Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DMN: Dallas Cowboys being careful with WRs Austin, Hurd

By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News

CARROLLTON – This was the off-season in which Miles Austin was going to push to become a bigger factor in the Cowboys' offense, especially since Terrell Owens' release. But a hamstring injury has kept Austin out of the last three weeks of practice.

Austin's return to the field, as well as that of fellow wide receiver Sam Hurd, who has a quadriceps injury, will come inside the Alamodome when training camp starts July 29.

"I want to be out there, obviously," said Austin, who suffered two knee injuries last season and missed four games, "but at the end of the day I have to be ready for training camp when we're getting ready for the season. With hamstrings, you never know. They're going to be sore, but I want to be ready for everything going into camp."

Hurd said he is 100 percent and the team wants to keep him fresh for training camp. Both receivers have done running on the side during practices the last two weeks and in the first two days of this week's mini-camp.

"I'm a very competitive person, and it's difficult watching," Hurd said. "I'm ready now, but I'll be really ready for training camp."

Folk continues rehab: The next step of Nick Folk's rehab from hip surgery will come Monday when he begins kicking a volleyball. Folk will move from a volleyball to a soccer ball to kicking off a tee before his full return in training camp.

Folk will visit with Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., on Saturday for a checkup after beginning light jogging last week.

"Feels awesome," Folk said. "I can't complain. It's more tired than anything else. It's not like it's sore, just tired."

Williams adjusts: Jason Williams' transition from playing linebacker while standing over a guard, like he did at Western Illinois, to playing off the ball, like he is with the Cowboys, is measured in baby steps.

Moore: It's not all fun and games for Cowboys' Bennett

"You can see little things every day," coach Wade Phillips said. "We were watching tape last week, and we ran a toss play and he didn't do it quite right. Later we ran the same play and he did real well. It just takes a little time."

Briefly: Running back Felix Jones (calf) did not practice Tuesday and is not expected to work out today for the final day of minicamp. ... Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree will not need surgery after suffering a bruised nerve Monday. He should be ready for training camp. ... Tony Romo completed six straight passes to five different receivers in a seven-on-seven drill. ... Tight end Martellus Bennett had a long catch during the two-minute drill and concluded the session with a touchdown.