The Dallas Cowboys continue to practice without wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence - and continue to profess a lack of worry over their unavailability.
“They’re both in really good shape,'' coach Mike McCarthy said from the team's training camp in Oxnard. “Amari, he looks great. ... And D-Law, same deal. He’s in tremendous shape.''
Cooper and Lawrence, both of whom boast Pro Bowl resumes, have spent the entirety of this camp on the NFL's physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason surgeries - Cooper on his ankle, Lawrence on his back. In both cases, the procedures are said to be "minor,'' though Cooper's rehab in particular has been slower than expected.
That Cooper issue may be the source of some frustration inside Cowboys HQ. but McCarthy put a positive spin on a situation that we're told will not be cleared up - that is, with Cooper and Lawrence coming off PUP and coming onto the team's roster - until after the second preseason game on August 13 at Arizona.
Said McCarthy: "Everything’s been extremely positive from the strength staff. I know (Cooper) and (the trainers) were trying to talk about a potential timeline of when he thinks he’ll come off of PUP. We’re still working through that. His weight is as low as it’s been since I’ve worked with him.
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"Those timelines will be discussed here probably in about a week.”
The Cowboys kick off the preseason against the Steelers on Thursday night. Not only will Lawrence and Cooper remain inactive for that outing - joining QB Dak Prescott (nursing a sore shoulder) in that department - but that trio may not even travel to Ohio.
Sources confirm the positive view of Cooper's conditioning. And to the eye, Lawrence looks to have slimmed down from previous years as well.
By the way, the original plan did not call for Prescott to play in Canton, anyway. But he may debut when time the Cowboys face the Cardinals on August 13. ... and Cooper and Lawrence may be just slightly behind him in making their on-field debuts.