Cowboys grinding as lockout continues

Quarterback Tony Romo said about 40 players have been working out together this week.

"The guys know how important it is to be in football shape and ready to go when the lockout ends," Romo said. "I was very pleased with the turnout. The guys were excited to be out there. It was a crisp and fast-paced practice. You could tell the guys were energized to be back into football on the field.

"I think as we continue to do this going forward, it will help us improve tremendously this offseason. Any competitive advantage we will be able to obtain, that's why we're out there doing the things we're doing. We're excited knowing we'll be that much farther along and we'll be in football shape."

With the lockout now reaching day 80, the Cowboys are taking it upon themselves to stay in shape in case football resumes by the time camp begins in late July.

Said tight end Jason Witten, "We have to do that as a group, work out. You can't just go to training camp without having done any work. It's going to be a very important part of what we do. It's about us going to work and doing it together."

Conspicuous by his absence was wide receiver Dez Bryant, who also was not among the group of players that were at the team facility last Friday on the one non-lockout day of the offseason.

However, Bryant did attend the workouts the following day, and Romo said he "looked good."

Yet, owner Jerry Jones defended Bryant for not being there April 29, saying, "We don't know what his schedule was since certainly two days earlier he hadn't planned to be here. He might have planned to be on the other side of the country; this was kind of an impromptu day for most of the people to be here."

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