IRVING, Texas – The one guy who has a legitimate shot to miss Sunday's game was actually on the field Wednesday when the team resumed practice at Valley Ranch.
A handful of players who are expected to play Sunday were not on the field.
But that's how it goes here in Week 16 of the season as the Cowboys prepare for Sunday's showdown with the Colts, trying to lock up their first playoff berth in five years.
The status of the NFL's leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, will likely be in question all week as he recovers from Monday's surgery on his fractured left hand. Murray was on the field Wednesday, but likely won't participate in any of the team drills. Head coach Jason Garrett said during his morning press conference that Murray won't do much in terms of practice but if he's going to play Sunday, he needs to make sure his conditioning will be good enough to play.
Images from Wednesday's practice at Valley Ranch.
"He has to get something out of each day," Garrett said Wednesday. "Today we don't anticipate him practicing much but he's got to move around and get himself physically ready to play in this game. as we go, we'll see how functional he is – how he can hold the ball, hold it under duress, catch the ball, block do all the things necessary to be ready to play. We'll try to ease him into drills and practice as the week goes on."
As for the guys not on the field, Tony Romo missed Wednesday practice once again, sticking to his regular routine. He did participate in the morning walk-through and will likely return on Thursday.
The Cowboys can only hope that's the case for a pair of starting offensive linemen. Right tackle Doug Free (ankle) and right guard Zack Martin (ankle) were not practicing. Garrett said this week neither player has the dreaded high-ankle sprain. On Wednesday he said both players are "day-to-day" and he was hopeful they could be ready to face the Colts.
Linebacker Rolando McClain, who has battled a knee injury most of the season, defensive tackle Josh Brent (calf) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring) were not on the field as well.
Newly-signed linebacker Mister Alexander, who joined the practice squad Tuesday, was on the field Wednesday.