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Cowboys Working Around Continued Hamstring Woes


IRVING, Texas – Hamstring injuries will once again be a factor when the Cowboys host the Raiders on Thursday.

The Cowboys suffered two more hamstring tweaks in Sunday night's win against New York, as Dwayne Harris injured his leg in addition to another setback in Morris Claiborne's recovery from a hamstring strain.

"Both of those guys tweaked their hamstrings yesterday in the game," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "Again, the game is at 3:30 on Thursday. We are pretty close to it already, so we will see how they progress."

Thursday's Thanksgiving kickoff limits the amount of time the Cowboys will have to get their injured players healthy. Neither Claiborne nor Harris participated in Monday evening's walkthrough practice.

"The nature of our practices will be more walkthrough, jog through modes this week, so we really won't get a chance to test those guys. But we'll see how they respond the next couple of days," Garrett said. "Certainly, they are players with experience enough that they don't need to practice enough in order to play." [embedded_ad]

The same situation applies to linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant – both of whom are still missing, also with hamstring injuries. DeVonte Holloman was limited during the walkthrough Monday, though he hasn't played a snap since injuring his neck Oct. 13 against Washington.

If Lee and Durant are unable to go against Oakland, the Cowboys could turn to Orie Lemon, who they signed off Arizona's practice squad last week. Barry Church also moved down from his traditional safety spot to offer help as a nickel and dime linebacker against New York.

"He has a real comfort level when we put him back down there around the line of scrimmage in those nickel-type situations," Garrett said.

The Cowboys may also look to make a roster move to address their linebacker concerns. Martez Wilson, who was drafted by New Orleans in 2011 and played for Oakland earlier this season, earned a workout at Valley Ranch on Monday evening.

The Cowboys have already made a roster move in anticipation of Claiborne's unavailability on Thanksgiving. The team released Andre Smith and signed Sterling Moore, who was on the roster last season and went through training camp with the Cowboys, on Monday morning. 

Moore made nine tackles in five games for Dallas in 2012 after joining the team from New England.

"He's come in and played well for us on short notice. Sterling had a good training camp for us and we just felt like we had some other guys we wanted to go with instead of him," Garrett said. "But we like him and he's been a guy who has stepped in and played well on a few different occasions for us." 

If Harris is unavailable Thursday, it's likely Cole Beasley will remain as the team's backup punt returner. He returned three punts for 19 yards after Harris left Sunday night's game. Terrance Williams would also likely manage kick returning duties in Harris' absence.

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