The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 23, 2013

Cowboys’ hopes for health limp into training camp

OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer can’t shake a troublesome knee problem.

Backup Tyrone Crawford is out for the season after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

The Cowboys have to hope the first two days of training camp aren’t a trend after figuring they would be better than last year simply by being healthier. But they’re trying not to dwell on it.

“When you let stuff like that creep into you, that’s a cancer for the team,” said Jason Hatcher, one of the healthy defensive linemen. “Last year we lost a lot of guys, but I think we played our butts off. We’re just going to continue to do that.”

The Cowboys couldn’t help but feel for Crawford after he went down in a noncontact individual drill during the first full workout of camp Sunday.

Coach Jason Garrett said Monday that Crawford would return to the Dallas area for surgery this week.

Dallas was already without defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who strained a hamstring on the pre-camp conditioning test after missing 10 games last season with an ankle problem and a sports hernia that required season-ending surgery.

Spencer sustained a hyperextended left knee during offseason workouts and said he ended up with a bone bruise in the same area after the conditioning test.

“It’s concerning to me,” said Spencer, who is playing on a one-year contract with the franchise tag for the second straight season. “It’s bothering me right now. I really don’t know what else to do, so I’m just taking it day by day.”

The Cowboys also are missing Tony Romo’s starting guards in Mackenzy Bernadeau, who similar to Ratliff strained a hamstring during the conditioning test, and Nate Livings, who has a foot problem.

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