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Secondary Takes Hit; Two Key Starters Expected To Miss This Week & More

FRISCO, Texas – Beating the Eagles in dramatic fashion on Sunday night has come with a hefty price on Monday.

The Cowboys were able to stay close to Philadelphia in the second half thanks to a stingy defense. But a couple of key starters in the secondary will be out "for a while," according to head coach Jason Garrett.

Cornerback Morris Claiborne suffered a groin injury that will most certainly keep him out next Sunday in Cleveland, and probably a few more weeks as well. Garrett said it's possible Claiborne has a sports hernia injury but as of Monday afternoon, the training staff had yet to make that determination.

Safety Barry Church sustained a broken forearm and is also expected to miss multiple games in November. Garrett said the initial prognosis won't require surgery for Church but he will be out for an extended period of time.

"I'm going to just say in both cases we're probably looking at anywhere from a month to six weeks," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. "But that's just really a guesstimate."

Fortunately for the Cowboys, Claiborne's injury occurred late in the fourth quarter and the defense didn't have to get back on the field in overtime. It's likely that rookie Anthony Brown will move up into the nickel packages on the outside and veteran Orlando Scandrick will remain in the slot. Although Brown did fill in nicely for Scandrick in the three games he missed with hamstring injuries. Scandrick, however, is much more experienced playing on the outside.

Garrett acknowledged that newly signed cornerback Leon McFadden is on the practice squad, suggesting the possibility he gets moved up to the 53-man roster.

As for Church's injury, the Cowboys are expected to use a combination of J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath to play alongside Byron Jones. Sunday night, both players spent time in the defensive subpackages. The Cowboys made Kavon Frazier active for three games when Scandrick was out. It's likely he will be moved up again to the game-day roster.

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