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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys’ Health Keeps Improving

Latest Cowboys headlines: More players are returning to practice; Cowboys are now spoilt for choice at linebacker; Teammates think Murray can rush for 2,000 yards.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys' health improving - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
We're heading into Week 8, and a headline about the Cowboys' health improving is probably not something we were expecting to see as little as two months ago. Yet the Cowboys’ health keeps improving:

Linebacker Bruce Carter is practicing for the second straight day, as is defensive end Anthony Spencer, who is looking to practice all three days leading up to a game for the first time this season.

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is eligible to return Nov. 2 against the Arizona Cardinals and has looked good in practice since he returned last week from a broken foot. Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who started the year on the non-football injury list, is practicing for the second straight day.

Dallas Cowboys' Jakar Hamilton returns to practice - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Hamilton returned to practice after attending the funeral of his cousin.

Dallas Cowboys have a good problem at LB - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Not a headline you would have expected at the start of the season, when the Cowboys had lost Sean Lee to a season-ending injury and DeVonte Holloman to a career-ending injury. But with Carter's return, the Cowboys are once again fully stocked at LB and spoilt for choice in their nickel defense.

When Carter, Justin Durant and Rolando McClain have been healthy, Carter and Durant have been the nickel linebackers. Now the Cowboys might have a choice as to which two to keep on the field.

Meet the man who fixed the Dallas Cowboys defense -
Injuries, attrition and a historically bad output in 2013 all pointed to another down year for the Dallas defense. Instead, they're a top-10 unit and a big part of the team's 6-1 start. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli provided SB Nation with some insight in a one-on-one interview.

Dez Bryant: DeMarco Murray can rush for 2,000 yards; ‘We believe in him’ | Jon Machota, DMN
Can Murray reach 2,000 rushing yards?

"I think he can do it," Bryant said. "I honestly think he can do it."

"DeMarco’s been doing a tremendous job," Bryant said. "He’s killing it. He makes things that much easier for us. And he’s going to continue to keep doing it, because we believe in him. He believes in himself."

Offseason Training With Witten Prepped Murray For Big Workload | David Helman,
Sounds like offseason workouts with Jason Witten have helped Murray's stamina.

"I invited him to come work out with me and kind of be a partner. I knew it was good for me to be with a young guy that can push you," Witten said. "Obviously he’s physically talented. I had kind of known that was the way our team was going and what we were trying to mold ourselves into."

"It helped a lot, obviously with the stamina aspect just building a good armor for your body so you can take some hits and take the pounding of a long season," Murray said. "He's done it for a long time and he's someone who has had a lot of success in this league and he knows what to do to take care of your body in season and out of season."

Grantland's NFL’s All-Rookie Team (So Far) -
Zack Martin, along with Browns guard Joel Bitonio make the team at guard. Interesting observation:

Luckily, they got to settle in next to the two best centers in the league. Alex Mack and Travis Frederick are both former first-rounders who have played like it, and adjusting to a new position and a new game is a little easier with that type of help.

Before Mack went down, Dallas and Cleveland had arguably the two best offensive lines in football. [Martin and Bitonio] were the final piece of each.

Five reasons why the Cowboys' success won't last. |
The Dallas Cowboys have been playing some outstanding football, which prompts Andrew Garda to wonder when it could all fall apart. I think it's always good to have a balanced perspective, and with the current hypee around the Cowboys, a good critical examination of the 2014 Cowboys would be a nice read. Unfortunately, this is not it.

Fear of Jason Witten’s decline led the Dallas Cowboys to pick TE Gavin Escobar | Rainer Sabin, DMN
Witten's longevity has suprised Jerry Jones.

"One thing you learn with Jason, which is part of his greatness, is that it’s difficult to beat Jason out to get playing time," Jones said. "He wants to get as many plays as he can . He’s still getting them. He’s really defying what a lot of people would say is Father Time. So whether it’s Martellus or Escobar, you think at some point, ‘When will Jason ‘s career slow down?’ But it obviously hasn’t.

"And the other thought process was, hey, there are a lot of people having a lot of success with two tight ends and we thought long and hard about that with Jason, that we really did well with the 12 and 22 personnel. And we still believe [Escobar's] a really great pick for us."

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