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Practice Update: Defensive Starters Missing; Backup RBs Sitting Out & More

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys had a host of players miss Wednesday's practice at Valley Ranch, including four starters on defense.

Linebackers Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens both were not in attendance and owner Jerry Jones has already said Lee seems doubtful to play this week because of a concussion he sustained last Sunday. Hitchens is dealing with an ankle injury but has a shot to play this week against Tampa Bay.

Other defensive starters not on the field include defensive tackle Nick Hayden, who has two ankle injuries.

Safety Barry Church has been dealing with a high-ankle sprain although it hasn't kept him out of games. He missed the first part of practice but came onto the field later to work off to the side with the training staff.

  • Wide receiver Dez Bryant was not on the field and expected to get some conditioning work in as he nurses a knee injury. Bryant got banged up at the end of his touchdown catch Sunday night but returned to action to finish the game and is expected to practice later this week.
  • Running backs were thin on Thursday as both Christine Michael and Rod Smith were out due to an illness.
  • Quarterback Tony Romo will get some work in this week but it should start on Thursday. Jason Garrett said the Cowboys are trying to prevent him from throwing three straight days, so he should resume his rehab work on Thursday and Friday of this week.
  • Wide receiver Brice Butler did not practice Wednesday although he continues to get conditioning work done on the side fields.
  • With the recent release of Kellen Moore, who could return to the practice, rookie Jameill Showers got more work early in practice as a quarterback and could run the scout-team practices on Wednesday. In fact, he could handle most of the work this week as he tries to simulate Bucs rookie Jaemis Winston.
  • Mark Nzeocha is expected to be officially moved up to the active roster, replacing Moore's spot.
  • Rookie tackle Chaz Green practiced for the first time, which begins his three-week window before the Cowboys either have to activate him or place him on IR.
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