DeMarco Murray returns to practice along with other key starters
The Dallas Cowboys got multiple players back on the practice field Wednesday. The most notable return to practice was running back DeMarco Murray (foot) who’s missed six straight games. Without Murray in the starting lineup, the Cowboys offense has struggled to establish a solid running game. Murray’s return could be a huge boost for the offense, particularly when in the red-zone. Murray wasn’t the only key player to return to practice. Defensive ends Sean Lissemore (ankle) and Jason Hatcher (concussion) also returned along with receivers Miles Austin (hip, back), Kevin Ogletree (concussion) and center Ryan Cook (knee) to shed some light on a an injured offensive line.
The only players not at practice were running back Felix Jones (knee), cornerback Orlando Scandrick (hand), center Phil Costa (ankle) and nose tackle Jay Ratliff (groin).
The defense has already lost two key starting linebackers Sean Lee (toe) and most recently losing Bruce Carter (elbow) for the season. Without Ratliff clogging the middle of the defensive line, the Cowboys defense is vulnerable against the run, and doesn’t provide pressure up the middle to free up the outside rush.
The Dog-Days of December begin this weekend, a time of year when you have to fight through injuries and setbacks. December has been a nightmare for the Dallas Cowboys recently, and standing at 5-6 with five games left is a steep hill to climb. The team currently remains two games behind first place New York in the NFC East, but only a game out of the crazed NFC wild card picture for the final spot.
Note: The Cowboys signed linebacker Brady Poppinga to help an injured plagued linebacker core, and signed receiver Anthony Armstrong to add depth at receiver.