FRISCO, Texas – Welcome back to practice, J.J. Wilcox.
A lot changes from day-to-day in the fluid world of NFL practices, but Wilcox's presence was the most noticeable news of the day from the Cowboys' Thursday morning practice.
It's been exactly three weeks since the Cowboys lost their fourth-year safety to a thigh injury on Thanksgiving Day. Wilcox has not practiced in that stretch, missing games against Minnesota and New York in the process.
It remains to be seen what this means for his availability against Tampa Bay, but it was an encouraging sight to see him at practice.
The good news didn't stop there, as both Tyron Smith and Ron Leary were present at Thursday's practice after missing on Wednesday. The duo did some conditioning work on the side of practice, so it remains to be seen how much work they'll do in the full-team portion of practice.
The defensive line is still missing DeMarcus Lawrence and Cedric Thornton. Lawrence is coping with the same back injury he's been dealing with for most of the season, while Thornton suffered an ankle injury in the loss to the Giants.
Chaz Green was also absent from practice after participating on Wednesday. The second-year tackle has been in and out of practice for most of the season while he deals with multiple injuries.
Orlando Scandrick was absent from practice, as he attended a funeral. Morris Claiborne – who is still recovering from his groin injury, suffered Oct. 30 – attended practice but did not participate.