By Shawn Lealos for CBSDFW.COM | CBS Local Sports


The Dallas Cowboys head into their week five game with the Houston Texans with the chance to continue their surprising hot start to the 2014 NFL season. However, in a season that already saw them lose starting linebacker Sean Lee before the season even began, the Cowboys have now lost one of their key cornerbacks to a season ending injury as well. Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans injury report for week five.

Dallas Cowboys

It is a strange week for the Dallas Cowboys. Almost everyone on their injured list was able to practice this week except for Bruce Carter. However, on a bad note, cornerback Morris Claiborne was placed on the season ending injured reserve list after tearing the meniscus in his knee.

It was a strange week for Claiborne. The week before the Cowboys played the New Orleans Saints, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett called Claiborne into his office and demoted the cornerback from the starting lineup. Claiborne left the facility in anger but returned later and apologized. He ended up starting anyway because the Saints forced Dallas to play their nickel defense, but early in the game Claiborne went down hard and stayed down; his season ended.

Replacing Claiborne in the nickel will be Sterling Moore, with Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick the starting cornerbacks on every down plays. Dallas will also work with some of their younger cornerbacks to get them some playing time in a rotation with Moore.

The only other major injury for Dallas is to strong side linebacker Bruce Carter. After getting off to the best start of his career, and leading the team in tackles through four games, Carter will miss the next two weeks with a thigh injury. Replacing him in the lineup will be rookie Anthony Hitchens. The rookie linebacker has started every linebacker position at least once this season now.

The other injured Cowboys players all practiced this week and all will play on Sunday. Those players include wide receiver Dez Bryant (shoulder), linebacker Rolando McClain (groin), defensive tackle Henry Melton (hamstring) and quarterback Tony Romo (back). Anthony Spencer, who made his return after a yearlong absence to a knee injury returned last Sunday as well.

Houston Texans

The biggest question mark for the Houston Texans heading into their big game with the Dallas Cowboys comes with running back Arian Foster. After racing for over 50 carries in the first two games, the work caught up with him and he missed the next game with a hamstring injury. He did make his return in week four, but barely made a dent in the game. Foster was limited in practice this week and said that he would see how things went. Head coach Bill O’Brien is optimistic that Foster will play, but whether or not he is 100 percent is another question.

Another scary moment came in week four when wide receiver Andre Johnson went down injured towards the end of the game. Luckily, Johnson said after the game that he was fine and would be good to go against the Cowboys. Through the week, Johnson was limited in practice with the ankle injury but there should be no problems.

First round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney will miss another week as he recovers from his knee surgery. Clowney’s rehab is going well, but he is considered day-to-day and won’t be back until sometime after week six. J.J. Watt has also been sitting out of practice this week, but there are no indications that the Texans’ best player will miss this Sunday’s game with the Cowboys.

Injury Report: Dallas Cowboys

Did Not Practice

Bruce Carter, LB – Thigh

Limited Practice

Henry Melton, DT – Hamstring
Anthony Spencer, DE – Knee

Full Practice

Dez Bryant, WR – Shoulder
Rolando McClain, LB – Groin
Tony Romo, QB – Back

Houston Texans

Did Not Practice

CB A.J. Bouye (groin)
OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee)
DE Tim Jamison (groin)
P Shane Lechler (left hip)
CB Darryl Morris (ankle)
S Eddie Pleasant (ankle)
DE J.J. Watt (thigh)

Limited Practice

LB Brian Cushing (knee)
RB Arian Foster (hamstring)
WR Andre Johnson (ankle)
G Ben Jones (knee)
CB Johnathan Joseph (knee)

Full Practice

LT Duane Brown (knee)
LB Akeem Dent (shoulder)
WR Damaris Johnson (foot)
C Chris Myers (ankle)
S D.J. Swearinger (elbow)

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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