Cautious Cowboys sit Bryant, Smith in workouts with Rams

Published 11:30 pm Monday, August 17, 2015

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith would likely be playing — and maybe even practicing — if the Dallas Cowboys were back home in the middle of the regular season.

Since it’s still training camp in California, a joint workout with the St. Louis Rams isn’t enough to get the All-Pro receiver and Pro Bowl left tackle on the field. Bryant has been out almost two weeks with a strained hamstring, and Smith is nursing an arm injury.

Owner Jerry Jones said Bryant wouldn’t return until after the second preseason game Sunday at San Francisco, and said Smith was unlikely to play against the 49ers as well. Jones didn’t hesitate when asked about his top priorities for the remaining week and a half of camp.

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“My goal is one, do what we can do to avoid key injuries,” Jones said. “Keep working, be smart about these injuries, be smart about how we push a player to work through an injury, make sure that any players we get out here, that we really do make sure those guys are in shape and ready and don’t get them out here too soon.”

The Cowboys also are missing their top two cornerbacks in Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr, and 2015 first-round pick Byron Jones will get a second opinion on a left shoulder he injured in practice Sunday. It’s the same shoulder that required surgery when he played at Connecticut.

Scandrick is getting closer to a return from a sore knee, and Carr had to go back to the Dallas area a week ago for surgery on a broken right hand. When he returned, he said people wouldn’t even know he was hurt if it were the regular season.

As for the rare opportunity to work against another team in practice, that doesn’t matter much to coach Jason Garrett when it comes to minor injuries. The Cowboys and Rams had the first of consecutive joint practices Monday.

“We anticipate having good productive days with the Rams, practicing at the tempo that we want to practice at,” Garrett said. “We’ve had good conversations with them about what the objectives are of these couple of days.”

Bryant, who wouldn’t talk to reporters when leaving the field, was loud and demonstrative as usual even though he didn’t compete in drills.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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