IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Quincy Carter slapped his hands in disgust as his pass flew over the outstretched hands of a receiver.
That was just one of many incompletions for Carter during practice Wednesday, but he was taking snaps with the first team and making the kind of long throws that indicate his injured right thumb has improved enough for him to resume the starter's role.
``He threw the ball well and handled everything,'' coach Dave Campo said. ``Barring any unforeseen situation, we feel like he is going to be ready to go.''
As Carter worked with the first team, Anthony Wright _ the starter the past two games _ stood nearby with his helmet, rather than a football, in his right hand.
Carter, anointed the starter when the Cowboys released Tony Banks in the preseason, is expected to start Sunday's game at Oakland. His only game was the season-opening 10-6 loss to Tampa Bay when he completed 9 of 19 passes for 34 yards with two interceptions.
Wright was 19 of 48 passes for 226 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions in his two starts.
Campo was encouraged by what he saw from Carter. The coach said the missed passes were the result of timing, not the thumb on Carter's throwing hand injured during a practice three weeks ago.
``It was just a little bit of rust after not practicing for a couple of weeks,'' Campo said. ``When it was thrown right to somebody, he was fine. On a couple of crossing routes, he was a little bit high and that comes from throwing balls.''
Actually, Campo thought Carter was throwing the ball better than he did before the injury.
``He really spun the ball pretty good, I thought better than he had in the past,'' Campo said. ``He missed a few passes here and there, but as far as spinning the football and getting it out there, he did well.''
Carter said the soreness in his thumb has forced him to change how he grips the football. That slight adjustment may actually help eliminate the wobbly passes that were a problem in training camp.
What Carter can't change is the sharp pain he still feels on his right hand each time he takes a snap.
``That's football. We're all men, and we all go through a little pain and adversity in our lives,'' Carter said. ``I'm willing to work through anything as long as I can throw the football. I just want to get out there for my teammates.''
Carter didn't have any apparent problems taking snaps Wednesday, and showed no signs of being in any pain.