MINNEAPOLIS – After a three-week stint on the inactives list, Benson Mayowa will get another shot to prove himself on Thursday night.
The Cowboys released their weekly inactives prior to kickoff against Minnesota, and Mayowa – who the Cowboys signed to a three-year, $8.25 million contract in the offseason – was not among them. The fourth-year veteran will replace fellow pass rusher Ryan Davis on the 46-man roster.
That's the most surprising news for an inactives list that has become predictable in recent weeks. The official inactives list is Mark Sanchez, Morris Claiborne, J.J. Wilcox, Darius Jackson, Justin Durant, Davis and Chaz Green.
Most of those are attributable to injuries accumulated in the past few weeks. Claiborne has been missing since Oct. 30 with a groin injury, and he doesn't look likely to return until the final weeks of the season.
Green, Durant and Wilcox were all ruled out on the Cowboys' final injury report of the week, which was released Wednesday. Green has been missing since Oct. 2, as he continues to fight foot and back injuries that have plagued him in recent weeks.
Durant and Wilcox were both injured in the Thanksgiving win against Washington. Wilcox suffered a serious thigh contusion while making a tackle, while Durant suffered a hamstring injury in the first half.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, they'll be getting some reinforcements in the form of Barry Church. The defensive captain broke his forearm in the Oct. 30 win against Philadelphia, but he is active and is expected to play against the Vikings.
Second-year linebacker Damien Wilson – who played his college career in Minneapolis, at Minnesota, -- will likely fill in for Durant as the Cowboys' strong side linebacker. Mark Nzeocha, who has often been inactive this season, will also suit up to help cover Durant's absence.
As has been the case for the past two months, offensive tackle Emmett Cleary will serve as the Cowboys' third tackle while Green recovers. The Cowboys have also been fond of using guard Joe Looney in jumbo sets to offset Green's absence.
Darius Jackson is once again a healthy scratch, as is Mark Sanchez, who is now the No. 3 quarterback with Tony Romo returning from injury.