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Cowboys Injury Updates: Jaylon Smith To Be Activated Off NFI List With Darren McFadden, Plus Other Updates

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Jaylon Smith will be activated off the NFI list, but that doesn’t mean he can practice or play yet.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At initial glance, the news that Cowboys second-round pick Jaylon Smith will be activated off the Non-Football Injury list seems like some crazy good news. It’s not quite as good as it seems, though. Smith, along with running back Darren McFadden, are going to be activated off the NFI list, but only McFadden will jump immediately into practicing. Smith, on the other hand, will have nothing change in his routine. This move, in Smith’s case, is strictly to avoid having to put him on season-ending injured reserve.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones spoke to 105.3 FM The Fan on Monday following Sunday’s 27-17 win against Baltimore. Asked about some of the team’s long-term injury concerns, Jones acknowledged that both players will be activated – rather than the alternative, which is season-ending injured reserve.

“We'll probably activate them both,” he said.

Both players will now be entering a three week practice period before a decision is made to add them to the active roster or put them on season-ending injured reserve.

“So, really it will just be Jaylon and McFadden that we give them that shot to keep them alive and McFadden will actually return to practice full bore,” Jones said. “But Jaylon's routine won't change at the moment."

In other injury news, it doesn’t look like the Cowboys will be getting Morris Claiborne back anytime soon. The cornerback has started resistance training, but he’s a long ways from returning.

In addition to the groin injury, Claiborne said he broke a piece of his pelvis on the non-contact play. He contemplated surgery after getting hurt but opted to hold off to see if it would heal without the operation.

"I’m still shooting for this season,” Claiborne said. “Whether it’s the next-to-last game, the last game, playoffs, that’s what I’m still shooting for.”

Finally, the Cowboys shortage at tight end won’t be solved by the return of James Hanna. The tight end is opting for season-ending knee surgery.

Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna will undergo season-ending knee surgery on Tuesday, according to sources.

Hanna was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp with what was described as a bone bruise. He had surgery in the middle of August with the idea of him returning sometime in the regular season.

With needing to have his three-week practice window started Tuesday and not being close to playing, Hanna has opted for a second surgery in three months.