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Practice Update: LB McClain, Romo Sit Out; Durant Returns


IRVING, Texas-  For the first time probably all season, the majority of eyes weren't fixated on the quarterback position during a Wednesday practice.

Cornerback Morris Claiborne was on the field at Valley Ranch after skipping a walk-through and team meeting on Tuesday after learning of his demotion as a starter.

Claiborne was on the field as usual working with the defensive backs during the individual drills in the early portion of practice. Head coach Jason Garrett said the team is still figuring out Claiborne's role for Sunday's game. He could be splitting time in the nickel defense with Sterling Moore, behind the starters Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr.

But for the second straight week, Tony Romo was not on the field for Wednesday's practice. Like he did a week ago, Romo participated in the team's morning walk-through and will attend all meetings. Romo said after last Sunday's game against the Rams that he felt better in the game than the previous two weeks and hinted that a similar mid-week approach was possible.

Romo practiced on Thursday of last week and is expected to do the same this week in preparation for Sunday night's game with the Saints at AT&T Stadium.

  • As for the linebacker position, Rolando McClain was not on the field because of a groin injury that kept him out of last week's game.
  • However, Justin Durant, who has missed two straight games with a groin injury was back on the field. If he plays Sunday, head coach Jason Garrett said the club will determine later in the week if he returns to the middle linebacker spot or goes back to the weak side and Anthony Hitchens plays in the middle.
  • The Defensive tackle spot was rather thin Wednesday as Henry Melton (hamstring) was not practicing. He suffered the injury early in the game Sunday and tried to fight through it until taking himself out at the very end. Defensive tackles Terrell McClain and Davon Coleman (calf) were not practicing as well.
  • Defensive end Anthony Spencer continued to practice as he rehabs from a microfracture knee injury. The Cowboys will monitor his work this week but there is an outside chance he plays Sunday night in a limited role.
  • For the first time this season, rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was on the fields, although off to the side doing conditioning work. He remains on IR-to-return and will miss the first eight games.
  • Running back DeMarco Murray, who has lost three fumbles this season, was carrying a football throughout the warm-ups even in between drills.
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