FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys had just two absences as they got started on their first real practice of Week 4 on Thursday morning.
The team went through a walkthrough on Wednesday evening, but Thursday morning's session was much closer to a typical game week practice. With that in mind, it was telling that there were just two defenders missing from the practice field.
Sean Lee went through pre-practice stretches, but he quickly departed to do rehabilitation work on his injured hamstring. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said on Thursday morning tht Lee likely wouldn't have an extended workload.
"If he does, it'll be very limited," Garrett said.
Stephen Paea was also absent on Thursday, as he continues to manage the knee injury he's been dealing with. That problem didn't keep the veteran defensive tackle off the field against Arizona on Monday night, but it's something the Cowboys are surely keeping a close eye on.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys got positive signs from all of their injury concerns in what has been a banged up secondary. Nolan Carroll participated in the media portion of practice after missing last week with a concussion. Chidobe Awuzie was also on hand, as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
Jourdan Lewis left Monday's game with a hamstring injury of his own, but the rookie corner didn't even show up on Wednesday's injury report. Lewis was also going through Thursday's practice with no apparent issues.
That's good news for the Dallas secondary, which has faced injury problems at every turn so far during this young season. It remains to be seen how things will shake out for game day, but it's a good sign that all of the Cowboys' cornerbacks appear to be on the mend.
It will be the linebackers that bear monitoring this week. Lee is trying to get himself ready to play, and Anthony Hitchens is easing his way back to the practice field after the injury he suffered in August. That leaves the Cowboys a bit thin at the position, which helps explain why Keith Smith is expected to take linebacker reps at practice this week.
That will be a position to watch as Sunday gets closer.