For the first time this season, the Cowboys are expected to be fully healthy in their secondary, following a couple early injuries at the cornerback position to Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick.
As of last week, it looked as though the safety position might be next. The Cowboys lost both Gerald Sensabaugh (concussion) and Barry Church (shoulder) against the Lions, and special teams ace/safety reserve Danny McCray was in a walking boot the day after the game, though he had been able to finish the contest. Sensabaugh and Church each returned to practice Monday.
McCray said the injury, diagnosed as a regular ankle sprain, happened on the first punt return of the game against Detroit. While he didn't practice on Monday, though, McCray was optimistic about his chances to get back on the field without missing time.
"It didn't really hit me until I got home, sat down and started watching highlights," McCray said. "I stood back up and I was like 'Oh man.' It came back to get me. But I've been working out, rehabbing all through the bye week, so hopefully be ready by Sunday ... It's doing better. I went out there and ran today, broke a little sweat to see how it felt. It felt pretty good."
This could be a big week for McCray in more than his special teams role because of New England's wide open offense. The Pats are as comfortable with four wide receiver sets as they are spreading the field with two tight ends in the game. McCray could see lots of time in a hybrid safety/linebacker position.
"To be honest, I have no idea," McCray said. "We've got a lot of people back, a lot of good corners, a lot of good safeties. We've just got to see what's in the game plan."