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November 20, 2013

Cowboys plan to turn loose now-healthy rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman in practice

The Cowboys aren’t going to hold back on rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman this week. They need him to play, and now that he’s healthy, he’s going to play.

“We feel good about where he is physically. We’re going to let him go,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We’re going to let him practice and see how he responds.”

Holloman was sidelined by a spinal contusion for five weeks. He returned to practice last week.

"Even when you’re in those shell-type practices, there’s a physical nature to those, and he seems to be pretty comfortable," Garrett said.

Holloman is expected to play some at middle linebacker in the nickel defense and at strong-side linebacker in the base defense as he and veteran Ernie Sims try to make up for the absence of Sean Lee and Justin Durant.

“He’s an inexperienced player. He hasn’t played that much for us,” Garrett said. “But when he’s played, he’s done some good things, you know, as a special teams guy, spot play on defense. Has a good instinct for playing. Seems to be around the ball and makes a lot of plays.”

Holloman has four tackles in the regular defense and four on special teams, plus a fumble recovery. In preseason, the sixth-round pick out of South Carolina had 15 tackles, a sack, two interceptions and two pass breakups.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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