ARLINGTON, Texas – Despite sitting out of practice all week with a twisted ankle, Anthony Hitchens will suit up Sunday for the Cowboys' wildcard game against Detroit.
The Cowboys released their list of seven inactive players on Sunday afternoon, and they opted to sit rookie linebacker Keith Smith and new signee James Anderson in favor of Hitchens. That move will give them their top trio of linebackers in Hitchens, Rolando McClain and Bruce Carter.
Fellow linebacker Dekota Watson, who had been sitting out since he injured his hamstring on Nov. 23, will also be active against the Lions.
The full list of Dallas inactives is Dustin Vaughan, Jakar Hamilton, Smith, Anderson, Doug Free, Donald Hawkins and Kenneth Boatright.
It will come as good news for the Cowboys to have Hitchens back in the starting lineup. They weren't fortunate
enough to return Free, however. The veteran tackle injured his ankle in the Dec. 14 win against the Eagles, and he hasn't been able to practice in the three weeks since.
Jermey Parnell will make his seventh start this season in Free's place. He filled in for three weeks in October while Free recovered from a foot injury, and he has been called on after this latest problem.
There had been concerns about the Cowboys' depth at defensive tackle, as Nick Hayden was limited in practice this week and Josh Brent was dealing with a calf strain. Both tackles are active for Sunday, however, joining with Tyrone Crawford and Terrell McClain to offset the loss of Henry Melton for the season.
The Lions' inactives are quarterback Kellen Moore, cornerback Josh Thomas, guard Larry Warford, defensive end Larry Webster, wide receiver Ryan Broyles, defensive tackle Caraun Reid and defensive tackle Nick Fairley.