For the first time since early November, Miles Austin practiced with the Cowboys on Wednesday, returning to action after missing four full games with a hamstring injury, the second hamstring setback of the season.
Austin has played in just six games this year, but has only finished four of them. He still has 28 catches for 403 yards and four touchdowns, including three alone in the Week Two win over San Francisco.
The Cowboys might need Austin more than ever, especially with backup Laurent Robinson not practicing Wednesday because of a shoulder injury he suffered against the Cardinals last week. Robinson missed an offensive series when he was in the locker room getting X-rays, but returned and played the entire second half. On Monday, Robinson said he expected to practice Wednesday but was not on the field for the early part of practice.
· Fullback Tony Fiammetta was on the practice field for the first time in three weeks. Fiammetta has missed three straight games because of an illness that included concussion-like symptoms. The Cowboys have struggled to run the ball consistently without him. DeMarco Murray's three 100-yard games, including the 253-yard record-breaking day against the Rams, all occurred with Fiammetta in the lineup.
· OLB DeMarcus Ware was not on the field Wednesday. He sustained a neck/stinger injury and missed one play last week but returned to finish the game.
· DT Josh Brent (knee), RB Phillip Tanner (hamstring) and QB Jon Kitna(back) were not practicing. Brent and Tanner were able to work with the athletic trainers on a side field.
· ILB Sean Lee practiced Wednesday without the bulky club he's been wearing to protect his dislocated wrist. The new cast exposed his fingers, giving him a better grip. Lee has practiced once with a new cast, but went back to the club for the games.
· Rookie OT Tyron Smith was wearing a new cast on his right wrist. Smith was a few minutes late to practice, likely getting the hand wrapped. It appeared he would be in full participation.
· Guard Kyle Kosier worked with the offensive line for the early part of practice, but went back to the locker room to rest his foot. Kosier hasn't practiced with the team on Wednesday since the first three weeks of the regular season, but usually comes back on Thursday.