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August 20, 2012

While attrition hits WR ranks, Coale steps up with best practice of camp, hopes to play Saturday

On a day when starter Dez Bryant and two other Cowboys’ receivers left practice with injuries, the workload increased for Danny Coale, a rookie fifth-round pick from Virginia Tech who has battled foot and quad injuries during training camp.

Coale has yet to play in a pre-season game but took lots of snaps in today’s morning practice, many of them with the first-team offense.

Asked if he ran more routes today against the Chargers than he has during the rest of camp, Coale said: “I think that’s safe to say.”

The good news? Coale’s surgically repaired foot did not howl at him at the end of the day despite the extra workload.

“We had a plan going in today and some guys went down. So I did more reps and we wanted to see how it responded. Thankfully, it responded alright … It felt what I was hoping it would feel like. It held up good,” said Coach, who described himself as “very anxious” for Saturday’s pre-season game in Cowboys Stadium against the St. Louis Rams.

Barring a physical setback, Coale expects to make his pre-season debut in that contest.

 “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to play. Today, it felt great,” Coale said. “Even though I went through a couple of practices in Oxnard, I need to make sure it responds well. And, hopefully, I’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

How ready is he to play at an NFL level?

There’s a lot of work to be done on the football side of things. But I’m happy with how it felt physically,” Coale said.

_ Jimmy Burch

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