday night in a 23-22 preseason victory over Houston.
Newman, coming off his first Pro Bowl season, sustained a groin injury July 28, less than a week into the team's training camp in California.
Coach Wade Phillips said Newman "didn't have any trouble" during the two-hour workout Monday, but that the cornerback didn't have to cover any receivers in one-on-one situations.
Without any setbacks, Newman is expected to play in the regular-season opener Sept. 7 at Cleveland. But Phillips said Newman likely won't play Thursday night in the preseason finale against Minnesota.
"I'd say we still have to be careful with him and make sure he's ready to go in the regular season," Phillips said. "We've waited a good while, we've been real cautious with it. We're going to make sure he's 100 percent."
This is the second year in a row Newman got hurt in the preseason. He missed the last three preseason games and the first two games of the regular season last year because of a slight tear in the tissue in the base of his right foot.
Kosier, who started all 32 games at left guard for the Cowboys since coming from Detroit as a free agent, sprained his right foot blocking in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game. After missing only one game the past six seasons, Kosier is expected to be out four to six weeks.
Pat McQuistan, a third-year player from Weber State, was in Kosier's spot with the first-team line during the 20 minutes of practice open to the media Monday. Phillips said McQuistan, Joe Berger and Cory Proctor all will get some time at left guard Thursday night, and their play will determine who replaces Kosier in the opener.
"The tape of the game will sway us one way or another, or keep us on whoever we thought it should be in the first place," Phillips said.
Before center Andre Gurode missed the final two games of the regular season last year, the Cowboys had started the same offensive linemen in every game: Flozell Adams, Kosier, Gurode, Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo. Adams, Gurode and Davis were all Pro Bowl selections.
"Whoever they put in there, they're going to manage," Kosier said. "They'll be all right. They're playing around three Pro Bowlers, so they'll be all right."
Stanback separated his shoulder when he got hit at the end of a 32-yard kickoff return and fumbled to open the second half against the Texans. He also had a 44-yard return in the game.
With Stanback and fellow receiver/returner Miles Austin (sprained right knee) both expected to miss the start of the regular season, Phillips is now considering using rookie running back Felix Jones or Adam "Pacman" Jones to return kickoffs.
"Pacman" has returned punts during the preseason but the Cowboys have held off using him or Felix Jones, who is expected to have a substantial role on offense, on kickoff returns.
"We've got to consider it now," Phillips said. "It's a different set of circumstances."
Phillips said nickel LB Kevin Burnett, who had arthroscopic surgery on his sprained left knee two weeks ago, is "coming along. I think it's going to be close whether he plays the first week or not." ... The Cowboys released four players and reached an injury settlement with fullback Ronnie Cruz to get to the 75-player limit a day before the deadline. The cuts were CB Quincy Butler, QB Jeff Terrell, P Jay Ottovegio and WR Daniel Polk.