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Dallas Cowboys Friday Practice Report: Two Return, Three Do Not

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Rolando McClain and Jeremy Mincey returned to practice today, but Anthony Hitchens, Terrell McClain, Doug Free were held out of the team practice seassion.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys got a bit of good news earlier in the day when both Rolando McClain and Jeremy Mincey returned to practice today after clearing the NFL’s concussion protocol.

But Anthony Hitchens, Terrell McClain, and Doug Free did not participate in team practice today.

For the first time since injuring his ankle, Doug Free was on the field doing some limited rehab work on his injury. Free has sat out the last three games, and is listed as doubtful for the Packers game. The "doubtful" designation officially means there's a 25% chance a player will play, but in this case, we can safely assume that percentage is about as close to zero as it gets.

Terrell McClain is also dealing with an ankle injury, and is officially listed as questionable (50% chance a player will play) for Sunday. If McClain cannot play, the Cowboys will likely make a roster move and call up either Davon Coleman or Ken Bishop from the practice squad. With DT Henry Melton on injured reserve, Coleman or Bishop would be the fourth man in a defensive tackle rotation that includes Tyrone Crawford, Nick Hayden, and Josh Brent.

Anthony Hitchens didn't practice last week, but did play in the Lions game, where he re-aggravated an ankle injury he suffered against the Redskins in Week 17. But the one-week turnaround between the Redskins and Lions game make the Cowboys cautiously optimistic that Hitchens could be ready for the packers game despite not practicing at all this week.

"There’s work on that ankle that he went through last week that if the game weren’t so darn important you would have said, ‘Don’t play,’" Garrett said. "But he toughed it out and he ended up playing 33 or so plays for us and we really needed him to play because of what happened to Rolando."

"We feel he is on a pretty similar pace as to what he was last week at this time," he said. "So we’re hopeful he can do something, but we have got to see how he feels over the next couple of days."

There will be a final walk through at Valley Ranch tomorrow before the team leaves for Green Bay. Once they land there in the afternoon, the team's first stop will be at Lambeau Field, not at the hotel. Why?

"A lot of our players haven’t been to Lambeau and we go right past the stadium," Jason Garrett said of Saturday’s plan to visit the Stadium. "We’ll get out and move around a little bit."

"It’s an early game on Sunday. When you get there early (Sunday) you don’t want to spend any time looking around at the place. ‘We did that yesterday, guys. Let’s get up, put our cleats on and let’s go play football.’"

"You don’t want to have a whole lot of new experiences going to these games, so if you can knock out the novelty of going to this stadium that a lot of guys haven’t been to, you knock that out the day before."

"Then you just go play."