ST. LOUIS -- The Cowboys defense could get not one, but perhaps two big boosts for next week's clash against the Saints, according to team owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
Speaking to reporters following the Week 3 win against St. Louis, Jones said he's hopeful Rolando McClain and Anthony Spencer will both be able to play when New Orleans comes to AT&T Stadium next weekend.
"Hopefully Spencer might get some snaps next week, hopefully No. 55 gets some snaps next week," Jones said. "So we're looking to that, and we're starting to potentially really get some players that can also improve, apart from the fact that these guys are getting this kind of play time, getting this kind of experience."
The Cowboys were without two of their top linebackers Sunday, and it showed against the Rams. McClain was the team's leading tackler through two weeks and had established a physical presence at middle linebacker. Justin Durant tallied double-digit tackles in his one outing against San Francisco.
Both players have missed time with groin injuries, though they don't appear to be serious.
Their absence was obvious at the Edward Jones Dome, as St. Louis racked up 448 net yards on the day -- more than 100 yards over what the Cowboys allowed in the first two weeks.
"Defensively, we know that they had us reeling a lot of the day, but we came in there and made a couple plays at key times," Jones said.
Spencer hasn't played since he saw limited action in Week 2 of 2013. The 12 months in between have been a slow battle back from microfracture knee surgery, [embedded_ad]
which culminated in him practicing with pads on last week.
When he can return, he could lend a hand to what has been an uninspiring pass rush through three weeks. The Cowboys didn't sack Austin Davis on Sunday, and their defensive linemen boast just one of the team's three sacks on the season.
Of course, with good injury news comes bad injury news. Jones also said that Henry Melton, who recovered a fumble against the Rams, appeared to re-aggravate his groin injury.
"Melton had a little twinge, but played with it," he said. "It was a little groin, but he played with it."
All three injuries promise to be heavily-monitored aspects of the Cowboys' preparation for the Saints this week.