Two players who likely won't be on the field Sunday against the Redskins include wide receiver Miles Austin and cornerback Mike Jenkins. Both starters are nursing hamstring injuries, along with practice squad receiver Dwayne Harris, whose hamstring injury last week in practice cost him a chance to get on the active roster.
Austin, Jenkins and Harris all made it out to the practice field for rehab work, usually a good sign that a return is near.
So far, the Cowboys have found a way to get by without both Jenkins and Austin here in the last two games – two wins over Seattle and Buffalo.
At receiver, Laurent Robinson has been quite a find for the Cowboys, catching four touchdown passes in the last three games, including two Sunday in his first start since Austin's second hamstring injury. As for Jenkins' injury, the Cowboys have used a combination of Alan Ball and Frank Walker to provide depth at corner, to starters Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick, who has technically replaced Jenkins at right corner. Ball made two nice defensive plays in the end zone against Buffalo and Walker recorded his first interception since joining the Cowboys.
And Harris, who was placed on the practice squad a month ago, had a real shot to get back on the 53-man roster. He tweaked his hamstring last week in practicing, opening the door for Akwasi Owusu-Ansah to get back to the active roster. Owusu-Ansah returned punts and kickoffs last week and ran down on kickoffs. Although he's moved to receiver, it's unlikely he will be used on offense. That's why Jesse Holley had got a chance to make a play early in Sunday's game.
It's not that the Cowboys don't want these players – Austin and Jenkins – back on the field soon. But for now, they've been able to manage without them.