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Big hits on Romo are little cause for concern two days after

08/25/2014 11:19 AM

11/12/2014 8:09 PM

All is well with Tony Romo and his back.

Romo didn’t practice Monday, two days after being sacked three times by the Dolphins on Saturday night. Those were the first big hits Romo has taken since undergoing back surgery last December.

“No issue with his back at all,” owner Jerry Jones said after an event to announce the team’s partnership with Swiss watchmaker Hublot.

“As a matter of fact, we all were pleased that he got the kind of test that he got and he is too. There is no issue after being sacked three times there.”

Romo reported feeling fine after the game, too. He took an extended ice bath afterward and said he could stick to that postgame routine in the regular season.

But it’s always worrisome when Romo takes an impact hit.

“I think any owner takes a cringe anytime the quarterback gets hit hard ... healthy, not healthy, whatever the situation is,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “But that’s our game and you keep your fingers crossed and hope they hold up.”

The health of Romo’s back has been a question all training camp and is surely going to continue throughout the season. He has been on a limited practice schedule, something that is viewed as more managing the back than any residual effects.

Dixon’s lesson

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins, safety Ahmad Dixon was defiant over an unnecessary roughness penalty late in the fourth quarter.

Dixon said he was a physical player and had no intention of changing his ways, impending league fine or not.

But after watching the play on film, and getting a talking to from the coaches, Dixon is singing a slightly different tune.

“They talked to me about being smarter and trying to make plays on the ball and not playing the man so much,” Dixon said.

Dixon said he has not yet heard from the league regarding the penalty. The fine for hitting a defenseless player is $22,500, though Dixon’s will likely be adjusted because he is drawing a rookie salary.

If the fine doesn’t deter him, then this warning from coach Jason Garrett should help Dixon change his ways.

“Well, he probably won’t be playing,” Garrett said. “We’re not going to have those kinds of penalties.”

Claiborne, Melton to play

Cornerback Morris Claiborne believes he’ll be healthy enough to make his preseason debut against the Denver Broncos on Thursday. And owner Jerry Jones said defensive tackle Henry Melton should play.

Claiborne has been sidelined with what has been described as an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder, but went through the Cowboys’ non-padded practice Monday.

“Everything went well,” Claiborne said. “Still was a little limited, but I went with the ones and felt good.”

Melton, meanwhile, has been slowed by a groin strain but also went through practice.

Jones said defensive tackle Terrell McClain (high ankle sprain) is improving, but is not expected to play.

Roster moves

The Cowboys began trimming their roster by cutting defensive end Martez Wilson and fullback J.C. Copeland on Monday. The Cowboys have to cut 13 more by 3 p.m. Tuesday to be at the league-mandated 75 limit, and have to be at 53 by Saturday.

Stephen Jones said there are still “jobs up for grabs” Thursday, and the team will once again be active on the waiver wire in search of upgrades. He wouldn’t go into specifics on roster construction, but said he wouldn’t rule out the team carrying four running backs (DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams).

He also said Romo’s back doesn’t mean the team will carry a third quarterback, and that it would “be a stretch” to carry only eight offensive linemen.

The Cowboys are planning to place rookie tight end Jordan Najvar on injured reserve with a torn Achilles. They are also considering placing defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who still is months away from playing football again, on the non football injury list.

Contributors

Charean Williams has covered the NFL for 21 seasons. She's a Hall of Fame voter, a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and a proud Aggie. Follow her on Twitter at @NFLCharean

E-mail: cjwilliams@star-telegram.com

Clarence E. Hill Jr. has been the Dallas Cowboys beat writer since 1997. He's battle tested with one playoff win, six coaches, countless scandals, controversies and unfullfilled expectations. Follow him on Twitter at @clarencehilljr

E-mail: chill@star-telegram.com

Drew Davison joined the Star-Telegram as a correspondent in 2007, primarily covering high schools along with helping out with Rangers, Cowboys and colleges coverage. He became one of the Rangers beat writers in July 2011, and also assists with coverage of Texas Motor Speedway and the Cowboys during the offseason. Davison graduated from the University of Kansas and had internships at The Kansas City Star and MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavison

E-mail: ddavison@star-telegram.com

Jimmy Burch is the college sports and golf writer/columnist for the Star-Telegram. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys and other Dallas-Fort Worth pro sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Jimmy_Burch

E-mail: jburch@star-telegram.com

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