IRVING, Texas – It appears unlikely that the Cowboys’ defense will be at full strength Sunday against the Patriots.
Defensive end Jason Hatcher still isn’t practicing due to a calf strain suffered in Week 3.
Hatcher got off to a great start after re-signing with the Cowboys for $6 million over three seasons. He earned a starting job during preseason and had two sacks, two quarterback pressures and a tackle for a loss in the first two games.
Marcus Spears, who didn’t enter the season as the starter for the first time in his career, has replaced Hatcher in the lineup. Spears is a sold run-stuffer but isn’t as effective rushing the passer as Hatcher.
Fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring), kickoff specialist David Buehler (groin) and offensive guard Derrick Dockery (knee) also were not dressed out in pads for Thursday’s practice. Buehler was listed as limited after Wednesday’s practice.