Leary’s injury has the Cowboys talking about conditioning again

Posted Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The fallout from the Dallas Cowboys player-imposed conditioning test continued Thursday when left guard Ron Leary, a returning starter, was placed on the physically unable to perform list because of a strained hamstring.

Leary said the injury is not serious and coach Jason Garrett said he will be available to practice early next week.

However, Leary acknowledged he was injured while running a conditioning test organized by the players at the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters.

“I follow the leaders of our team,” Leary said. “Whatever the leaders say, I do. Injuries happen. I will be back. It wasn’t nothing major.”

The only issue it seems is that Garrett decided not to have a team-sanctioned conditioning run to start camp in an effort to avoid injuries. But veteran tight end Jason Witten and quarterback Tony Romo got players together to do one on their own, leading to the Leary injury.

“We just felt like we needed to run,” Witten said. “It was important to us. I think a lot of that goes into the mindset of what kind of team you want to have, the way you want to go into camp and a commitment to each other. It was good to get that together. It’s always good to have that mindset going into camp. Great turnout and the guys were in really good shape. Hopefully, it’ll pay off for us down the road.”

Also on Thursday, the Cowboys placed defensive end Anthony Spencer on the physically unable to perform list, and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye on the non-football injury list.

Spencer is coming back from microfracture surgery on his knee and appeared in only one game last season.

Okoye, who signed with the team in May, has a personal medical issue and has not played since 2012 with the Bears.

Missing in action

Linebacker Rolando McClain and cornerback Brandon Carr were the only players missing when camp opened.

Carr has been excused from practice to deal with a family health situation, while McClain had to return Alabama to meet with his lawyers in advance of a Friday court day.

Garrett was not sure when Carr, who was in London last week to help promote the Cowboys’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium, would be ready to practice.

“We’re just going to communicate with him as he’s dealing with the situation,” Garrett said. “We’re going to give him some time to take care of it.”

As far as McClain is concerned, the Cowboys expect him to back in Oxnard on Saturday. He returned to Decatur, Ala., Wednesday night to prepare for a trial stemming from his 2013 arrest for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Both chargers are misdemeanors.

“Rolando McClain had to leave last night, go back to Alabama to take care of a court situation,” Garrett said. “We’re hopeful he’ll be back [Friday] night to be ready to go on Saturday.”

When McClain returns, the Cowboys plan to ease him into practice.

McClain has not played since the 2012 season with the Oakland Raiders.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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