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OXNARD -- Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will have surgery Thursday to repair a broken foot he suffered in training camp practice Monday afternoon.

It's a blow to a defensive unit that is in rebuilding mode on the defensive line. Head coach Jason Garrett said the rookie is taking the major setback in stride, though.

'He's got a really good mindset,' Garrett said. '[I] talked to him last night and he said, 'I'll be back coach. They say 8-to-12 weeks, I'll be back in eight.' That kinda thing.'

The Cowboys drafted Lawrence in the second round this year out of Boise State hoping he could he could fill an immediate need at right defensive end. And things were apparently going well.

'You feel good about drafting a guy and then seeing a lot of the things you thought you were going to see,' Garrett said.

After surgery, Lawrence will return to Oxnard to rehab and be able to attend team meetings. He will have time to return this season, but it will be impossible to make up for what he'll miss over the next couple of weeks in Oxnard.

'He needs time to get himself acclimated to playing at this level, in this system, getting the techniques right [and] understand[ing] what we're asking him to do in each defensive scheme,' Garrett said.

That's why training camp is so valuable for rookies, but now Lawrence forced to do without.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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