IRVING, Texas – Their first names are similar. Their injury history is not.
Either way, there is a strong possibility both DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murray will miss Sunday's battle for first place in the NFC East between the Cowboys and Eagles.
Ware is in jeopardy of missing the first game of his career because of quad strain he suffered in the first quarter of last Sunday's win over the Redskins. Ware tried to fight through the injury but eventually went to the locker room in the second quarter and returned after halftime in street clothes. Ware has played in all 134 games of his career, starting 133.
Ware had an MRI on Monday, and while national reports have suggested the defensive end could miss 3-4 weeks, head coach Jason Garrett said, "We are not living on that timetable."
Garrett added, "We see how these guys do day by day. He strained his quad. We think that's what the injury is. We'll just see how he does. How he feels each day and we will make our plan with him in terms of his rehab based on how he's feeling."
Ware had three tackles in the Redskins game Sunday night. He has four sacks this year, becoming the Cowboys' all-time leader in sacks with 115, surpassing Harvey Martin (114).
As for Murray, the Cowboys' starting running back suffered a sprained MCL in his knee and will likely miss this week's game with the Eagles as well. Murray only had seven carries for 29 yards, but did score his third touchdown of the season before the second-quarter injury.
"He came in today and said he was feeling a little bit better," Garrett said of Murray. "But we will take his situation day by day."
Last year, Murray missed six games with a sprained foot. He also missed the final three games of 2011 with a broken ankle. In the offseason, Murray vowed to play all 16 games in 2013 and had started the first six before this injury.
Without Murray, the Cowboys will likely turn to fifth-round pick Joseph Randle, a rookie from Oklahoma State. Randle had 11 carries against Washington, rushing for just 17 yards but he did score his first career touchdown. The Cowboys might also work in Phillip Tanner as well. Last week, Lance Dunbar, who has been the No. 2 back behind Murray, missed the game with a strained hamstring. His return for Sunday's game in Philly is uncertain.
As for Ware's replacement, the Cowboys will likely start Kyle Wilber, the fourth-round pick in 2012 who played most of the game Sunday night. Wilber had a key play in the fourth quarter, not only sacking Robert Griffin III but he forced a fumble that he recovered, which set up a Randle touchdown run. [embedded_ad]
The Cowboys will also look to add some veteran presence at the position. The club worked out former Packers and Chargers defensive end Jarius Wynn, who has played five seasons in the NFL. Wynn has played both the 3-4 and 4-3 scheme and was recently cut by the Chargers after playing five games this year.
Wynn played his first three years with Green Bay, winning a Super Bowl ring in the 2010 season.
DeMarcus Ware has a quad strain, he hurt it in the ball game, couldn't come back into the game yesterday. We will take his situation day by day.
(On if he will miss 3-4 weeks as reported)
Well, we are not living in that timetable. We see how these guys do day by day. He strained his quad. We think that's what the injury is. We'll just see how he does. How he feels each day and we will make our plan with him in terms of his rehab based on how he's feeling.
(On if Ware did have an MRI today)
I believe he did, yes.
(On Murray's prognosis)
Similar. He sprained his knee in the ball game, couldn't come back. He came in today and said he was feeling a little bit better. But we will take his situation day by day.