It looks more and more like the Cowboys will be without DeMarcus Ware again this week. Dallas' star pass rusher was unable to practice again today and the likelihood that he practices on Friday and then plays is pretty remote. Dallas could be targeting the Saints game for his return and hoping they can get by the Vikings without him.
Joining Ware on the "did not practice" list were starting safety J.J. Wilcox and corner Morris Claiborne. It's expected the Cowboys will be without Claiborne for a while, even he mentions the bye week as the big week for him concerning a return. Wilcox has no timetable associated with him, but Dallas has been very cautious with injured players this season, and are probably hoping they can give everyone who needs it another week off and still prevail over lowly Minnesota.
Miles Austin, Danny McCray and DeVonte Holloman were also not practicing today. Barry Church and DeMarco Murray both practiced again today making Church's return to the field on Sunday likely along with Murray.
Then there's Brian Waters. He's still holding out hope to play again this year. In the meantime, the offensive line could go a few ways in terms of backups or further injuries. Bryan Broaddus lays it out:
Mackenzy Bernadeau will be the starter at right guard between Travis Frederick and Doug Free, which is something this team has already played with through the Giants and Chiefs games this season. Without Waters, now comes the practice shuffle of Phil Costa back into the mix at center, with also Bernadeau getting some reps there as well.
Travis Frederick will see some work at both guard spots along with Doug Free. As much as this coaching staff does not want to move Frederick or Free, it is quite possible this combination might be called on to finish a game this season. Jermey Parnell will still be the swing tackle and will go into the game if Free has to kick inside. The loss of Waters is huge to this offensive line, but of all the combinations I listed above, it is something these players have at least practiced and used in a game.
With Claiborne out, Broaddus thinks the Cowboys might use Micah Pellerin.
In talking to various members of the front office, there is no desire to bring Sterling Moore back into the mix but instead look to bringing Micah Pellerin up off the practice squad.
Where Pellerin can help this squad is in a couple of areas. He has the length and physical size that you don't get in Claiborne or Webb. Where Pellerin also helps you is that he is a much better special teamer than what you would get from Sterling Moore.