FRISCO, Texas – Mo Claiborne practiced last week for the first time since late October, and Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones anticipates the veteran cornerback being available for Sunday's divisional-round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.
"He's going to have rust because he's been off," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. "But some of the things that he does you can't coach. And they're not necessarily from experience; they are just his natural gifts, and we'll benefit from those.
"We certainly know that he was playing at the highest level and best level that he's played in his career before he got his setback, his injury. I would hope that he could pick right up where he left off. That's probably optimistic, but we will certainly be better off for him being out there than we would be if he were watching the game."
Claiborne, who missed the final nine regular-season games with a groin injury, is among several Cowboys defenders aiming for a return Sunday.
Defensive tackle Terrell McClain (ankle), defensive end Tyrone Crawford (shoulder/hamstring), defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (back) and defensive tackle Cedric Thornton (ankle) also returned to practice during the open media portion last week after missing game action in December. Lawrence and Thornton each missed the last three games.
The Cowboys have tried to manage Lawrence's back injury. He played 13 snaps Dec. 11 against the New York Giants before sitting out the remaining three games.
"He's really as ready as he's been all season and we just have to see how he holds up," Jones said.
A returning Lawrence and Crawford would give the defense its starting defensive ends back in the lineup for the first time since mid-December.
Linebacker Justin Durant, who missed the last two games with an elbow injury, was not practicing during the open media portion last week. The Cowboys get back to practice on Wednesday.