Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Marc Colombo, Kyle Kosier practice
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys received some positive news regarding their offensive line when left guard Kyle Kosier and right tackle Marc Colombo returned to practice Wednesday.
Both players injured their knees in training camp, forcing the Cowboys to go with two veteran backups in Montrae Holland (guard) and Alex Barron (tackle).
After practice, coach Wade Phillips said Kosier and Colombo both practiced at full speed and in shoulder pads, and depending on how they feel in the next day or so, he expects them to play.
"They're two experienced players that have played a lot for us," Phillips said. "That's valuable. Although we have confidence in our backup players -- some of them played pretty well."
Both players wore knee braces at practice and Kosier had tape added to his knee brace.
"I anticipate that the mental part of it will be very easy for them," offensive line coach Hudson Houck said Wednesday about the return for Colombo and Kosier. "They'll be tough. They won't be afraid to move because of the injuries. They've both had injuries before, so they know how you come back from them. Many times, you're a little cautious if it's your first injury. I think they'll be fine."
Barron was heavily criticized for his play in Sunday's 13-7 loss to the Washington Redskins. Barron was called for three holding penalties -- two in the fourth quarter, the last of which negated a game-winning touchdown pass to Roy Williams as time expired.
"It was a tough week. You never want to have a game or plays like that, being that the game could have been won," Barron said. "It was one of those things you've got to deal with and look at the tape and talk about a couple of things to work on and work on those things and get better."
If Colombo and Kosier can't play in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, Holland and Barron most likely will remain the starters.
Holland played pretty well, but Barron's struggles against the Redskins' Brian Orakpo raises concerns for this week.
Bears defensive end Julius Peppers most likely will be lined up against left tackle Doug Free. However, Peppers lined up on the opposite side for several snaps during Sunday's victory over the Detroit Lions.
Peppers said he doesn't mind which side he plays on.
Barron is looking for another chance to participate, whether it's Sunday or in the future.
"Most definitely [it's important]," Barron said regarding getting another shot. "Some things didn't go my way last week, and it will be good to get out there and have a good performance whenever that happens again. ... I have to be ready."
But if Colombo and Kosier return, Barron and Holland won't get an opportunity.
"We've got to get both ready to go," Houck said. "We've got to see how we do with the leg, and also with the guard. We've got to do the same with that."
While Colombo and Kosier got back on the field, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, inside linebacker Sean Lee and fullback Deon Anderson missed practice with injuries.
Ware was expected to practice after suffering a neck strain in Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins.
"I'm good. You know how it is," Ware said before practice. "I put my head down and tweaked it a little bit. But I'm good."
Phillips said Ware has a slight concussion and was not practicing as a precaution but should play on Sunday.
Lee suffered a hamstring strain and on the first punt return of the Week 1 game vs. Washington and tried to play through it. Lee most likely will not play and will be replaced by Leon Williams, who was inactive last week.
"We talked to him about it, bascially got on him about it," Phillips said of Lee playing with the injury and not telling the coaches or trainers. "He got hurt early in the game and didn't tell anybody and tried to play through it and it ended up hurting us overall and he needs to learn that if he has an injury he needs to stay out and we'll put somebody in for him and therefore he will probably be out this week because of it."
Anderson has a knee injury the team is looking into.
Anderson tried to practice on Wednesday and did some drills. Phillips told associate athletic trainer Britt Brown to get Anderson off the field before practice started.
"Deon is very competitive," Phillips said. "We told him to stay in and get his knee worked on and we cut him off at the pass."
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.