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Cowboys' Terence Newman out 3-4 weeks

OXNARD, Calif. -- Cowboys Pro Bowl cornerback Terence Newman’s groin injury was not believed to be too serious at first.

But MRI results Tuesday revealed a slight tear and he will be out at 3-4 weeks. Newman suffered the injury to his left leg during Monday morning’s first practice when he was hit awkwardly.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips called it a “significant” tear.

Newman was on the field during practice Tuesday helping with the cornerbacks and talking with secondary coach Dave Campo. He didn’t seem overly worried about the injury and even gave the fans two thumbs up when they were shouting to know his status.

After practice, Newman didn’t want to guess on his possible return.

“I’m not going to make predictions,” Newman said. “It’s better than it could have been.”

Newman is not expected to do much for the next two weeks and then begin to up his rehabilitation. The sixth-year player, who missed three games last season, is also missing valuable time working in the nickel package.

“It’s a little disappointing because he plays the nickel for us and we had some specific things we thought we could help him with but it’s going to slow down that process,” Phillips said.

Rookie first-round pick Mike Jenkins worked with the first team in his place on Monday, but Tuesday it was Pacman Jones’ turn playing opposite starter Anthony Henry.

Newman will likely miss at least the first two preseason games at San Diego (Aug. 9) and Denver (Aug. 16). It is a frustrating setback for Newman considering he battled nagging injuries last season with a plantar fascia tear and knee tendinitis.

He is also entering a season with a big new contract. Newman signed a six-year, $50.2 million deal with the Cowboys in the offseason and is now paid like one of the top corners in the league.

Despite Jones not being fully reinstated, Phillips is willing to give him first-team repetitions. That’s because Phillips seems fully confident Jones will be with the team for the season opener on Sept. 7.

“The guy came in to all our OTAs and there’s been no problems that I know of and worked with the team and now he’s working all of training camp,” Phillips said. “To me, I am kind of counting on that he will be here for the first game.”

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