IRVING, Texas – DeMarco Murray headlined a list of high-profile Cowboys players who missed practice Wednesday morning.
Murray, who is the NFL's leading rusher through six games, has been battling an illness since the Cowboys' win against Seattle. It remains to be seen how long the illness will keep him out, but he was given Wednesday off.
Aside from Murray, the Cowboys were also without Tony Romo, Rolando McClain, Anthony Spencer, Bruce Carter and Doug Free.
It has been customary for Romo to sit out of Wednesday practices in recent weeks, but this Wednesday is slightly different. He took a hard shot to his ribs from Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner on Sunday, and he also tweaked his ankle during the 30-23 win.
"It seemed like he was a little sore from the game, but I think he's going to be OK," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
McClain will miss both Wednesday and Thursday while he attends to a personal matter, but Garrett expects him back at practice on Friday.
"He's taking care of some personal situations, but we do anticipate him being back," he said.
Carter continues to sit out while he nurses a quad injury he sustained during the Week 4 win against New Orleans. The linebacker said Tuesday he's hopeful he can return to practice next week. Spencer has been mostly limited at practice since he returned to the lineup in that Saints game, but he was held out entirely Wednesday.
[embeddedad0]Free is expected to miss three-to-four weeks while he recovers from a foot fracture, but the Cowboys did welcome new signing Tony Hills to practice in his place. Free could be seen riding a stationary bike in the team weight room during practice.
On the positive side of things, rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence returned to practice for the first time since he broke his foot back during training camp. As part of his short-term injured reserve status, Lawrence is allowed to practice with the team during Weeks 7 and 8. He is eligible to play in Week 9.