FRISCO, Texas – Good news for the Cowboys leading into the playoffs: they returned home from Sunday's regular-season finale at Philadelphia "pretty clean" on the injury front, head coach Jason Garrett said Monday.
With the No. 1 playoff seed already clinched, running back Ezekiel Elliott and linebacker Sean Lee were rested during Sunday's 27-13 loss to the Eagles. Guard Ronald Leary (back) also was active but did not play. The Cowboys gave limited snaps to the majority of their starters.
Injuries were a factor entering the finale. Seven players, including five starters, were inactive due to injury: left tackle Tyron Smith, cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive end Tyrone Crawford, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive tackle Terrell McClain, defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and linebacker Justin Durant. The team's upcoming bye week offers more rest time before their Jan. 15 divisional round game against an opponent to be determined.
Garrett said injured players such as Claiborne are improving and the team will evaluate their status day by day. The team is scheduled to practice on Thursday and Friday this week.
Garrett also was asked about the possible availability of guard La'el Collins, who has been on injured reserve since early October with a big toe injury that required surgery. Teams are permitted to activate one player from injured reserve during the season once he has been on IR for at least six weeks. The Cowboys would have to make a roster move to move Collins back to the 53-man roster.
"He's worked very hard to come back and we're going to give him every chance to do that," Garrett said. "We're certainly hopeful at some point that he'll be able to come back this season."