FRISCO, Texas – For the first time in almost a month, Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse had full practice participation as he points toward a return from the knee sprain he suffered in the Cowboys' season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"We avoided (going on the short-term) IR (list) because we felt like I would get back before those (required) four weeks," Kearse said Wednesday. "And I'm feeling up to where I need to be at."
Kearse, last year's team leader in tackles (92), emerged as a highly productive starter in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's scheme. He played close to 90% of the defense's total snaps in 2021 and showed terrific versatility covering tight ends and providing run support closer to the line of scrimmage.
After a three-game absence this season, Kearse is looking forward to rejoining what he strongly believes is the NFL's top safety rotation.
"No. 1. Hands down," he said. "If you just go down our safety room, you can't go to another safety room and match player for player. Can't."
Tuesday, Kearse hinted at his return to full practice by tweeting a picture of a three-headed monster -- a reference, he said Wednesday, to his on-field rapport with sixth-year safety Malik Hooker and fourth-year safety Donovan Wilson.
Hooker has provided experience and strong coverage in the back end during his second season with the Cowboys. And Wilson has been a force in the box, leading the defense in tackles (34) while adding an interception and a sack through four games.
"We all complement each other real good, and I'm just excited for all of us to be healthy and out on the field together," Kearse said.