FRISCO, Texas – The week off clearly did wonders for the Dallas Cowboys, if their practice participation is any indicator.
The Cowboys took the field on Wednesday for their first practice of game week, and all 63 members of their team were on hand. That's 53 members of the active roster and 10 practice squad players – all of which were dressed out and participating.
There are obviously still a handful of injury concerns worth watching, even if that is an encouraging sign. Tyron Smith is still working his way back from an MCL sprain, and he did not dress out in full pads – a likely indicator that he won't be a full participant in practice.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said last week that he's optimistic Smith will be available to play this weekend, and he reiterated that on Wednesday morning.
"We anticipate him doing something today," Garrett said. "We anticipate him practicing in the early part of practice and seeing how he does."
It'll also be interesting to monitor the injury report in regard to the Dallas defensive line. DeMarcus Lawrence, Terrell McClain and Tyrone Crawford were participating on Wednesday. All three are expected to play against the Packers, but their situations will bear some monitoring as the week goes on.
Morris Claiborne returned to practice last week after a two-month wait, albeit on a limited basis. Garrett said he expects the fifth-year corner to participate more in the team portion of practice today, as the Cowboys are hopeful he can be ready to face Green Bay this weekend.
"We're excited to see him practice today," Garrett said. "We haven't seen him practice in a little bit, but he's been working very hard on the side. He's worked very hard in the individual stuff that he's gotten up to this point. We're excited to see him today and just see how he is, see how he handles the work."
Justin Durant was also participating in the early going of practice, after missing time with an elbow injury.
All of the Cowboys' injuries will be worth watching as the week continues, but it looks as though they'll be at full strength when they take the field Sunday.
The team practiced inside Ford Center at The Star on Wednesday, January 11 in preparation for the divisional playoff game on Sunday.