No decision has been finalized, but Newman has not practiced since straining his groin Aug. 4, days after the cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha opted to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles instead of the Cowboys. The original timetable for Newman's recovery was four to six weeks, which would have allowed him to return for Sunday night's game against the New York Jets.
Coach Jason Garrett acknowledged Monday that Newman's status was uncertain, saying he needed to see the veteran cornerback practice to feel comfortable playing Newman against the Jets.
"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."
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.
Newman had a career-high five interceptions last season, but his play regressed significantly after suffering a rib injury. He played every game for a defense that allowed the most points in the NFC in 2010, but he required pain-killing injections before several games.
Orlando Scandrick, who signed a five-year, $27 million contract extension last month, is prepared to start in Newman's absence. Alan Ball, who has moved back to cornerback after struggling as the starting free safety, would play in nickel and dime packages if Newman is out.
Mike Jenkins, the other starting cornerback, also missed the entire preseason due to a stinger. However, Jenkins has been practicing without contact and declared himself ready to play Monday.
Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Information from ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer and Calvin Watkins was used in this report.