Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray could play Sunday
Murray missed last week’s game after spraining the MCL in his left knee during the second quarter of Cowboys’ Week 6 win over the Washington Redskins. He returned to practice on Wednesday, but was limited during all three sessions this week. Still the Cowboys remain optimistic that Murray could play for against the Lions this Sunday.
"He's got a real shot," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said via ESPN.com. "Wouldn't say for sure. I think it's still questionable but we'll kind of see how he feels after today's practice and we'll see how it feels on Sunday and we'll make a decision.”
“We want to do right for DeMarco for the season not just one game,” he added.
If Murray is a no go for Sunday, then rookie Joseph Randle will start his second straight game, after playing in the Cowboys’ past four games. Second-year running back Lance Dunbar should also be ready to go against the Lions after pulling in a full practice on Friday. Dunbar missed the past two games due to a hamstring injury and is officially listed as probable on the Cowboys’ injury report.
Seven other players were listed probable for Week 8 – including receiver Dez Bryant (hamstring/wrist), cornerback Morris Claiborne (illness), running back Lance Dunbar (hamstring), receiver Dwayne Harris (hip), guard Ron Leary (knee), defensive end George Selvie (shoulder) as well as defensive tackles Nick Hayden (back) and Jason Hatcher (neck).
Meanwhile, defensive end DeMarcus Ware is at risk of missing his second straight game while dealing with a right quadriceps strain. He did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday. Receiver Miles Austin was limited in practice all week. He was listed probable heading into last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles before going down with a lingering hamstring injury. His status has been updated to questionable. But Austin likely won’t play Sunday as coach Jason Garrett hinted that the Cowboys are focusing on resting the two-time Pro Bowler to get him healthier for the second half of the season.
Tackles Riley Reiff (hamstring) and Jason Fox (knee) are also questionable for Week 8.
Starting safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) will be inactive Sunday along with linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck), who missed practice all week. But the Cowboys are hopeful that rookie Wilcox will not miss much time recovering from the knee injury.
"It should be short term," Jones noted. "It's similar to what DeMarco (Murray) has."
Fellow rookie Jeff Heath should replace Wilcox in the starting lineup. But the Cowboys could also call up a player from the practice squad to add depth at the position with only three safeties on their 53-man roster.