Cowboys break camp, staying out West few more days

The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up a nearly three-week stay at their

West Coast training camp with a walkthrough Friday.

They still have a few days left in California.

After their second preseason game Saturday night at San Diego,

the Cowboys (No. 15 in the AP Pro32) will get a day off before

starting next week with two days of joint workouts alongside the

Chargers (No. 16).

Coach Jason Garrett said the work with the Chargers helps keep

his team in camp mode for at least another week.

”It’s a really important week for us,” Garrett said. ”We go

down to San Diego and hopefully play well and then have two really

good work days with the Chargers on Monday and Tuesday. I think

it’s a great opportunity. The competition level increases when you

are playing against someone else on the other side.”

When the Cowboys got to Southern California three weekends ago,

camp started with owner Jerry Jones talking about the glory days

and wanting to win another Super Bowl.

There has since been a rash of injuries, to interior linemen

like center Phil Costa and expected starters in rookie cornerback

and first-round draft pick Morris Claiborne, receiver Miles Austin,

tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Anthony Spencer. And there

was that unimpressive 3-0 victory over Oakland on Monday night.

After missing that game, Claiborne is expected to start against

the Chargers. Austin and Spencer are probably still a few weeks

away from getting on the field.

Pro Bowl outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware said Friday that he

would not play against the Chargers after slightly tweaking his

hamstring. Ware said the injury is not serious.

Tony Romo took about a dozen snaps in the preseason opener, but

he had to play into the second quarter to do so. There was only one

first down, on a 24-yard catch by Dez Bryant, and the Cowboys had

minus-2 yards combined in the other 10 plays before Romo left the


Despite all the injuries up front, Garrett said he plans to

slightly increase Romo’s playing time against the Chargers.

”He played 11 snaps last week so we’ll probably inch that up to

give him some more opportunities,” Garrett said. ”Tony has to get

himself ready to play. We would not put him out there with people

who were not comfortable blocking in front of him.”

Witten suffered a lacerated spleen when he was immediately hit

after catching a pass from a scrambling Romo. He has been told to

remain as inactive as possible so that he can heal, and he is

hoping to play in the season opener Sept. 5 against the New York


When the Cowboys wrap up their workouts with the Chargers, they

will return to Texas to finish camp and play their final two

preseason games. There will be a day off before a workout Thursday

night at Cowboys Stadium, where two days later they will play their

final preseason game against St. Louis.

Garrett said he was pleased with the progress his team made

during its time in Oxnard.

”It’s been a great experience,” the coach said. ”We’ve worked

really hard in camp. Guys have laid a good foundation for our team.

We just have to keep going and carry that back to Dallas.”

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