Pondering the 46: Rest for DeMarcus Ware

IRVING, Texas -- Sometimes figuring out the game-day roster can be a breeze.

Three players have already been ruled out because of injury: Morris Claiborne (hamstring), J.J. Wilcox (knee) and DeVonte Holloman (neck). Miles Austin did not practice this week and while he is officially doubtful, he should miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. Brian Waters would have been the fourth injured player to be inactive, but the Cowboys put him on injured reserve Saturday. Darrion Weems will be the only inactive offensive lineman.

That leaves two more inactives.

DeMarcus Ware expressed some optimism late in the week about playing. He has missed the past two games with a quadriceps strain, but he said he was able to do some drills on Friday. Maybe he is ready to go, but it might make more sense to let Ware heal with the New Orleans Saints up next week. Having Ware closer to 100 percent to face Drew Brees & Co., seems a lot smarter than playing him against Christian Ponder & Co.

So that would put Everette Brown, who was signed Monday, on the field as a pass-rusher.

Special teams are a big factor on the final few spots, which would leave tight end Andre Smith on the outs. He was active the past two games but played sparingly as the Cowboys looked to help with their blocking.

With DeMarco Murray back in the fold, then perhaps Phillip Tanner’s spot could be in jeopardy. Add in the injuries of safety Danny McCray, the Cowboys should want to keep as many core special-teamers intact this week.

The inactives: Morris Claiborne, J.J. Wilcox, DeVonte Holloman, Miles Austin, Darrion Weems, DeMarcus Ware, Andre Smith.