FRISCO, Texas -- The Cowboys were missing just one player when they took the field for their first practice of Week 6 on Wednesday.
Tyron Smith was absent for the open portion of practice, as he continues to work his way through a back injury. The issue has been bothering Smith for roughly two weeks, and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he is still working on it.
"We don't anticipate Tyron doing much in practice today," Garrett said. "But we certainly are hopeful that he'll do something as the week goes on."
That more or less follows the routine that Smith was on heading into that Oct. 8 loss to Green Bay. The All-Pro tackle was limited throughout the week, but he suited up to play against the Packers. As he has said multiple times since the start of training camp, Garrett said the problem isn't related to the injury that forced Smith out of two games last season.
"It's just something that just kind of inflamed on him. So we're just trying to make sure we give him every chance to play his best on Sunday," he said. "That's the reason he'll be out of practice today but again, we're hopeful as the week goes on that he can practice."
Views of the Dallas Cowboys during Week 7 practice from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
On the other side of the ball, the Dallas defense was at full strength on Wednesday, highlighted by the presence of Sean Lee.
Lee has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, be he was participating in Wednesday's practice and the Cowboys are optimistic he'll be available on Sunday. Rookie defensive back Chidobe Awuzie, who has also been handling a hamstring injury, was also at practice.
Strictly speaking, Rico Gathers is not a member of the Cowboys' roster right now, as he is still on injured reserve. But Garrett had an update on the second-year tight end, who has been out since August after suffering a concussion.
Gathers isn't eligible to return to the roster for a few more weeks, but he is allowed to practice. Garrett said he hasn't quite reached that point yet, but he is making progress.
"Don't anticipate him doing anything today," Garrett said. "He has been working out on the side with our strength coach, and I think that's been a positive thing for him. I think he's getting better and better."