Cowboys hot topics: Injury updates, thoughts on Tony Romo’s offensive involvement

If reading about Dallas Cowboys rookies at this weekend’s minicamp doesn’t interest you, perhaps some of these topics will.

On Wednesday, nine Cowboys players and head coach Jason Garrett participated in the Reliant Home Run Derby at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, raising $43,000 for the Salvation Army.

Between taking swings, the players and Garrett stopped to chat with reporters about several football-related topics.

Here are the highlights.

1.) Right tackle Doug Free was asked to take a pay cut a month ago but he has yet to give the Cowboys an answer. On Wednesday, Free said: “I don’t know anything about it.” Does the 29-year-old expect to be with the Cowboys in 2013? “You never know what might happen,” he said.

2.) Garrett didn’t talk long but he did give his take on Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones recently saying that Tony Romo will be more involved with the offense off the field. “[Romo’s] been a guy who’s always been very committed to what we’re doing,” Garrett said. “And it’s something that we’ve always wanted as coaches, you want your quarterback to be involved. We’ve always felt like he’s done that and he’ll continue to do that going forward.”

3.) Jason Witten on Romo being more involved in what’s going on in the offense: “Tony has always been involved in the game-planning. Look, when you get that kind of contract, that’s what you want. Nobody has more invested in what we’re doing offensively than Tony.”

4.) Miles Austin, who can’t seem to shake his frequent hamstring injuries, discussed what he’s been doing during the offseason to prevent from having the same problem this season.

5.) Sean Lee, Dez Bryant and Bruce Carter all had good news to pass along regarding injuries they suffered last season. Lee said he’s “pretty much” 100 percent recovered from a toe injury and would be playing if there was a game tomorrow. Bryant said his back and finger injuries won’t be an issue going forward, even though he noted that his left index finger is “never going to be normal.”Carter said the elbow he dislocated on Thanksgiving Day is “back to normal.” Carter added: “I’m back bench-pressing, and I’m just ready to go.”

6.) Bryant, who is entering his fourth NFL season, also talked about having a different mindset now that he considers himself a veteran. “There’s no more games, no more wondering,” Bryant said. “I know what I’m doing.”

7.) Brandon Carr has been studying film of how the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears run the Tampa-Two defensive scheme. Will Monte Kiffin’s defense looked just like that during his first year as the Cowboys defensive coordinator? Not necessarily. “We see how those guys get after it, but we’re trying to make our own mark on this defense,” Carr said.

8.) Jason Hatcher wouldn’t give any details on how he may be used along the defensive line in the new scheme but he did say this about what to expect: “We’re going to be all over the field. We’re preparing this off-season to be the strength of our team.”

9.) Hatcher also talked about being in the final year of his contract. “I’m sure I want to be back,” Hatcher said. “But you can’t make guys want you. You have to go out there and perform.”

10.) DeMarco Murray has been known to deliver some punishing blows at the end of runs, so it makes sense that he’s not a fan of the new NFL crown-of-helmet rule. But if Murray gets fined, he’s hoping Tony Romo will take care of the bill.

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota