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Injuries Could Cost Cowboys Against Manning, Broncos

By Shawn S. Lealos for CBSDFW.COM
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ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22:  Defensive end DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys in action during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Credit, Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys need as many healthy bodies as they can get when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos come to town on Sunday. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.

The defensive line, which was already hurting when Anthony Spencer went on the IR, took two more hits this week. DeMarcus Ware, who has been hurting the last two weeks, has been a full participant in practices this week, but will still possibly be limited in the game with his ailing back.

Worse news is that the Cowboys second best pass rusher, George Selvie, has not practiced at all this week thanks to a concussion suffered against the San Diego Chargers. Selvie actually worked through conditioning drills on Thursday, and Jason Garrett is holding out hope that his defensive end will be able to play.

With Manning so dangerous, Dallas needs both of their defensive ends at full strength, and with both suffering from injuries, things look questionable.

Those aren’t the only Dallas defensive players who are hurting this week.

Linebackers Justin Durant and Edgar Jones are both suffering from groin injuries. Durant has missed practice all week while Jones was limited on Wednesday and missed Thursday altogether. Two other hobbled defensive stars who should still play this week are Bruce Carter (foot) and Morris Claiborne (shoulder), but both have been struggling in their performance since their injuries occurred.

On offense, the only two major injuries are to wide receivers Miles Austin and Dwayne Harris. Austin still hasn’t returned to practice and will probably miss his second consecutive game with a sore hamstring. Harris was downgraded from a full practice participant on Wednesday to a limited participant on Thursday. Harris might play, but expect Cole Beasley to play special teams once again.

The Denver Broncos come in healthier, with no players completely missing practice on Thursday.

On the offensive side of the ball, Eric Decker was limited after not practicing on Wednesday with an ankle injury. Decker said he will play on Sunday, but he is the third option for Manning, so his limitations won’t hurt the team as much as if Wes Welker or Demaryius Thomas were hurt.

Joel Dressen was full practice with a knee injury, but has already lost his starting job to Julius Thomas in the tight end race. Center Manny Ramirez was full practice as well with a ribs injury, but he hasn’t missed a game yet this year for Denver.

There are more injuries on the Denver defensive side of the ball, where Dallas will try to do everything they can to keep up with Peyton Manning and this high octane offense.

Champ Bailey has been limited in practice this week with a foot injury. He remains questionable for the game and has not played yet this season. Linebacker Paris Lenon, who missed last week’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles, was also limited at practice this week.

The other defensive injuries, including linebacker Danny Trevathan and defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, were full practice and are likely to play on Sunday.

Injury Report

Dallas Cowboys

  • Austin, Miles WR Hamstring
  • Carter, Bruce LB Foot
  • Claiborne, Morris CB Shoulder
  • Durant, Justin LB Groin
  • Harris, Dwayne WR Hip
  • Jones, Edgar DE Groin
  • Selvie, George DE Concussion
  • Ware, DeMarcus DE Back

Denver Broncos

  • Champ Bailey CB Foot
  • Eric Decker WR Ankle
  • Joel Dreessen TE Knee
  • Chris Kuper G Ankle
  • Paris Lenon LB Thigh
  • Matt Prater K
  • Manny Ramirez C Ribs
  • Danny Trevathan LB Knee
  • Mitch Unrein DT Neck

For more Cowboys news and updates, visit Cowboys Central.

Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.

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