IRVING, Texas – The first official practice of the 2013 season did not include a few key players the Cowboys were hopeful to play Sunday night against the Giants.
Although head coach Jason Garrett said in his Wednesday press conference before practice that Anthony Spencer would "do something" in practice, the veteran defensive end was not on the field during the early portion of practice.
- Spencer has not practiced since late July when he underwent a knee scope. The 2012 Pro Bowler has been eyeing this return for Sept. 8 at AT&T Stadium. But it's starting to look like the Cowboys will have to prepare to be without him. The club added defensive end Ceasar Rayford from the Colts Tuesday via trade. They also have George Selvie and Kyle Wilber on the roster. Selvie had been taking first-team reps with Spencer out in preseason.
- Running back Lance Dunbar was on the field with the associate training staff. That is a typical sign the player is getting close to coming back. Dunbar suffered a foot sprain injury on Aug. 17 in Arizona and has yet to practice. Without Dunbar, the Cowboys were working Phillip Tanner with the second-team offense. Joseph Randle, who is wearing No. 21 now, will likely play Sunday as well.
- Safety Danny McCray is also out of practice and not expected to play Sunday night against the Giants. McCray has been the team's most consistent special teams player the last three years.
- Veteran Brian Waters was on the field wearing No. 64. Waters took second-team reps. The Cowboys' first-team line consisted of left tackle Tyron Smith, left guard Ron Leary, center Travis Frederick, right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau and right tackle Doug Free. [embedded_ad]
- Cornerback Morris Claiborne, who has been out with a knee injury, appeared to take all reps and is expected to practice in full Wednesday.
- Practice squad cornerback Micah Pellerin was not practicing, although he was rehabbing with the strength coaches. That left the Cowboys with just four cornerbacks on the field – Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and B.W. Webb.