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DMN: Dallas Cowboys lose Burnett to sprained knee


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Glad to see Camp Cupcake continue. Keeping guy out of live tackling early on is starting to show that the pukes were just delaying the inevitable injuries of preseason. Practicing or leaving people out of practicing to avoid injuries usually comes back to bite a team in the ass.

By BRIAN DAVIS / The Dallas Morning News


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Dallas Cowboys desperately wanted to get through four practices against the Denver Broncos with no injuries. Inside linebacker Kevin Burnett was gone by the end of the first.

Burnett sprained his left knee during 11-on-11 drills against the Broncos' offense Wednesday morning. Burnett said late afternoon he was fine, but he underwent an MRI exam and could require surgery.

The Cowboys must conduct further tests to determine the severity of the injury. Owner Jerry Jones said it's too early to say if Burnett will miss Saturday's preseason game against the Broncos. However, other players were held out last week against the Chargers as a precaution.

As for the MRI, Jones said: "We got a little encouragement there. We'll take a look at it in a couple of days."

If Burnett misses considerable time, it would dramatically alter the dynamics of the second-team defense.

The coaching staff is testing Bobby Carpenter to see if he can be a dependable backup behind Bradie James. He's getting an extended amount of practice time to show what he can do. Carpenter is listed third on the depth chart behind Zach Thomas and Burnett.

Newman itching to play: Injured cornerback Terence Newman is aching to get back into the mix if only the coaches would let him. Coach Wade Phillips said he won't let Newman play until he's 100 percent healthy.

Newman suffered a tear in his left groin July 29 and was expected to miss three weeks. First-round pick Mike Jenkins has worked extensively with the first team at left corner in Newman's absence.

Newman has been on the practice field each day doing rehabilitation work and helping secondary coach Dave Campo.

"It's responded to treatment, and I feel pretty good," Newman said. "I haven't done football stuff yet, but it's coming along."

Owens, linemen sit: Phillips decided to hold right tackle Marc Colombo, left tackle Flozell Adams and wide receiver Terrell Owens out of the afternoon workout.

Owens had his pads ready and was prepared to practice until Phillips had him sit.

"T.O. was mad," Phillips said. "He's a competitor. He wants to practice. I told him, 'I wouldn't like you if I didn't think you wanted to work. The guys who aren't mad, you need to tell them to stay out there.' "

With Colombo and Adams out, Pat McQuistan and Doug Free worked with the No. 1 offense at right and left tackle. Sam Hurd replaced Owens at receiver.

Watching the nose: Marcus Spears and Tank Johnson rotated at nose tackle with the first-team defense, while Jay Ratliff played mostly left defensive end.

Ratliff, last year's starter at nose tackle, learned early in training camp that coaches wanted him to play defensive end. He played nose tackle against the Chargers in the preseason opener. But Spears and Johnson could see more time inside during Saturday's exhibition with the Broncos.

Briefly: Linebacker Anthony Spencer (right knee) could return to workouts hursday.

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Kevin Burnett, who got embarrassed by rookie RB Jacob Hester in the San Diego game?

Blown up on one play, faked out of his shoes a few plays later.

He didn't get the memo that the pukes were now allowed to tackle...

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