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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Opposing view: Dallas missing stars

By Matt Ehalt

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As Dallas beat the Giants 24-17 in the opener, linebacker Sean Lee and running back DeMarco Murray made key plays that helped spark the upset.

Sunday, the Cowboy could be without both of their playmakers. Lee is out for the season with a toe injury, and Murray did not play last week and missed Wednesday's practice with a foot sprain. The indication is that the running back will not be in action against the Giants.

Lee, a top linebacker, had the forced fumble on running back David Wilson in Cowboys' territory that sent the rookie to the doghouse for the next few weeks.

"Sean Lee is a great football player. Anybody who watches our team can see that," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said on a conference call Wednesday. "He’s a heck of a young man who loves to play the game, and plays it really well. He’s very good against the run, he’s really good against the pass; leader of our defense, makes the calls. Guys gravitate towards him. They gravitate towards him on defense and really throughout our whole football team. It will certainly be a loss."

Murray rushed for 131 yards against the Giants, his best game of the year, and had a 48-yard scamper on a busted play that proved to be a big play in the game.

"We’re hopeful it will heal up, but we’re certainly taking it slow with him, and like I said, he didn’t practice today and we’ll just see how he progresses day to day," Garrett said of Murray's foot sprain.

NEED SOME POINTS: The Cowboys are 10th in total yards per game but tied for 24th when it comes to points. Since scoring 24 in the opener, the Cowboys have topped that just once, against Baltimore two weeks ago, and are averaging 20.5 points per game. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sees a lack of execution when the team gets near the end zone.

"We’ve had some passes that we either dropped, or I missed a guy on a throw, or we just didn’t block one guy when a guy was open," Romo said. "When you look at it closely, sometimes it’s just coming down with the ball. Other times, when you’re putting it there, it’s just close."

WITTEN ISTOUGH: Cowboys tight end Jason Witten played in the opener against the Giants despite suffering a lacerated spleen a little more than three weeks prior to the game. He had just two catches for 10 yards but seems to be healthier than he was to start the season.

"It was a tremendous effort on his part and I think it showed a lot (about how) committed he is to playing and to his teammates. Our team really responded well," Garrett said. "He really wasn’t right in that game or in the next couple weeks and mostly because he hadn’t practiced in awhile and was dealing with his injury. Since then, he really seems to be playing like himself. He seems healthy. He’s caught a lot of balls the last couple, three weeks. Seems like he’s playing the way Jason Witten has played throughout his career."