Tablet Sports

Cowboys working to open up Witten and Bryant

Jason Witten said it’s frustrating when he and Dez Bryant get coverage that limits them, but also said the Cowboys are working on wrinkles to solve that.

“It’s been tough with the coverage we have seen,” he said. “When the opportunities are limited, it makes it tough. We will work through that.

“The bye comes at a good time to get guys healthy and review and try to get a couple wrinkles.”

But Witten said it’s not up to the system as much as the players.

“At times, the execution has been there. We have seen success,” Witten said. “But overall, it hasn’t been good enough. We have to do a better job of it.

“We feel confidence in the system and the players within the system. That’s what’s good about the system. It’s held up for a long time. We have to continue to work within it.”

Witten said coach Jason Garrett emphasized the opportunity the Cowboys have at the top of the NFC East.

“Obviously, we know we have to play a lot better football if we want to win this division,” Witten said. “We have a great opportunity to reflect on that and say, ‘We know we have to play better, here is how we are going to do it,’ and just execute.

“As an offense, our focus is to find ways to do those things. There are all kinds of wrinkles of putting guys in different situations and plays, but ultimately, us executing this system we have had success in and been a powerful offense.”

Wilber at linebacker

The Cowboys tried defensive end Kyle Wilber at linebacker in practice Wednesday, looking for another body to plug in after the injuries to Sean Lee and Justin Durant.

The Cowboys drafted Wilber with the intention of his playing outside linebacker.

“He has a linebacker background, mostly as a 3-4 guy playing on the line of scrimmage,” Garrett said. “We are banged up. We have to consider everything.”

Holloman returns

Rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman returned to practice, having missed a month with a neck injury later described as a spinal contusion.

“It’s scary, but I think they made it more realistic for me than I made it for myself,” Holloman said. “I was thinking a day or two, I’d be fine. And they said, ‘No, you can’t go out there like this.’ And they put it in perspective for me, and I took it easy from there.”

It’s just in time for the Cowboys, who are short on linebackers because of injuries.

“He was doing good things,” Garrett said. “He made a very favorable impression on us early in camp, both as a special teams guy and as a linebacker.”

Webb criticism

Rookie cornerback B.W. Webb should have been more aggressive on the touchdown by Darren Sproles that gave the Saints a 21-10 lead shortly before halftime last week, Garrett said.

“It was a bad play for him,” Garrett said. “I think as much as anything else, it’s experience, it’s understanding his run fits, playing aggressively, not being hesitant, ‘Should I do that, should I pull the trigger?’

“He needs to step up there and make that tackle, and he knows that. But some of that is not being quite as confident as he needs to be in that situation. He’ll learn from that experience.”

Defensive line size

Garrett said the Cowboys can use the size of 6-foot-2, 295-pound defensive tackle Corvey Irvin, who signed this week.

“He has a little bit more size than some of the other guys,” Garrett said. “I think that’s an important trait that we need right now.

“This is a guy we think athletically fits into what we’re doing and maybe gives us a little more size in there to help us be a little sturdier there on the defensive line.”

Scandrick misses

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick missed practice for personal reasons, Garrett said.

Receiver Miles Austin returned to practice, but defensive end DeMarcus Ware sat out. He aggravated his quadriceps injury during the Saints game.

Lee, Durant, J.J. Wilcox and Morris Claiborne missed practice.

The Cowboys are off until Monday.