Cowboys to sit a host of players

SAN DIEGO – Tony Romo will not be the only player to skip the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday.

Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant and Lance Dunbar are expected to be healthy scratches, while several injured players will sit.

Defensive end George Selvie (groin), defensive tackle Terrell McClain (ankle), defensive tackle Ben Bass (hamstring), defensive end Ben Gardner (shoulder), linebacker Rolando McClain (hamstring, quadriceps), linebacker Will Smith (groin), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring), cornerback Sterling Moore (groin), cornerback Morris Claiborne (knee), safety Jakar Hamilton (concussion), wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe (concussion) and tackle Darrion Weems (shoulder) will not play.

Safety Barry Church’s availability is in question because of a mild ankle sprain. He did not practice Monday or Tuesday but will be a coaches’ decision Thursday night, as could defensive tackle Henry Melton, who is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament but has not missed a day of practice. Cornerback Tyler Patmon (hip) and tight end Jordan Najvar (abdominal strain) will be game-time decisions.

Cornerback Brandon Carr is expected to join the team for the first time in training camp after the team returns to Oxnard, California. Carr missed the first two weeks of camp to be with his ailing mother, who died last week.