IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo and Tyron Smith returned to practice on Monday, as they Cowboys continued their preparation for the Bears.
As two of the most crucial pieces of the Dallas offense, Romo and Smith's absence from Sunday's practice session was well-documented. Romo has now returned to his usual routine of practicing on the second and third day of the week, after missing the first day for conditioning.
Smith sat out Sunday with a stomach virus, but he appears to have put that behind him as the Cowboys approach Thursday's prime time kick off in Chicago.
Speaking of Chicago, the forecast projects the temperature at Soldier Field to be somewhere in the low 30s when the Bears and Cowboys face off. To that end, an overnight drop in temperature Sunday put the Cowboys on the practice field in 30-degree temperatures Monday morning – something Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said should help his team.
"I think the conditions will probably be fairly similar today in our practice that we'll have Thursday night up there. I think that's a positive thing for us," Garrett said.
Even at 30 degrees, the weather Thursday night likely won't come close to the cold the Cowboys faced in Chicago last year, when it reached 0 degrees by the later stages of the game. Regardless of the conditions, Garrett said the Cowboys can't focus too much on external factors.
"Do your best regardless of circumstance," he said. "Sometimes players can get caught up in what the conditions are, whether you're playing on the road in front of this crowd, what the temperature is, all of those things. You just have to focus on doing your job on every play."
It's looking likely that at least two Dallas defenders will sit out of this clash against the Bears. Cornerback Tyler Patmon and safety Jeff Heath both missed practiced Monday. Patmon has been absent since the Week 10 win against Jacksonville, where he suffered knee and ankle injuries.
Heath broke his thumb in the Nov. 23 win against New York, and he hasn't been cleared to practice since having surgery last week. He said Sunday that he was hopeful he'd be ready to play for the Cowboys' Dec. 14 visit to play Philadelphia.
Dekoda Watson also sat out Monday, as he continues to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered against the Giants.