OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is counting on having his four most recently injured starters back in the lineup for the season opener.
Although right tackle Marc Colombo and linebacker Keith Brooking already were expected to return, and safety Gerald Sensabaugh also seemed likely, Jones' comments Wednesday are the most optimistic yet about left guard Kyle Kosier.
Kosier was expected to miss up to three regular-season games because of a sprained knee. Now Jones believes Kosier could play Sept. 12 at Washington.
"We'll get him back -- hopefully, hopefully -- for the first game," Jones said. "I'm planning on it. ... We'll see how he progresses."
Sensabaugh hurt a shoulder during last Saturday's preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. But Jones said trainers like what they've seen with Sensabaugh's recovery.
"He's doing better than we thought he might be doing in terms of his range of motion and some things," Jones said.
Colombo had an arthoscopic procedure on his right knee a week ago Monday to remove loose particles, some of which might have been bothering him for years.
"He's very pleased that they cleaned out and found what they found," Jones said. "It makes him very optimistic, and me, too, about his future -- not just this year, but years to come. Really, really I think (having had the surgery) is a good thing."
Robert Brewster started in Colombo's spot against the Chargers, but veteran Alex Barron has replaced him on the first team. Barron missed the team part of a workout Tuesday because he's still recovering from an ankle problem, but he was back Wednesday.
Brooking has a minor shoulder injury, and Jones is glad the team is being cautious with the linebacker's return. Brooking, 34 and coming off a knee operation, is among the team's most intense players.
"I like the idea of Brooking getting a little time off and a break away from what he will be asked to do during the season," Jones said.
Rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant continues to watch practice with the patience of a kid waiting to open birthday presents. After missing most of last season at Oklahoma State because of an NCAA suspension, Bryant has missed the entire preseason with a sprained ankle. He started running on it this week and already has been ruled out of the game Saturday at Houston.
"Certainly, Dez is improving, just champing at the bit, can't understand why he can't get out here and participate," Jones said. "But he's got to have blind faith in his coaches and trainers, that we're doing what's best."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press