Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MySA.COM: Tom Orsborn: Cowboys' new safety says he can hit, too

By Tom Orsborn - Express-News

CARROLLTON — The Dallas Cowboys got rid of strong safety Roy Williams because he couldn't cover. When it came to stopping the run, the former Oklahoma star got the job done.

With the players going through minicamp without any pads, it's hard to tell if Williams' replacement can do the same.

Not to worry, Gerald Sensabaugh said Tuesday.

“No drop-off,” said Sensabaugh, who Dallas signed in free agency. “I was a run-support guy in Jacksonville in a 4-3 scheme. ... I took on lead blockers. I had surgery on two shoulders. We did a lot of hitting over there.”

But make no mistake. Sensabaugh is on the roster mainly because of his ability to cover.

“He can play corner-type coverage, so any time they split somebody out and we want to play man-to-man, we can continue to do that,” coach Wade Phillips said. “Whereas before, we either had to play man and give our safety some help or go to some type of zone where we could cover up for him.”

Receiver injuries: Undrafted free agent Kevin Ogletree joined several other injured receivers on the sidelines Tuesday after tweaking his knee in Monday's afternoon workout.

Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback and Travis Wilson are also sidelined, meaning veterans Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton are getting more reps than usual.

The injury situation also benefits youngsters such as seventh-round pick Manuel Johnson, who beat second-year cornerback Mike Jenkins while making several catches during the last drive of Tuesday's practice, and recently signed Willie Reid.

Phillips said he isn't worried about Austin (hamstring) and Hurd (quad) missing work. He expects both to be ready for the start of training camp July 27 at the Alamodome.

“The good thing is Hurd and Austin have played in this offense,” Phillips said. “They're not like rookies. We want them to get back to training camp and get them back to speed.”

Running back sits: Felix Jones sat out after suffering a calf injury Monday. No word on whether he'll return for today's workouts, the last of minicamp.