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 Reporter-News Archives

Wednesday, June 5, 1996

Kevin Smith recovering from Achilles' tendon injury

AP Sports Writer

(June 5, 1996)

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Kevin Smith ran forward, sideways and backwards.

Tethered to a long rope to help keep him from falling, Smith quickly sweated through his workout shirt during an agility drill through a series of orange cones.

He was working hard in the Texas heat but loving it.

"It's getting a lot better," Smith said of his torn right Achilles' tendon. "I'm hopeful I'll be ready to go full bore once the regular season starts."

The start of the regular season last year proved to be the end of the season for the Dallas Cowboys cornerback, who had just signed a lucrative long-term contract the day before his injury against the New York Giants.

Smith was injured while breaking up a pass in the end zone. It was the kind of tear that has ended many a professional career in all sports.

No cornerback in the NFL has ever made a full, successful recovery from such an injury.
"I don't think about that," said Smith. "I'm just going to prove it can be done."

Smith will be needed desperately this year by the Cowboys, who plan to play Deion Sanders a lot at wide receiver. Upcoming cornerback Charlie Williams tore up a knee in off-season drills and won't play this year. Clayton Holmes, who was suspended last year by the NFL because of chemical abuse problems, won't be back.

"Kevin is one of our key guys, and every day you can see him improve," said Dallas coach Barry Switzer. "You can see it happening. Each and every day he gets better. He hasn't had a setback."

The Cowboys ended another three-day mini-camp on Wednesday. Moody reserve defensive lineman Darren Benson finally paid a visit and reported at 350 pounds, some 30 pounds overweight.

Benson has retired and unretired several times.

"Darren has to get his weight down if he is going to help us," Switzer said.
Quarterback Troy Aikman was slowed at camp by a sore right calf that has bothered him since last season.

Doctors tell him he has calcium deposits in the muscle.

"The only way to get rid of it is to go in and remove it, and they don't want to do that," Aikman said. "It's just something I'll have to deal with."

The Cowboys start regular training camp on July 17 in Austin.

All content copyright 1996, Associated PressThe Abilene Reporter-News and Reporter OnLine

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