OXNARD, Calif. — Defensive end Anthony Spencer said the bone bruise on his knee that is keeping him out of practice happened during the conditioning test and is the same kind of thing that sidelined him in the organized team activities.Its such a concern that the Dallas Cowboys are considering minor surgery that could keep him out a few weeks.His agent, Jordan Woy, said a final decision has not been made.Its concerning to me. Its bothering me right now, Spencer said. I really dont know what else to do.Spencer described the injury as a contusion-type thing on my tibia/fibula area.Spencer had a hyperextended knee in the off-season. A MRI exam showed a bone bruise and Spencer said its pretty much the same thing now.DL hurtingWith defensive end Tyrone Crawford out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff on the physically unable to perform list because of a strained hamstring, the Cowboys acknowledged needing help on the defensive line.The Cowboys will scan the waiver wire for possible additions for depth purposes, but they will look to the current players on the roster to help fill the void. If they need to add a veteran such as John Abraham or Richard Seymour, it will be at the end of the preseason, a source said.Injuries provide opportunity, coach Jason Garrett said. We have a lot of young guys who we like. Guys we want to see more of. This gives them a chance to show us what they can do.The Cowboys will consider players such as Cameron Sheffield to step up at end behind Spencer, DeMarcus Ware and Kyle Wilber and former Texas A&M tackle Ben Bass to fill the void inside. Were just staying where were at right now, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. We might do some of that, but not yet. Weve just got to get it down. We dont have guys playing double positions right now and stuff. Hamstrung againThe Cowboys have had another player sidelined by a hamstring injury. Tight end James Hanna has a slight hamstring strain. He did not practice Monday.We dont think his injury is really, really significant, and hell be back soon enough, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday.Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and offensive guard Mackenzy Bernadeau strained their hamstrings during Saturdays conditioning test and remain sidelined.Last year, safety Matt Johnson missed his rookie season with hamstring injuries, and receiver Miles Austin, too, was slowed by the same issue.Garrett, though, isnt troubled by the number of players the Cowboys have had with hamstring injuries, pointing out that it is the most common injury in football.Theres a lot of running that goes on in football, and sometimes guys get jerked a certain way and they pull their hamstring, Garrett said. ...[But] youre always evaluating that. Youre always evaluating all parts of your strength and conditioning program, and weve looked at injury reports and asked, Could we have prevented this one? What can we do better? So thats something [strength] coach [Mike] Woicik and his crew are always talking about and thinking about better ways to do it.
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr