ARLINGTON, Texas --If Rob Ryan's going to fully evaluate his defense in preseason, it'd be nice if he could get close to a fully healthy cast on the field.
That hasn't been the case, and although it doesn't appear serious, now defensive end Marcus Spears is dealing with a groin strain he suffered in Sunday's game.
Spears is a stabilizing presence on the defensive line. Assuming he can get back promptly, there does seem to be a chance that fellow starter Keith Brooking (hamstring) and key reserve defensive end Jason Hatcher (toe) will practice this week. Starting cornerback Mike Jenkins has also been day-to-day with a stinger.
The healthier they all get, the better perspective Ryan will have of his entire unit.
Same goes for head coach Jason Garrett on offense. He said wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) is likely to practice this week, and for the first time all preseason, running backs DeMarco Murray (hamstring) and Tashard Choice (calf) could be back very soon.
Garrett said guard Montrae Holland (back) is further behind schedule than the above-mentioned players. The longer he's out, the more likely the Cowboys go with Phil Costa, David Arkin or Bill Nagy at left guard -- barring a veteran signing.