Healthy Danny Coale makes strides

OXNARD, Calif. – In his brief time with the Cowboys, Danny Coale has learned patience. Injuries will do that.

But there is also the balance of knowing that one's chances of making the team dwindle with each missed practice.

“In the back of your mind, you try not to worry about that hurry-up, catch-up game, but there is urgency,” Coale said. “But you also have to get better mentally and physically.”

After being selected in the fifth round in the 2012 draft, Coale suffered a stress fracture in his foot during his first organized team activity. The injury hampered him into training camp. He spent most of the year on the practice squad before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

He was cleared for limited work in the organized team activities and minicamp in May and June, and just as he was ready for full work in training camp, he had a setback because of some scar tissue in his surgically repaired knee.

“When it bleeds, you can’t fire your quad, and if you can’t fire your quad, you have no explosion,” Coale said. “Then you have to get it drained and wait for the swelling to go down.”

Coale has practiced for the past week, and he played against Oakland on Friday but did not have a catch. He is facing an uphill climb to make the 53-man roster, but he is just glad to be back on the field.

“It’s great to kind of gain confidence mentally and physically each and every day,” Coale said. “It’s a steppingstone process, but it’s getting better as the days go on. I had that little setback, but it’s good to come out each day and feel like you’re making strides. You wake up in the morning and you’re not stiff, the knee feels good; that’s great for me.”