Cowboys Corner

August 26, 2014

Henry Melton healthy enough to play Thursday

The defensive tackle could be one of only a handful of starters to play in the preseason finale.

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Most starters won’t play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Broncos. Defensive tackle Henry Melton could, though, and that’s fine by him.

“I’m just going to listen to what they tell me,” Melton said. “We are going to sit down and talk about it and see if I should get some reps or if I should wait till San Fran.”

Melton, who signed with the Cowboys as a free agent this offseason, hasn’t played since last September when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing for the Bears.

The Cowboys limited Melton early in training camp and held him out of the preseason opener as a precaution. But Melton injured his groin Aug. 10 and didn’t return to practice until Monday.

“I’m feeling good,” Melton said. “Sitting out a week and letting my knee heal a little bit more. But it did set back my conditioning. One day of pads. I might need more reps before game time. But we will see.”

Cornerback Morris Claiborne, who returned to practice Monday, also could play in the preseason finale. He had a knee injury and then a shoulder injury that kept him out of the first three preseason games.

“They would be able to play,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of the possibility of playing Melton and Claiborne. “We’re still going to use the next couple of days to make that decision. …There is some real value for those guys to play in the game. You obviously balance that with giving them a chance to rest even more before the game next week. We anticipate those guys hopefully being available for us for the opener, and we’ve got to decide what we want to do with them for the next couple of days in regards to Thursday night.”

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