IRVING, Texas – Cornerback Terence Newman still hasn’t practiced since straining his groin during the first week of training camp.
That makes Newman’s status uncertain for Sunday night’s season opener against the New York Jets.
“We knew that Terence was going to be out for a while and we were pointing towards about this time for him to come back,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We have to see how he responds this week and the next couple of days and see if he can prepare the way he needs to prepare to play the ballgame.”
Newman was one of three starters who didn’t participate in Monday’s practice. Center Phil Costa (sprained knee) and defensive end Marcus Spears (groin) said they planned to practice Wednesday. Newman declined to comment.
No. 2 tight end Martellus Bennett, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the third preseason game, said he began running Monday and hopes to play Sunday.
Newman, who turned 33 Sunday, missed the season opener after suffering a similar injury during the 2008 training camp. He missed five games later that season after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia that he said at the time was related to the groin injury.
Garrett said Newman had to practice this week for the Cowboys to consider playing him in the opener.
“The degree to which he has to practice, we don’t have any concrete rules about, but you have to practice,” Garrett said. “We have to have a great feeling about him having prepared on the practice field before playing in the game Sunday night.”
Neither starting cornerback played a snap in the preseason, which owner/general manager Jerry Jones considers a significant concern. Mike Jenkins has been practicing the last two weeks, but he still hasn’t had any contact since suffering a stinger early in training camp.
“I wish those guys are healthy,” defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “But anybody can make excuses. We don’t have to.”