IRVING, Texas –The Cowboys are preparing to play without two of their best players on both offense and defense. Both Jason Witten and Jay Ratliff will likely be game-time decisions.
But for their best special teams player, it doesn't even look that good.
Safety Danny McCray, who has led the team in special teams tackles each of the last two years, said his stinger/shoulder injury will likely keep him from playing Wednesday night.
"I'm hoping for a miracle, but I don't see it happening," McCray said Monday. "There's just not a lot of strength there."
McCray is obviously referring to the strength in his right shoulder, which occurred after the vicious collision he had with Gerald Sensabaugh in the Aug. 25 game with the Rams. McCray did not play the rest of that game and hasn't practiced since.
Not only will the Cowboys lose a key player on special teams, but McCray had a role in the Nickel and Dime packages on defense. His spot will likely be taken by Mana Silva.
Bigger SpencerWhile stopping the run has been one of Anthony Spencer's best attributes, he decided to get even stronger this year before the season.
Spencer played around the 245-pound range most of last year, but said he expects to play closer to 255 this year.
"I think I'm bigger than I was last year," Spencer said. "Overall, I wanted a weight I wanted to be at coming into this year for the simple fact I wanted to be stronger for muscle mass."
Spencer ranked four on the defense last year with 74 tackles and tied Sean Lee for most tackles behind the line of scrimmage with eight.
Wilber ProgressingLinebacker Kyle Wilber could get a pin removed as soon as Tuesday that will allow him to practice more fully with a cast.
"They're going to make me a cast that I could play with," Wilber said. "I might have the Sean Lee club."
Wilber, a fourth-round pick from Wake Forest, thought his spot on the 53-man roster might have been in jeopardy after undergoing surgery for a broken thumb on his left hand.
He's currently listed as a limited participant in practice. Wilber said after the pin's taken out, he should be able to fully participate in practice. He said he can't imagine where he'd be without the reps he received prior to breaking his thumb in the first preseason game against the Raiders.
"Right now, I'm kind of hurting myself, because all I'm able to do is take mental rep," Wilber said. "I like muscle memory, actually doing stuff, helping me remember it, doing it in action. It kind of hurts me right now, but as soon as I get this pin out, I should be back at it."
- *Rowan Kavner *