OXNARD, Calif. – When the Dallas Cowboys open training camp practice Saturday, wide receiver Dez Bryant, linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Orlando Scandrick will be ready to go, but that doesn’t mean they will participate in every drill from the start.
Bryant had surgery on his right foot in January, Lee had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in April and Scandrick missed last season because of torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments. When players return from injuries, the Cowboys have a history of working them in over a few days before clearing them for full work.
Tight end Gavin Escobar, who suffered a torn Achilles in Week 15 last season, is also expected to work his back slowly after a quicker-than-expected recovery.
According to sources, the Cowboys will put running back Lance Dunbar, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and defensive end Benson Mayowa on the physically unable to perform list, but that is mostly a formality at this point. By placing them on active/PUP, it allows the Cowboys the opportunity to place them on reserve/PUP by the time the season starts. It does not give them a roster spot in camp.
Dunbar is recovering from a torn ACL and patellar tendon that limited him to four games last year, but he could return at some point in camp. Collins had surgery in May to repair a broken fifth metatarsal, and Mayowa had surgery on his knee in June. They should be able to practice early in camp.
McFadden had a bone scan that showed improvement, according to a source close to the running back, and he is no longer in a brace. He is scheduled to rehab and is expected to be ready by the first week of the regular season -- if not the final week of the preseason.
Smith, the Cowboys’ second-round pick, is not expected to play this season as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in Notre Dame’s Jan. 1 bowl game. While the recovery from the torn ACL and PCL has come along well, the nerve regeneration remains an ongoing process, which was expected.
Safety Barry Church, who broke his arm in Week 16 last season, said he is 100 percent ready to go.
“From Day 1, I’m 100 percent and hopefully throughout the whole camp,” Church said.