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Jerry Counting on Injured Players Being Ready for Skins

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Jerry Counting on Injured Players Being Ready for Skins

Noah Bullard

Kosier limps after straining his MCL.

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is counting on having his four most recently injured starters back in the lineup for the season opener.

While right tackle Marc Colombo and linebacker Keith Brooking already were expected to return, and safety Gerald Sensabaugh also seemed likely, Jones' comments Wednesday are the most optimistic yet for left guard Kyle Kosier.

Kosier was expected to miss up to three regular-season games because of a sprained knee. Now Jones thinks he could play Sept. 12 at Washington.

"We'll get him back -- hopefully, hopefully -- for the first game," Jones said. "I'm planning on it. ... We'll see how he progresses."

Sensabaugh hurt a shoulder last Saturday against San Diego. Jones said trainers like what they've seen with his recovery.

"He's doing better than we thought he might be doing in terms of his range of motion and some things," Jones said.

Colombo had an arthoscopic procedure on his right knee a week ago Monday to remove loose particles, some of which may have been bothering him for years.

"He's very pleased that they cleaned out and found what they found," Jones said. "It makes him very optimistic, and me too, about his future -- not just this year, but years to come. Really, really I think (having had the surgery) is a good thing."

Robert Brewster started in Colombo's spot against the Chargers, but veteran Alex Barron has replaced him on the first team. Barron missed the team part of a workout Tuesday because he's still recovering from an ankle problem, but he was back Wednesday.

"It looked like he went through all of it with flying colors," coach Wade Phillips said.

Brooking has a minor shoulder injury. Jones is glad the team is being cautious with his return. Brooking is 34 and coming off a knee operation, and is among the team's most intense players.

"I like the idea of Brooking getting a little time off and a break away from what he will be asked to do during the season," Jones said.

Rookie receiver Dez Bryant continues to watch practice with the patience of a kid waiting to open birthday presents. After missing most of last season at Oklahoma State because of an NCAA suspension, he's been missed the entire preseason with a sprained ankle. He started running on it this week and already has been ruled out of the game Saturday at Houston.

"Certainly Dez is improving, just champing at the bit, can't understand why he can't get out here and participate," Jones said. "But he's got to have blind faith in his coaches and trainers that we're doing what's best."

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