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Cowboys Gaining Confidence In Martin's Availability For Sunday

IRVING, Texas – Add Zack Martin to the list of Cowboys who figure to have a good shot to play Sunday against Indianapolis.

That narrative has already been written about DeMarco Murray, who has practiced every day this week. It's been a little different with Martin, though, as the rookie sat out of all three practices in preparation for the Colts.

Sitting out of practice is a change for Martin, who has been the starter at right guard since Day 1. Asked about it Friday, he said he's done what he can to prepare himself to play.

"I've never done it at this level, obviously. But I've been trying to take mental reps this week and get ready that way, stay in the film room and get ready," he said.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones took his optimism a step farther Friday morning during a weekly interview with 105.3 The Fan. Asked about it directly, Jones sounded confident that both Murray and Martin would play a role in Sunday's game.

"Murray and Martin, I'm pretty positive about having the ability to play them and to getting that decision," he said. "Both of those guys, you should be able to count on them."

Both players were listed as "questionable" on the Cowboys' Friday injury report. Murray said earlier in the week that he thought he'd be the deciding factor in whether or not he plays in the game. Before leaving the locker room for treatment on the ankle, Martin said his ability to play through the injury on Sunday gave him confidence going forward.

"I was encouraged that I was able to finish the game, and that kind of gave me some hope that I'd be good to go for this week," he said.

If Martin and Murray both look likely to suit up, the same can't necessarily be said for Doug Free. The Cowboys' right tackle also injured his ankle against Philadelphia, but he didn't finish the game. Along with Martin, he also hasn't participated in practice this week.

Friday's injury report listed the eighth-year veteran as "doubtful."

"Free's a little bit different matter. And I'm a little skeptical we're going to have Free, but let's see what the few days bring," Jones said. "We may get some of Free, and that may be worth giving him an active roster spot."

Jones' reluctance to decide the matter concretely goes right in line with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. It's likely none of the three players' statuses will be determined until Sunday. But the prospects for some look brighter than others.

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