FRISCO, Texas – Despite the short turnaround, this week looks kind for the Cowboys from a health standpoint.
The Cowboys gathered Tuesday at their indoor facility for what essentially amounted to a Thursday practice. As coach Jason Garrett has reminded several times this week, the Cowboys have to alter their perception of this week in anticipation for a Thursday afternoon kickoff.
"Well, it's just the nature of the short week for everybody – for coaches, for players – and you just have to be mindful of the days of preparation that you have," he said. "We believe mindset is important. We joked as we came in, today is Thursday. To the rest of the world, everyone thinks is Tuesday. But today is Thursday, and we really get ourselves in that frame of mind."
The "Thursday" practice wasn't fully padded, but it was still encouraging to see that only two players sat out of the proceedings. For the fourth straight week since they were injured against Philadelphia, Barry Church and Morris Claiborne were unavailable for practice.
Church suited up and stretched with the team, but he was not available to participate in practice. But all signs point toward the veteran safety being available soon after fracturing his arm almost a month ago.
Things are a little cloudier with Claiborne, as he continues to recovery from a groin injury. Claiborne said after the Baltimore game that he feels better and he has begun to do resistance work, but it still remains to be seen when he might be able to make a return. Despite that, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday that he still expects Claiborne to be back at some point this season.
"It would appear that he's on the same recovery prognosis that he had when he was injured," Jones said.
The Cowboys had two non-injury related absences from their Monday walkthrough in Chris Jones and Gavin Escobar. Jones was absent due to the recent birth of his daughter, but he returned on Tuesday. Escobar went home briefly after the Baltimore game, as his father passed away. He too was in attendance for Tuesday's practice.
Tyron Smith and Chaz Green, who have been injury concerns in recent weeks, were also at Tuesday's practice.