Looks like the Cowboys will be very close to full strength as they prepare for the Giants game on Sunday.
Miles Austin is expected to practice with the team on Wednesday and will likely return to the lineup against the Giants. Austin has been out for four games after injuring the hamstring on his right leg in the second quarter against the Seahawks. He had previously injured his left hamstring in training camp, re-injured it in the week two victory at San Francisco and missed two games as a result.
Tony Fiammetta told reporters that he had been cleared to practice on Wednesday and will play on Sunday.
"It’s going to be awesome," Fiammetta said Monday. "I’ve been waiting for it. I feel great. It’s a good time to come back, big game, and I want to make a difference."
Fiammetta missed a total of three games with an illness that he says was never diagnosed and which included nausea, dizziness and "an uneasy feeling kind of thing."
The Cowboys could certainly use Fiammetta. Without Fiammetta, the Cowboys have averaged a pedestrian 83.8 rushing yards per game and 3.3 per carry. With Fiametta in the game, the Cowboys rushed for 145.8 yards per game and 5.8 yards per carry. Whether one man's presence will make that much of a difference in the run game on Sunday remains to be seen, but it certainly won't hurt to have Fiammetta back, and with him a little more fire on the offense: The name Fiammetta is derived from the Italian "fiamma" (flame, fire) and the diminutive suffix "-etta": hence Fiammetta, or "little fiery one."
"With the success that we’ve had, it brought a lot of attention to the running game," said Fiammetta. "Teams have been stacking the box. It’s hard to run against that sometimes. I’m going to do everything I can to make a difference. We’ll see. I don’t know for the rest of the regular season what I can do, but I can guarantee that I’m going to do my best to make a difference."
Fiametta's return leaves the status of fellow fullback Shaun Chapas a little up in the air. Chapas was just called up from the practice squad last week. The Cowboys likely won't make a move until the end of the week, particularly as the status of Martellus Bennett remains in doubt.
Bennett suffered an injury in the first half of the Arizona game. Initial X-rays on Sunday came up negative and a subsequent CT scan yesterday showed Bennett had suffered a muscle strain. Bennett said he's not sure if he'll practice this week or even play Sunday.
Cowboys fans around the globe started collectively hyperventilating when DeMarcus Ware suffered a stinger late in the third quarter. Order was restored to the universe when Ware missed only one snap before returning to the game. He said he was fine after the game.
Laurent Robinson also caused a scare for Cowboys fans when he had to go to the locker room during the game for X-rays on his shoulder, but he later returned to the game. Robinson said on Monday that his right shoulder is "sore but it'll be fine".
"It’s good. I’m putting some ice on it right now," Robinson said. "It’s a little sore but I’ll be fine. At first it bothered me some, but after that it was fine. I’ll be fine."
Mat McBriar is now "close to full health" as Josh Ellis writes on the mothership. You certainly wouldn't have noticed any lingering issues from his punting: McBriar's five punts all landed inside the 20-yard line and Peterson gained just one yard on punt returns. Of course, short fields helped a lot, but it's good to see McBriar back as the punter and as the holder.
No word yet on nose tackle Josh Brent and running back Phillip Tanner. Both were inactive on Sunday with injuries, Brent with a knee issue and Tanner with a hamstring injury. Along with Martellus Bennett and Jon Kitna, who'll likely remain out with back problems, those are currently the only four Cowboys with injuries significant enough to potentially keep them out of Sunday's game.
"The Giants are going to be at Cowboys Stadium at 7:20 PM on Sunday. They’re an awfully good football team in all areas – we’ve got to get ready for them."