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Ernie Sims is a hit

OXNARD, Calif. -- With Justin Durant getting a day off from practice Tuesday, Ernie Sims took some snaps at strongside linebacker and continued to make plays.

He stopped running back DeMarco Murray on a first-down run and later was able to affect a screen pass to Lance Dunbar by getting pressure on quarterback Kyle Orton.

So far through camp, Sims has been impressive, coming up with a big hit every day.

“That’s the name of the game,” Sims said. “The position I play is to hit people. That’s what I like doing. I like to run. I like to hit. That’s what you should expect from me.”

Sims is back in a more familiar 4-3 scheme after joining the Cowboys last year to play in the 3-4 when Sean Lee went down for the season with a toe injury. He started six of 10 games and made 42 tackles. Undersized for the 3-4, the 6-foot-0, 233-pound Sims is just fine in the 4-3.

While he tested the free-agent market, he returned to the Cowboys on a one-year deal in part to be reunited with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who was his head coach in Detroit.

“I wanted to be with a lot of different teams and a lot of different teams that run a Cover 2 scheme,” Sims said. “I just felt it was a good fit, especially with coach Marinelli. Coming back here and what I accomplished last year, I felt it was a good situation for me.”