Good news from the inury front for the beleaguered Cowboys defense: Henry Melton (hamstring), Rolando McClain (groin) and Terrell McClain (concussion) all participated in practice for the first time this week.
Melton and Terrell McClain both left the game early last week, McClain with a concussion, and Melton with a hamstring issue that he played through for most of the game. Rolando McClain did not play last week, as he struggled with a groin injury sustained in the previous week.
Attending practice does not necessarily mean the three will automatically play against the Saints on Sunday, but it does provide a boost to a Cowboys defense that got Orlando Scandrick back last week, will also have Justin Durant back this week, and will see Anthony Spencer take his first live snaps of the season on Sunday.
In Melton's absence during practice this week, the Cowboys moved Tyrone Crawford inside to the 3-technique spot, a move that may have had as much to do with Melton and and Davon Coleman not practicing as it does with Spencer coming back. After initial reports that Spencer would take snaps at right defensive end, the murmurs out of Valley Ranch have since indicated he'd be used on the left side, the spot from which Crawford played most of his snaps.
Defensive tackle Davon Coleman, who is struggling with a strained calf, was back at practice in a limited capacity. This means the Cowboys defense, while perhaps not back in peak physical form (but which defense really is once the season is under way?), will be at full strength from a personnel point of view as its entire active personnel contingent looks to be available for the Saints game.